Category: Cornea

Remembering Jim Funderburgh

James L. Funderburgh, PhD

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Jim Funderburgh, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Ophthalmology. Jim passed away on November 27, 2019 after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He died quietly at home surrounded by his family. His obituary is available to read online. “This is a terrible shock for us to share”, said Dr. José-Alain Sahel, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology. “We knew it might happen, but nobody can be prepared for the loss of such an outstanding scientist and unique human being”. Working with his wife Martha, Jim

The Funderburgh Corneal Regeneration Project: Exploring Innovative Options for Corneal Opacities

James L. Funderburgh, PhD

Using the approach developed by the Funderburgh Laboratory, registered clinical trials in India have successfully treated over 80 patients with acute and chronic corneal opacities. In 2005, the Funderburgh Laboratory and collaborators at the Department of Ophthalmology, including Yiqin Du, MD, PhD, found stem cells in the connective tissue of the adult cornea.1 In 2009 the same group confirmed that these corneal stromal stem cells (CSSCs) were able to reconstruct the microstructure of the corneal stroma and restore corneal transparency in a genetic mouse model of corneal scarring.2 In 2014, using a mouse wound model with corneal opacity, they found that