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Daniel Raphael Saban

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology, Corneal Diseases


My broad research interests are the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to pathogenic immunity in ophthalmic disease and vision loss. My studies are currently focused on dendritic cells (DC), a unique leukocyte population of antigen presenting cells required for both initiating and determining the type of immune response generated. These cells contribute to the maintenance of health versus immunity in ocular disease.

I am currently investigating the role of DCs in allergic immune responses in the eye. We have developed a robust experimental mouse model that allows us to engraft ex vivo manipulated DCs into the ocular surface tissues prior to allergen challenge. This has allowed us to address very precise mechanistic pathways regarding DC function in allergy, such as identifying the pathogenic subset(s) of DCs required to trigger allergic immunity, and the factors drive the recruitment versus homing of these cells to the lymphoid organs.

I am also interested in examining the role of antigen presenting cells in other clinically relevant models of immune-associated ophthalmic disease. It is now widely appreciated that immunity and inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of very prevalent conditions, including dry eye disease, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Elucidating a possible role(s) for antigen presenting cells such as DCs in these conditions may be an important step in furthering our understanding and possibly in identifying novel targets for treatments.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology · 2020 - Present Ophthalmology, Corneal Diseases, Ophthalmology
Associate Professor in Integrative Immunobiology · 2021 - Present Integrative Immunobiology, Basic Science Departments
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences · 2019 - Present Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, University Institutes and Centers

Education, Training & Certifications

University of Florida · 2005 Ph.D.
University of Florida · 2002 M.S.