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The National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, awarded Jason J. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO, a five-year, $1.9 million R01 grant to study potential molecular markers in meibomian gland dysfunction, a type of evaporative dry eye disease. Evaporative dry eye is the most common type of dry eye disease, and meibomian gland dysfunction is the most widespread form of evaporative dry eye. Millions of Americans suffer from MGD, and study findings could lead to a targeted therapy.

In MGD, the quantity or quality of oil the meibomian glands secrete into tears is deficient, causing tears to evaporate too quickly. Nichols’ study is examining both the structure of the tear film and its function in 200 patients split into two groups – those with normal ocular-surface health and those with meibomian gland dysfunction.