Ophthalmology research by Dr. Michael E. Zegans focuses on understanding bacterial infections of the eye and includes both laboratory and clinical research.
In collaboration with George O'Toole, PhD, he is studying biofilm formation of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa and its impact on ocular infection. Currently, they are investigating a novel inhibitor of biofilm infection that is well tolerated on the ocular surface. They also are studying the effect of a bacteriophage on Pseudomonas biofilm formation.
In addition to these projects, they are collaborating with the Proctor Foundation at UCSF and Aravind Eye Hospital in Tamil Nadu, India on the Steroids for Corneal Ulcer Trial (SCUT). SCUT addresses the question of whether treatment with topical steroids in addition to antibiotics improves the visual outcome of patients with bacterial corneal ulceration. As well as being one of three study sites for SCUT, they are coordinating the photo-analysis of corneal ulcers and establishing a microbial archive of the bacterial isolates at Dartmouth.
Christine Toutain, PhD is the study coordinator for SCUT at Dartmouth as well as a collaborator on the laboratory work on Pseudomonas.