Michael O Keefe
The lens of the eye is an unusual organ. Unlike most of the body's organs, blood vessels don't reach the lens. If they did, they'd obscure our vision and we wouldn't be able to see. The lack of vasculature led scientists to believe immune cells, which travel via the bloodstream, couldn't get to this part of the body either. But a few years ago, Jefferson researchers challenged this long held assumption by demonstrating that immune cells populate the lens in response to degeneration. Now the Jefferson team finds the eye also launches an immune response in the lens after injury. The discovery adds to a growing body of evidence that is working to overturn the accepted dogma of the field.