Cornea and NSW Eye Bank
Group Leaders: Professor Gerard Sutton, Dr Con Petsoglou, Associate Professor Michele Madigan (Advisor)
The cornea is the clear window at the front of the eye. A transparent cornea is vital to allow light to reach the retina. Further, the cornea provides the major refractive power of the eye for the focusing of images on the retina.
The Cornea Research Group and Lions NSW Eye Bank have over the last two years become very productive in research and supplying sight-saving donated eye tissue to patients in NSW. The two groups work together under the directorship of Professor Gerard Sutton, Dr Con Petsoglou and Associate Professor Michele Madigan to address cornea blindness within the community. The Cornea Research Group has focused its efforts to investigate a number of specific corneal conditions and regeneration of the corneal endothelium.
Keratoconus is a bilateral progressive, non-inflammatory degenerative ectasia of the cornea that causes loss of visual function, due to a thinning and distortion of the cornea. It is the most common cause for a young patient to require corneal transplantation and occurs in up to 1 in 2000 in the community. At least 10,000 people are living with keratoconus in Australia and around 400 new cases are diagnosed each year. It is the most common indication for corneal transplantation in Australia. The cause of the condition is unknown. The Keratoconus Research Group aims to find out the exact causes of the disease and improve and develop effective diagnosis and treatment methods. We have achieved significant progression on identifying a potential interaction network specific to keratoconus. Validation of this molecular network is ongoing.
- Endothelial Disease
Fuchs endothelial dystrophy and pseudophakic bullos keratopathy.
- Corneal Regeneration Medicine
The Corneal Research Group has begun the task of trying to culture and develop new methods of transplanting corneal cells including epithelial, stromal and endothelial cells. The research focus is on testing different biomaterials and cultrual subtracts that will ease the process of transplantation and improve the successful rate of transplantation. Ultimately, the group hopes to develop minimally invasive treatments for corneal diseases. This work is in collaboration with Professor Gordon Wallace from the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, University of Wollongong.
Current research opportunities:
Current research opportunities on the following projects for potential Master and PhD students are available:
- Validating the key genes that regulate Keratoconus.
- Testing potential treatments on cultured primary Keratoconus corneal cells.
- Corneal epithelial/endothelial cell regeneration and its application in clinical settings.
To enquire about the above research opportunities, or commercial collaboration, please contact Dr Jingjing You on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support this research group via donations please email us.