Following his graduation in Zoology at Queens University Belfast in 1970, Professor John McAvoy moved to Flinders University of South Australia where he gained his PhD in Developmental Biology in 1974.
A Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of Oxford introduced him to the lens research field.
He returned to Australia in 1979 and set up the ‘Lens Development Laboratory’ in the Department of Histology & Embryology at the University of Sydney.
In 2000 he moved to the Save Sight Institute on the Sydney Hospital and Eye Hospital campus where he took up the position of Director of Laboratory Research, a position generously funded by the Sydney Foundation for Medical Research (now known as the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation).
Supported by national and international grants, his group continues to make progress in understanding the cellular and developmental biology of the lens with a particular focus on how growth factors regulate normal development as well as aberrant growth processes that lead to cataract.
Current research is aimed at applying the information gleaned from studies on normal lens development to promote lens regeneration after cataract surgery.