Our Story

Upon graduation from ophthalmology residency, Dr. Maskin focused his fellowship years on learning more about dry eye and the ocular surface. In his 3 years of fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, he began his work on Meibomian Glands (MG), researching in vitro culture of MG epithelial clones in serum free media and how growth factors affect gland proliferation and differentiation.

In 1991, he founded his practice, The Dry Eye and Cornea Treatment Center in Tampa, Florida, focused on complex corneal and ocular surface conditions. As his practice grew, he implemented his specialized and multifaceted care strategies for patients to great success and received many referrals for dry eye patients. He has now managed MGD for over 25 years.

As he saw an expanding population of significant dry eye sufferers, he grew increasingly frustrated with available conventional options for therapy (lid hygiene, oral and topical antibiotics, and topical steroid) and the seemingly incomplete understanding of the underlying cause of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Dr. Maskin was continually plagued by such questions as:

  • Why do we see atrophy in certain parts of glands resulting in short glands whereas other glands in the same lid are completely atrophic?

  • Why would the lid get tender over a gland?

  • Why would this tenderness be present at times, whether or not the gland showed expressible meibum?

With a strong hypothesis the key to the mystery was in the gland itself, Dr. Maskin formulated a plan to safely discover more about the MG duct and possible blockages.

In the mid-2000s, he met a patient who had seen a variety of ophthalmologists without relief for his excruciatingly tender lids and debilitating dry eyes. Looking to find out more about the gland’s internal duct space, Dr. Maskin assembled a prototype probe and entered 5 glands in a lower lid, immediately encountering multiple moments of resistance along the duct and producing a popping sound as the bands of scar tissue around the gland were released and pressure equilibrated.

After the ducts has been penetrated and freed from constriction, meibum was once again able to flow. Dr. Maskin proceeded with probing the rest of his glands, and by the time the patient left, he was smiling and able to be active in the world once more.

Since that time, Dr. Maskin has continued to research the process of probing and further develop the theory of and evidence for successful treatment by release the scarring from Meibomian Glands. He has honed his expertise and advanced knowledge of MG dysfunction and treatment through this tireless work.

Now, more than a decade after his initial successful probing, Dr. Maskin has created MGDinnovations to spread education and resources to make comprehensive dry eye treatment more widely available. Dr. Maskin brought on Katey Mulfinger, an Operations and Marketing specialist who works with early-stage health and education start-ups, to spur the project further.

Together, they created the MGDi platform, with the goal to educate and equip both patients and doctors with fact-based information concerning dry eye and contributing factors leading to disease progression.

To get in contact with the team, email info@mgdi.com.