Kaustabh Ghosh, Ph.D.

A Short Biography:

Dr. Ghosh is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at UCLA and a Principal Investigator at the Doheny Eye Institute. His vascular mechanobiology lab aims to integrate the principles of biology and engineering to mechanistically understand and treat vision-threatening diseases, specifically diabetic retinopathy (DR) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). His research is funded by extramural grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Research to Prevent Blindness/IRRF, W.M. Keck Foundation, BrightFocus Foundation, and Hellman Foundation. Prior to joining UCLA and the Doheny Eye Institute in 2019, he was an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at UC Riverside. Prof. Ghosh did his postdoctoral training in vascular mechanobiology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Stony Brook University, and obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India.

Work Titles
UCLA Associate Professor, Ophthalmology Member, Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology GPB Home Area Principal Investigator, Doheny Eye Institute
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University (SUNY)
B.S., Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India
Academic Experience:
Postdoctoral Training, Boston Children's Hospital & Harvard Medical School
Honors and Awards:
2023 - Research to Prevent Blindness/IRRF Catalyst Award for Innovative Research Approaches for AMD
2017 - Regents Faculty Development Award, University of California
2017 - Featured Scientist, BrightFocus Foundation
2016 - Outstanding Educator Award, Orange County Engineering Council, CA
2014 - Hellman Fellowship
2013 - Regents Faculty Fellowship, University of California
2011 - Lindbergh Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2006 - President’s Award to Distinguished Doctoral Students, Stony Brook University (SUNY)
2004 - Graduate Student Scholarship, New Jersey Center for Biomaterials
2004 - Outstanding Mentor Award, Siemens Foundation
2001 - Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, National Institute of Technology, Warangal, INDIA

Contact Information:

Email Address:



Lab Webpage

Work Phone Number:


Office Address:

Doheny Eye Institute, Rm 330
150 N. Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Stein Eye Institute BH-755C
100 Stein Plaza Driveway
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Research Interest:

Mechanobiology of Retinal Vascular Inflammation and Degeneration in Eye Diseases

Our research aims to understand the mechanobiology of retinal vascular inflammation and degeneration in eye 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.

Projects and Lab Members

Project: Mechanical regulation of neutrophil-induced retinal vascular degeneration in early diabetic retinopathy.

Mahesh Agarwal, Postdoctoral Scholar - mahes@ucla.edu


Project: Role and regulation of lysyl oxidase in retinal vascular stiffening and inflammation associated with early diabetic retinopathy

Sathishkumar Chandrakumar, Postdoctoral Scholar - sathishcn@ucla.edu


Project: Mechanobiology of choroidal vascular degeneration in early age-related macular degeneration

Irene Santiago Tierno, MCIP PhD Candidate - isantiago@ucla.edu


A selected list of publications:

