Dr. Asbell's basic and clinical research has made significant contributions to the development and subsequent approval of numerous medical devices and pharmaceuticals. As principal investigator in countless studies sponsored by the National Eye Institute and industry, she has participated in the development of pharmaceuticals that has included pivotal treatments for ocular herpes, corneal ulcers, and dry eyes. She has been an innovator in the evolution of refractive surgeries, including radial keratotomy, the intrastromal corneal ring, and excimer laser photo-refractive keratectomy.
In addition, she oversees studies on the role of sPLAIIa on ocular surface inflammation, with Dr. Yi Wei, in the search for a more objective measure of Dry Eye Disease. She also examines toxicity of eye drops with Dr. Seth Epstein.