Kaustabh Ghosh

Associate Professor-in-Residence, Ophthalmology, University of California Los Angeles


Research in our lab aims to understand the mechanobiology of vascular inflammation and degeneration in retinal diseases, specifically diabetic retinopathy (DR) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Currently, DR and AMD are clinically managed only in their advanced stages that are marked by excessive multiplication and leakiness of blood vessels in the inner and outer retina, respectively. However, there is growing recognition that more effective treatment of these conditions is possible by tackling them in the early stages when these blood vessels degenerate. We are taking a multidisciplinary approach to understand and prevent this early loss of blood vessels in diabetes and aging. Integrating the principles of vascular biology, mechanobiology, inflammation, and bioengineering, our work has introduced a new paradigm that implicates vascular 'stiffness' as a crucial determinant of vascular degeneration associated with early DR and AMD. Our ongoing studies aim to identify the factors that alter vascular stiffness in the eye and uncover the mechanobiological mechanisms by which altered stiffness causes vascular loss in diabetes and aging. These studies, funded by the National Eye Institute/NIH and private foundations, have the potential to identify new classes of drugs that restore normal vascular stiffness and function in the eye and thereby block DR and AMD progression in their early stages.


Mechanobiology of Vascular Inflammation and Degeneration in Retinal Diseases

Education and Training

Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical SchoolPostdoctoral Fellowship2011Vascular Biology
Stony Brook University (SUNY)Ph.D.2006Biomedical Engineering
National Institute of Technology, Warangal, IndiaB.Tech2001Chemical Engineering

Awards and Honors

  • Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, National Institute of Technology, Warangal, INDIA, 2001.
  • Outstanding Educator Award, Orange County Engineering Council, CA, 2016.
  • T32 Postdoctoral Training Grant, NIH, 2008.
  • President’s Award to Distinguished Doctoral Students, Stony Brook University (SUNY), 2006.
  • Outstanding Mentor Award, Siemens Foundation, 2004.
  • Catalyst Award for Innovative Research Approaches for AMD, Research to Prevent Blindness/IRRF, 2022.
  • Regents Faculty Development Award, University of California, 2017.
  • Lindbergh Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011.
  • Graduate Student Scholarship, New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, 2004.
  • Regents Faculty Fellowship, University of California, 2013.
  • Hellman Fellowship, Hellman Foundation, 2014.
  • Featured Scientist, BrightFocus Foundation, 2017.


