'Corneal Immune Cells and Sensory Nerves: A Window to Eye and Systemic Health’- Dr Holly Chinnery and Professor Laura Downie

The transparency of the cornea its accessibility at the ocular surface enable direct visualisation of immune cells and sensory nerves, in humans, using non-invasive in vivo confocal microscopy. Morphological alterations in corneal immune cells provide insights into the inflammatory status of the cornea, and in some cases, the health of the peripheral nervous and immune systems more generally. Our “Front-Tear” Research Centre is advancing understanding of the dynamics of corneal immune cell subpopulations including their relationship to local and systemic health conditions. We will share recent data relating to corneal immune cell imaging, their potential use as biomarkers of disease, and how targeting the function of these cells represents a potential therapeutic approach to treating ocular surface disease.