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Apr 16, 2020

Our eyes are one of the most sensitive areas on our bodies, and they are constantly bathed in microbes, and yet we rarely get eye infections. However, certain microbes can take advantage of minor injuries to the eye and cause very serious infections that can lead to blindness.

Dr. Eric Pearlman is a Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California Irvine and the Director of the Institute for Immunology.

Dr. Pearlman studies how the immune system is able to fight against bacteria and fungi that manage to infect the cornea.
Dr. Pearlman talks about how the eye is a specialized site that is resistant to microbial infections, what types of microbes can infect the eye, how neutrophils help protect the eye, how fungi can cause more serious eye infections due to lack of effective antifungals, why damage to the cornea results in so much pain, why everyone chopping wood should wear eye protection, and how his fascination with parasites led to him studying river blindness.

The microCase for listeners to solve is about Ally Louia, whose mid-life crisis leads to an exotic vacation and a potentially deadly disease.

Karl Klose, Ph.D. (UTSA)
Eric Pearlman, Ph.D. (University of California Irvine)
Janakiram Seshu, Ph.D. (UTSA)
Mylea Echazarreta (UTSA)