Jeremy Sivak, PhD holds the Glaucoma Research Chair at the Krembil Research Institute, University Health Network, and is Associate Professor in the University of Toronto School of Medicine. Dr. Sivak completed his PhD in 2001 at Tufts University/New England Medical Center, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge. He then joined Novartis in 2005 as a project lead where he led multidisciplinary ophthalmic drug discovery teams. Dr. Sivak returned to academics in 2010 to establish a research program that examines the mechanisms controlling retinal injury responses, and to design new treatment and drug delivery strategies. The success of this work is reflected in concurrent funding from federal, and non-profit granting agencies, industry collaborations, consistent publications in prominent journals, and broad lecturing internationally.
My research is concerned with endogenous mechanisms of tissue maintenance and repair, and the identification of strategies to promote these processes. In particular, my lab has used the eye as a model for studying these mechanisms, as their breakdown with injury and age is implicated in the pathogenesis of leading diseases causing vision loss. To study these issues, my lab uses unique multidisciplinary approaches that runs from basic cell and molecular biology to drug discovery and development. My laboratory’s recent focus has been the mechanisms regulating mechanical and metabolic injury to the inner retina, particularly the role of glial cells and their interactions with retinal ganglion cell neurons. Parainflammatory activation of retinal and optic nerve head astrocytes has been implicated as an early event in the pathogenesis of glaucoma. However, the regulation of molecular cues underlying their complex interactions with neurons remains unclear. My lab developed unique in vitro and in vivo models to dissect these cues and manipulate them experimentally, leading to current projects studying the actions of novel neuroprotective lipid mediators, and mechanisms of protein translational regulation. In addition, we have been developing strategies for assessing and optimizing intraocular drug delivery and formulations for retinal therapeutics.