  1. Tierno IS, Agarwal M, Matisioudis N, Chandrakumar S, Ghosh K. Stiffness Measurement of Retinal Capillaries and Subendothelial Matrix using Atomic Force Microscopy.. bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology, 2024.
  2. Chandrakumar S, Santiago Tierno I, Agarwal M, Lessieur EM, Du Y, Tang J, Kiser J, Yang X, Rodriguez A, Kern TS, Ghosh K. Mechanical Regulation of Retinal Vascular Inflammation and Degeneration in Diabetes.. Diabetes, 2024.
  3. Chandrakumar S, Santiago Tierno I, Agarwal M, Matisioudis N, Kern TS, Ghosh K. Subendothelial Matrix Stiffening by Lysyl Oxidase Enhances RAGE-Mediated Retinal Endothelial Activation in Diabetes.. Diabetes, 2023.
  4. Cabrera AP, Stoddard J, Santiago Tierno I, Matisioudis N, Agarwal M, Renner L, Palegar N, Neuringer M, McGill T, Ghosh K. Increased cell stiffness contributes to complement-mediated injury of choroidal endothelial cells in a monkey model of early age-related macular degeneration.. The Journal of pathology, 2022.
  5. Cabrera AP, Bhaskaran A, Xu J, Yang X, Scott HA, Mohideen U, Ghosh K. Senescence Increases Choroidal Endothelial Stiffness and Susceptibility to Complement Injury: Implications for Choriocapillaris Loss in AMD.. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 2016.
  6. Mohan RR, Cabrera AP, Harrison RE, Gorham RD, Johnson LV, Ghosh K, Morikis D. Peptide redesign for inhibition of the complement system: Targeting age-related macular degeneration.. Molecular vision, 2016.
  7. Scott HA, Quach B, Yang X, Ardekani S, Cabrera AP, Wilson R, Messaoudi-Powers I, Ghosh K. Matrix stiffness exerts biphasic control over monocyte-endothelial adhesion via Rho-mediated ICAM-1 clustering.. Integrative biology : quantitative biosciences from nano to macro, 2016.
  8. Monickaraj F, McGuire PG, Nitta CF, Ghosh K, Das A. Cathepsin D: an Mϕ-derived factor mediating increased endothelial cell permeability with implications for alteration of the blood-retinal barrier in diabetic retinopathy.. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 2015.
  9. Ardekani S, Scott HA, Gupta S, Eum S, Yang X, Brunelle AR, Wilson SM, Mohideen U, Ghosh K. Nanoliposomal Nitroglycerin Exerts Potent Anti-Inflammatory Effects.. Scientific reports, 2015.
  10. Yang X, Scott HA, Monickaraj F, Xu J, Ardekani S, Nitta CF, Cabrera A, McGuire PG, Mohideen U, Das A, Ghosh K. Basement membrane stiffening promotes retinal endothelial activation associated with diabetes.. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 2015.
  11. Adini I, Ghosh K. Mouse Retinal Whole Mounts and Quantification of Vasculature Protocol.. Bio-protocol, 2015.
  12. Adapala RK, Thoppil RJ, Ghosh K, Cappelli HC, Dudley AC, Paruchuri S, Keshamouni V, Klagsbrun M, Meszaros JG, Chilian WM, Ingber DE, Thodeti CK. Activation of mechanosensitive ion channel TRPV4 normalizes tumor vasculature and improves cancer therapy.. Oncogene, 2015.
  13. Yang X, Scott HA, Ardekani S, Williams M, Talbot P, Ghosh K. Aberrant cell and basement membrane architecture contribute to sidestream smoke-induced choroidal endothelial dysfunction.. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 2014.
  14. Adini I, Ghosh K, Adini A, Chi ZL, Yoshimura T, Benny O, Connor KM, Rogers MS, Bazinet L, Birsner AE, Bielenberg DR, D'Amato RJ. Melanocyte-secreted fibromodulin promotes an angiogenic microenvironment.. The Journal of clinical investigation, 2013.
  15. Pan Z, Ghosh K, Hung V, Macri LK, Einhorn J, Bhatnagar D, Simon M, Clark RAF, Rafailovich MH. Deformation gradients imprint the direction and speed of en masse fibroblast migration for fast healing.. The Journal of investigative dermatology, 2013.
  16. Adini A, Adini I, Ghosh K, Benny O, Pravda E, Hu R, Luyindula D, D'Amato RJ. The stem cell marker prominin-1/CD133 interacts with vascular endothelial growth factor and potentiates its action.. Angiogenesis, 2012.
  17. Korin N, Kanapathipillai M, Matthews BD, Crescente M, Brill A, Mammoto T, Ghosh K, Jurek S, Bencherif SA, Bhatta D, Coskun AU, Feldman CL, Wagner DD, Ingber DE. Shear-activated nanotherapeutics for drug targeting to obstructed blood vessels.. Science (New York, N.Y.), 2012.
  18. Kanapathipillai M, Mammoto A, Mammoto T, Kang JH, Jiang E, Ghosh K, Korin N, Gibbs A, Mannix R, Ingber DE. Inhibition of mammary tumor growth using lysyl oxidase-targeting nanoparticles to modify extracellular matrix.. Nano letters, 2012.
  19. Ghosh K, Kanapathipillai M, Korin N, McCarthy JR, Ingber DE. Polymeric nanomaterials for islet targeting and immunotherapeutic delivery.. Nano letters, 2011.
  20. Liu Y, Ji Y, Ghosh K, Clark RA, Huang L, Rafailovich MH. Effects of fiber orientation and diameter on the behavior of human dermal fibroblasts on electrospun PMMA scaffolds.. Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A, 2009.
  21. Pan Z, Ghosh K, Liu Y, Clark RA, Rafailovich MH. Traction stresses and translational distortion of the nucleus during fibroblast migration on a physiologically relevant ECM mimic.. Biophysical journal, 2009.
  22. Thodeti CK, Matthews B, Ravi A, Mammoto A, Ghosh K, Bracha AL, Ingber DE. TRPV4 channels mediate cyclic strain-induced endothelial cell reorientation through integrin-to-integrin signaling.. Circulation research, 2009.
  23. Ghosh K, Thodeti CK, Dudley AC, Mammoto A, Klagsbrun M, Ingber DE. Tumor-derived endothelial cells exhibit aberrant Rho-mediated mechanosensing and abnormal angiogenesis in vitro.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2008.
  24. Pernodet N, Jurukovski V, Fields J, Fields A, Ramek A, Tmironav T, Ghosh K, Bernheim T, Hall K, Ge S, Slutsky L, Dorst K, Simon M, Rafailovich M . Detecting cancer cells in normal tissue by scanning force modulation microscopy. Microscopy and Analysis , 2008.
  25. Ghosh K, Ingber DE. Micromechanical control of cell and tissue development: implications for tissue engineering.. Advanced drug delivery reviews, 2007.
  26. Clark RA, Ghosh K, Tonnesen MG. Tissue engineering for cutaneous wounds.. The Journal of investigative dermatology, 2007.
  27. Ji Y, Ghosh K, Li B, Sokolov JC, Clark RA, Rafailovich MH. Dual-syringe reactive electrospinning of cross-linked hyaluronic acid hydrogel nanofibers for tissue engineering applications.. Macromolecular bioscience, 2006.
  28. Ghosh K, Pan Z, Guan E, Ge S, Liu Y, Nakamura T, Ren XD, Rafailovich M, Clark RA. Cell adaptation to a physiologically relevant ECM mimic with different viscoelastic properties.. Biomaterials, 2006.
  29. Mehra TD, Ghosh K, Shu XZ, Prestwich GD, Clark RA. Molecular stenting with a crosslinked hyaluronan derivative inhibits collagen gel contraction.. The Journal of investigative dermatology, 2006.
  30. Ji Y, Ghosh K, Shu XZ, Li B, Sokolov JC, Prestwich GD, Clark RA, Rafailovich MH. Electrospun three-dimensional hyaluronic acid nanofibrous scaffolds.. Biomaterials, 2006.
  31. Ghosh K, Ren XD, Shu XZ, Prestwich GD, Clark RA. Fibronectin functional domains coupled to hyaluronan stimulate adult human dermal fibroblast responses critical for wound healing.. Tissue engineering, 2006.
  32. Ghosh K, Shu XZ, Mou R, Lombardi J, Prestwich GD, Rafailovich MH, Clark RA. Rheological characterization of in situ cross-linkable hyaluronan hydrogels.. Biomacromolecules, 2005.
  33. Shu XZ, Ghosh K, Liu Y, Palumbo FS, Luo Y, Clark RA, Prestwich GD. Attachment and spreading of fibroblasts on an RGD peptide-modified injectable hyaluronan hydrogel.. Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A, 2004.