headshot photo of Dr. Ajay Sharma

Dr. Ajay Sharma

Associate Professor
School of Pharmacy
Expertise: Ocular Pharmacology; Dry Eye; Ocular Surface Diseases; Pharmacogenomics
Office Location: Rinker Health Science Campus 267
Phone: 714-516-5498
Scholarly Works:
Digital Commons
Punjab University, Bachelor of Pharmacy
Punjab University, Master of Pharmacy
Punjabi University, Ph.D.


Dr. Sharma joined CUSP on Aug. 1st, 2015 as an assistant professor of pharmacology. Dr. Sharma obtained a Bachelors and Masters in Pharmacy from University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Punjab University, India and doctoral degree in Pharmacology from Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research, Punjabi University, India. His Ph.D. work was on delineating the role of angiotensin and biogenic amines in the cardioprotective phenomenon of ischemic preconditioning for which he was awarded the prestigious Uvnas award by Indian Pharmacological Society. After completion of his Ph.D., he joined as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington to pursue research on gene therapy of ocular diseases. He further continued working in the area of ocular gene therapy, corneal wound healing and corneal angiogenesis at the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Missouri. Prior to joining CUSP, he worked as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine and then in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri. Dr. Sharma has won several honors and awards for his pioneering work in the ocular gene therapy. Dr. Sharma has also worked as a group leader for three years in the cardiovascular drug discovery program of a leading pharmaceutical company in India.

During his academic career, Dr. Sharma has taught several courses in pharmacology including pharmacology of drugs affecting the central nervous system, gastrointestinal system, endocrine functions, antimicrobial agents, ocular pharmacology, pharmacometrics and animal models for evaluating new chemical entities. Dr. Sharma has published over 50 peer-reviewed research articles and 3 book chapters. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Comprehensive Pharmacy and serves as an interim reviewer for over 20 scientific journals.

Research Interests

Dr. Sharma’s research utilizes in vivo and ex vivo disease models, and a variety of pharmacological, molecular biology and cell culture techniques. His research interests include anterior segment ocular diseases, ocular pharmacokinetics and ischemic myocardium. 

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Alfuraih S, Barbarino A, Ross C, Shamloo K, Jhanji V, Miao Z, Sharma A*. Effect of high glucose on ocular surface epithelial cell barrier and tight junction proteins. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2020;61(11):3.
Shamloo K, Barbarino A, Alfuraih S, Sharma A*. Graft Versus Host Disease-Associated Dry Eye: Role of Ocular Surface Mucins and the Effect of Rebamipide, a Mucin Secretagogue. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2019 Nov 1;60(14):4511-4519.
Taniguchi J, Sharma A. Fluorometholone modulates gene expression of ocular surface mucins. Acta Ophthalmol. 2019 Apr 9 (Inpress)
Mohan RR, Tripathi R, Sharma A, Sinha PR, Giuliano EA, Hesemann NP, Chaurasia SS. Decorin antagonizes corneal fibroblast migration via caveolae-mediated endocytosis of epidermal growth factor receptor. Exp Eye Res. 2019 Mar;180:200-207.
Rodier JT, Tripathi R, Fink MK, Sharma A, Korampally M, Gangopadhyay S, Giuliano EA, Sinha PR, Mohan RR. Linear Polyethylenimine-DNA Nanoconstruct for Corneal Gene Delivery. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Jan/Feb;35(1):23-31
Dea L, Lewis J, Sharma A. The Pharmacist’s Role in Managing Microbial Keratitis. U.S. Pharmacist July 2018: 27-30.
Gupta S, Fink MK, Ghosh A, Tripathi R, Sinha PR, Sharma A, Hesemann NP, Chaurasia SS, Giuliano EA, Mohan RR. Novel Combination BMP7 and HGF Gene Therapy Instigates Selective Myofibroblast Apoptosis and Reduces Corneal Haze In Vivo. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018 Feb 1;59(2):1045-1057
Sharma A, Taniguchi J. Review: Emerging strategies for antimicrobial drug delivery to the ocular surface: Implications for infectious keratitis. Ocul Surf. 2017 Oct;15(4):670-679.
Sharma A, Anumanthan G, Reyes M, Chen H, Brubaker JW, Siddiqui S, Gupta S, Rieger FG, Mohan RR. Epigenetic Modification Prevents Excessive Wound Healing and Scar Formation After Glaucoma Filtration Surgery. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016;57:3381-9.
Sharma A, Sinha NR, Siddiqui S, Mohan RR. Role of 5'TG3'-interacting factors (TGIFs) in Vorinostat (HDAC inhibitor)-mediated Corneal Fibrosis Inhibition. Mol Vis. 2015;21:974-84.