Chandrakumar Sathishkumar, Santiago Tierno Irene, Agarwal Mahesh, Lessieur Emma M, Du Yupeng, Tang Jie, Kiser Jianying, Yang Xiao, Kern Timothy S, Ghosh Kaustabh   Mechanical regulation of retinal vascular inflammation and degeneration in diabetic retinopathy BioRxiv, 2022; https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.12.18.520943: .
Chandrakumar Sathishkumar, Santiago Tierno Irene, Agarwal Mahesh, Matisioudis Nikolaos, Kern Timothy S, Ghosh Kaustabh   Lysyl oxidase dependent subendothelial matrix stiffening promotes RAGE-mediated retinal endothelial activation in diabetes BioRxiv, 2022; https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.08.31.505952: .
Cabrera Andrea P, Stoddard Jonathan, Santiago Tierno Irene, Matisioudis Nikolaos, Agarwal Mahesh, Renner Lauren, Palegar Neha, Neuringer Martha, McGill Trevor, Ghosh Kaustabh   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; 257(3): 314-326.
Cabrera Andrea P, Bhaskaran Arun, Xu Jun, Yang Xiao, Scott Harry A, Mohideen Umar, Ghosh Kaustabh   Senescence Increases Choroidal Endothelial Stiffness and Susceptibility to Complement Injury: Implications for Choriocapillaris Loss in AMD Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 2016; 57(14): 5910-5918.
Scott Harry A, Quach Boi, Yang Xiao, Ardekani Soroush, Cabrera Andrea P, Wilson Randall, Messaoudi-Powers Ilhem, Ghosh Kaustabh   Matrix stiffness exerts biphasic control over monocyte-endothelial adhesion via Rho-mediated ICAM-1 clustering Integrative Biology , 2016; 8(8): 869-78.
Monickaraj Finny, McGuire Paul G, Nitta Carolina Franco, Ghosh Kaustabh, Das Arup   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, 2016; 30(4): 1670-82.
Yang Xiao, Scott Harry A, Monickaraj Finny, Xu Jun, Ardekani Soroush, Nitta Carolina F, Cabrera Andrea, McGuire Paul G, Mohideen Umar, Das Arup, Ghosh Kaustabh   Basement membrane stiffening promotes retinal endothelial activation associated with diabetes FASEB Journal, 2016; 30(2): 601-11.
Mohan Rohith R, Cabrera Andrea P, Harrison Reed E S, Gorham Ronald D, Johnson Lincoln V, Ghosh Kaustabh, Morikis Dimitrios   Peptide redesign for inhibition of the complement system: Targeting age-related macular degeneration Molecular vision, 2016; 22: 1280-1290.
Adapala R K, Thoppil R J, Ghosh K, Cappelli H C, Dudley A C, Paruchuri S, Keshamouni V, Klagsbrun M, Meszaros J G, Chilian W M, Ingber D E, Thodeti C K   Activation of mechanosensitive ion channel TRPV4 normalizes tumor vasculature and improves cancer therapy Oncogene, 2016; 35(3): 314-22.
Adini Irit, Ghosh Kaustabh   Mouse Retinal Whole Mounts and Quantification of Vasculature Protocol Bio-protocol, 2015; 5(15): 16258.
Yang Xiao, Scott Harry A, Ardekani Soroush, Williams Monique, Talbot Prue, Ghosh Kaustabh   Aberrant cell and basement membrane architecture contribute to sidestream smoke-induced choroidal endothelial dysfunction Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 2014; 55(5): 3140-7.
Adini Irit, Ghosh Kaustabh, Adini Avner, Chi Zai-Long, Yoshimura Takeru, Benny Ofra, Connor Kip M, Rogers Michael S, Bazinet Lauren, Birsner Amy E, Bielenberg Diane R, D'Amato Robert J   Melanocyte-secreted fibromodulin promotes an angiogenic microenvironment The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2014; 124(1): 425-36.
Pan Zhi, Ghosh Kaustabh, Hung Victoria, Macri Lauren K, Einhorn Justin, Bhatnagar Divya, Simon Marcia, Clark Richard A F, Rafailovich Miriam H   Deformation gradients imprint the direction and speed of en masse fibroblast migration for fast healing The Journal of investigative dermatology, 2013; 133(10): 2471-2479.
Adini Avner, Adini Irit, Ghosh Kaustabh, Benny Ofra, Pravda Elke, Hu Ron, Luyindula Dema, D'Amato Robert J   The stem cell marker prominin-1/CD133 interacts with vascular endothelial growth factor and potentiates its action Angiogenesis, 2013; 16(2): 405-16.
Pan Zhi, Ghosh Kaustabh, Liu Yajie, Clark Richard A F, Rafailovich Miriam H   Traction stresses and translational distortion of the nucleus during fibroblast migration on a physiologically relevant ECM mimic Biophysical journal, 2009; 96(10): 4286-98.
Thodeti Charles K, Matthews Benjamin, Ravi Arvind, Mammoto Akiko, Ghosh Kaustabh, Bracha Abigail L, Ingber Donald E   TRPV4 channels mediate cyclic strain-induced endothelial cell reorientation through integrin-to-integrin signaling Circulation research, 2009; 104(9): 1123-30.
Ghosh Kaustabh, Thodeti Charles K, Dudley Andrew C, Mammoto Akiko, Klagsbrun Michael, Ingber Donald E   Tumor-derived endothelial cells exhibit aberrant Rho-mediated mechanosensing and abnormal angiogenesis in vitro PNAS, 2008; 105(32): 11305-10.
Ghosh Kaustabh, Ingber Donald E   Micromechanical control of cell and tissue development: implications for tissue engineering Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 2007; 59(13): 1306-18.
Ghosh Kaustabh, Pan Zhi, Guan E, Ge Shouren, Liu Yajie, Nakamura Toshio, Ren Xiang-Dong, Rafailovich Miriam, Clark Richard A F   Cell adaptation to a physiologically relevant ECM mimic with different viscoelastic properties Biomaterials, 2007; 28(4): 671-9.

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