Skip Navigation
Search Menu
Find an Expert


Debasish Sinha, M.S., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Debasish Sinha, M.S., Ph.D.

Director, Glia Research Laboratory

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

Research Interests: Age-related macular degeneration, Retinal cell biology, Glial cells

Contact for Research Inquiries

Smith Building
400 N Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-502-2100
Fax: 410-614-6728

Email me


Debasish Sinha, Ph.D., is an associate professor of ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences of the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He received his Ph.D. degree in immunology and did a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular biology and genetics at the National Eye Institute.

His laboratory uses rat spontaneous mutants and genetically engineered mice as genetic tools to explore the functions of glial cells during normal neuronal and vascular development and to probe how abnormalities in glial cells lead to central nervous system diseases. In addition, his laboratory is also interested in understanding the processes of autophagy and phagocytosis in retinal pigmented epithelial cells and regulation of the immune system in age-related macular degeneration. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Research to Prevent Blindness and private foundations. Dr. Sinha received the Sybil B. Harrington Special Scholar award for Macular Degeneration from Research to Prevent Blindness. more


  • Director, Glia Research Laboratory
  • Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • B.S., University of Kolkata (India) (1984)
  • M.S., Gujarat University (India) (1986)
  • Ph.D., Jadavpur University (India) (1992)

Research & Publications

Lab Website: Glia Research Laboratory

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

  1. Valapala M et al. Increased Lipocalin-2 in the retinal pigment epithelium of Cryba1 cKO mice is associated with a chronic inflammatory response. Aging Cell, 2014; 13 (6): 1091-1094.
  2. Valapala M et al. Lysosomal-mediated waste clearance in retinal pigmented epithelial cells is regulated by CRYBA1/bA3/A1-crystallin via V-ATPase-MTORC1 signaling. Autophagy, 2014; 10:3, 480-496.
  3. Valapala M et al. Impaired endolysosomal function disrupts Notch signaling in optic nerve astrocytes. Nature Communications, 2013; 4: 1629.
  4. Ma B et al. bA3/A1-crystallin controls anoikis-mediated cell death in astrocytes by modulating PI3K/AKT/mTOR and ERK survival pathways via the PKD/Bit1 signaling axis. Cell Death and Disease, 2011 Oct 13; 2:e217.
  5. Zigler, Jr. JS et al. Mutation in the βA3/A1-crystallin gene impairs phagosome degradation in the retinal pigment epithelium of the rat. Journal of Cell Science, 2011; 124: 523-531.

Review Articles:

  1. Zigler, Jr. JS and Sinha D. bA3/A1-crystallin: More than a lens protein. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 2014; pii:S1350-9462(14)00067-6 (Epub ahead of print).
  2. Kaarniranta K et al. Autophagy and heterophagy dysregulation leads to retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction and development of age-related macular degeneration. Autophagy, 2013;9:7, 973-984.
  3. Whitcup SM et al. The role of the immune response in age-related macular degeneration. International Journal of Inflammation, 2013:348092.

Activities & Honors


  • Carolyn K. McGillvray Memorial Award for Macular Degeneration Research, BrightFocus Foundation
  • Sybil B. Harrington Special Scholar Award for Macular Degeneration, Research to Prevent Blindness
Is this you? Edit Profile