Visual impairment affects many aspects of life such as learning, mobility, and independence. AMRF-funded researchers from The University of Auckland will discuss the often underestimated value of eye health and how their current research can help ensure we see well into the future.
eye cell health and development
Ms Joyce Mathan from the Dept. of Ophthalmology is an optometrist and AMRF Doctoral Scholar studying keratoconus in individuals with Down syndrome. Keratoconus is a potentially blinding disease of the cornea. Previous studies indicate that keratoconus may be significantly more common in individuals with Down syndrome. Treatment by corneal collagen cross-linking may slow or halt the progression of keratoconus. Joyce will describe a keratoconus screening and treatment initiative to reduce visual impairment in individuals with Down syndrome.
Dr Julie Lim is a Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Physiology interested in understanding the mechanisms that lead to cataract formation. Her research focuses on studying the natural antioxidant defence systems used by the lens to protect itself from oxidative damage and cataract formation. In her talk, Dr Lim will highlight her major findings and illustrate how this work could be used to help elevate natural antioxidants in the lens to delay the onset of age related cataract.
Professor Trevor Sherwin from the Dept. of Ophthalmology has an extensive research programme focused on the cornea. His research interest includes the potential of ocular stem cells, how the cells of the eye can be reprogrammed (reverting mature, specialised cells into stem cells), corneal engineering and the development of corneal dystrophies and diseases.