Kayarat Nair, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Ophthalmology
Research Description: 

Sai Nair, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Anatomy. He obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Mumbai, India. During his PhD, Dr. Nair studied the role of cell surface receptors in regulation of neutrophil effector functions. Dr. Nair received his postdoctoral training in Dr. Simon John’s laboratory at The Jackson Laboratory. He worked extensively on characterizing both spontaneous and chemically induced mouse mutants that recapitulate features of human glaucoma. He has identified genes contributing to glaucoma, generated new mouse models of human glaucoma and have utilized them to gain insight into the underlying pathological causes of the disease. The overall goal of his laboratory is to identify the specific genetic risk factors conferring susceptibility towards ocular diseases with a major focus on glaucoma and uncover their mechanisms of action using state of art genetics and genomics techniques. A major aim is to functionally validate candidate glaucoma genes identified through genetic association studies (both rare and common variants) and to uncover the underlying pathogenic processes and identify targets with therapeutic potential. His laboratory employs a multi-disciplinary approach by integrating the use of animal models, genetics, genomics, molecular biology, cell-biology and physiology based experiments to gain mechanistic insight into disease pathogenesis.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Research Summary: 
Genetics and biology of ocular diseases



Loss of PRSS56 function leads to ocular angle defects and increased susceptibility to high intraocular pressure.

Disease models & mechanisms

Labelle-Dumais C, Pyatla G, Paylakhi S, Tolman NG, Hameed S, Seymens Y, Dang E, Mandal AK, Senthil S, Khanna RC, Kabra M, Kaur I, John SWM, Chakrabarti S, Nair KS

A multiethnic genome-wide association study of primary open-angle glaucoma identifies novel risk loci.

Nature communications

Choquet H, Paylakhi S, Kneeland SC, Thai KK, Hoffmann TJ, Yin J, Kvale MN, Banda Y, Tolman NG, Williams PA, Schaefer C, Melles RB, Risch N, John SWM, Nair KS, Jorgenson E

Müller glia-derived PRSS56 is required to sustain ocular axial growth and prevent refractive error.

PLoS genetics

Paylakhi S, Labelle-Dumais C, Tolman NG, Sellarole MA, Seymens Y, Saunders J, Lakosha H, deVries WN, Orr AC, Topilko P, John SW, Nair KS

A large multi-ethnic genome-wide association study identifies novel genetic loci for intraocular pressure.

Nature communications

Choquet H, Thai KK, Yin J, Hoffmann TJ, Kvale MN, Banda Y, Schaefer C, Risch N, Nair KS, Melles R, Jorgenson E

YBR/EiJ mice: a new model of glaucoma caused by genes on chromosomes 4 and 17.

Disease models & mechanisms

Nair KS, Cosma M, Raghupathy N, Sellarole MA, Tolman NG, de Vries W, Smith RS, John SW