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Kenneth A. Polse

529 Minor Addition
(510) 642-7745
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AFFILIATIONS Professor Emeritus of Vision Science and Optometry
Professor of the Graduate School

Tear mixing; Epithelial barrier function; corneal physiology; Contact lens extended wear

During the past 30 years the Polse laboratory made several interesting and potentially important discoveries about the etiology and amelioration of some of the adverse effects of contact lenses on the eye. The laboratory focused on human clinical research and explored the effects of disease, drugs, contact lenses, and the environment on human corneal structure and function.

These findings would not have been possible without many strong and productive collaborative relationships, both with Berkeley scientists (Irv Fatt, Bob Mandell, Mort Sarver, Richard Brand, Robert Fusaro, and Clay Radke), and with investigators not on the Berkeley campus, such as William Bourne (Mayo Clinic), Brien Holden (University of New South Wales, Australia), Joe Bonnano (Indiana University), Nancy McNamara (University of California, San Francisco), Michel Guillon (City University, London), and Des Fonn (University of Waterloo). Additional information can be found at the Polse Lab website: vision.berkeley.edu/polse/

Past Activities

From 1972 to 2003, Professor Kenneth A. Polse served the UC Berkeley School of Optometry in many roles, including faculty member, Clinic Director, and Associate Dean. His research focused on cornea and contact lenses, methodological and laboratory strategies for non-invasive in vivo assessment of human corneal function, and the effects of disease, environment, and medical intervention on corneal structure and function.

Current Activities

Professor Polse retired from the Berkeley Optometry and Vision Science faculty in 2005, but remains active. He is currently a Professor of the Graduate School at UC Berkeley, and Director of the Berkeley Clinical Scientist Development Program (BCSDP), an important clinical training program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) featuring novel and exciting opportunities for intensive training in clinical patient-based research.

Professor Polse continues to advise students engaged in projects related to contact lenses, cornea, and ocular surface disease. He also consults with other UCB faculty on research projects and serves as a consultant to several ophthalmic companies in the private sector.

In Fall 2011, Dr. Polse, along with Professors Meng C. Lin and Nancy A. McNamara established the UC Berkeley Dry Eye Clinic, which serves as a diagnostic and treatment center for patients who suffer from ocular surface disease, including dye eye discomfort and disability.

Students interested in patient-based research in these areas are encouraged to contact Professor Polse. If possible, he will try to organize a research environment that will provide experience and training in cornea, contact lenses, and ocular surface disease.

Selected Publications

Lin MC, Graham AD, Polse KA, McNamara NA, Tieu TG: The effects of one-hour wear of high oxygen permeable soft lenses on corneal pH and epithelial permeability. CLAO J, 2000; 26(3): 130-33.

Fusaro, RE, Polse, KA, Graham AD, Gan CM, Rivera RK, Lin MC, Sanders TL, McNamara NA, Chan JS: The Berkeley contact lens extended wear study: Part I – Study design. Ophthalmol 2001; 108(8): 1381-88.

Polse KA, Fusaro RE, Graham AD, Gan CM, Rivera RK, Lin MC, Sanders TL, McNamara NA, Chan JS: The Berkeley contact lens extended wear study: Part II – Clinical results. Ophthalmol 2001; 108(8): 1389-99.

Graham AD, Fusaro RE, Polse KA, Lin MC, Giasson CJ: Predicting extended wear complications from overnight corneal swelling. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 2001; 42(13): 3150-57.

Lin MC, Graham AD, Polse KA, Fusaro RE. The Impact of Rigid Contact Lens Extended Wear on Corneal Epithelial Barrier Function. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 2002; 43(4): 1019-1024.

Miller KL, Polse KA, and Radke CJ. Black-line formation and the “perched” human tear film. Current Eye Research, 2002; 25(3):155-162.

Miller KL, Polse KA, and Radke CJ. Fenestrations enhance tear mixing under soft contact lenses. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 2003; 44(1):60-67.

Lin MC, Chen YQ, Polse KA: The effects of ocular and lens parameters on the post-lens tear thickness. Eye & Contact Lens, Suppl,  2003, 29(15):S33-S36.

Lin MC, Soliman GN, Song MJ, Smith JP, Lin CT, Chen YQ, Polse KA: Soft contact lens extended wear affects corneal epithelial permeability: Hypoxic or mechanical etiology? CL & Anterior Segment 2003; 26:11-16.

Lin, MC, Soliman GN, Lim VA, Giese ML, Wofford LE, Marmo C, Radke C, Polse KA: Scalloped Channels Enhance Tear Mixing Under Hydrogel Contact Lenses. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, accepted for publication Nov. 2006.