This group is comprised of Mª Carmen Acosta (Associate Professor of Physiology), Carolina Luna and Susana Quirce (predoctoral interns), Manuel Bayonas (technician), José Belmonte (Associate Professor of Ophthalmology), and Juana Gallar (Professor of Physiology). It collaborates with investigators from other groups and disciplines, including Fernando Borrás (Associate Professor of Statistics and Operations Research), Adolfo Aracil (Assistant Professor of Physical and Sports Education), ophthalmologists Javier Belmonte (University General Hospital of Alicante), Waldir Neira Zalentein (Helsinki University Hospital), and Illés Kovács (Semmelweis University, Hungary). Furthermore, given the similarity of research lines, it often collaborates with Professor Carlos Belmonte.
The group investigates the neurobiology of the cornea and ocular surface. Specifically, it examines the role of sensory innervation in sensitivity and pain of the ocular surface (corneal and conjunctival) in response to different types of stimuli. To accomplish this, it conducts both electrophysiological (recording sensory receptor activity in nerve endings and axons) and psychophysical studies in humans (analyzing evoked sensations) using a gas esthesiometer developed at our institute for such purpose. Likewise, the group is also interested in studying trophic interactions between nerves and corneal tissue, particularly the description of corneal sensitivity and trophic status subsequent to either corneal photorefractive surgery or corneal transplants.