Ultraviolet Radiation and Tumours of the Human Cornea
1. Our research program focuses on understanding how excessive solar ultraviolet radiation and viral infections are potential triggers for diseases that develop on the surface of the human eye including benign pterygia, and invasive neoplasias. We study the role inflammatory mediators including cytokines, growth factors and matrix metalloproteinases in the pathogenesis of these lesions using cell culture models and fresh human tissue specimens. In collaboration with Professor Gary Halliday (USyd) we have been developing animal models of ocular cancer.
Corneal Stem Cell Transplantation
2. The second arm of our research program focuses on identifying, isolating and cultivating human corneal stem cells to help us understand how the ocular surface is replenished and maintained in a healthy transparent state under normal physiological conditions and following trauma. We also hope to identify better culture conditions and better markers for these rare cells with the ultimate aim of generating better quality grafts to treat patients with severe corneal diseases.
Corneal Wound Healing
3. The third arm of our research program focuses on devising therapies to treat patients with persistent corneal epithelial defects. Patients with these conditions do not require a cell or tissue replacement strategy and we are devising methods to dispense wound-healing factors to the cornea in order to prevent infection and other complications
Broad Research Areas:
Stem Cells, Ophthalmology, Transplantation, Pathology, Inflammation
Society Memberships & Professional Activities:
1. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARV0), 2. International Ocular Inflammation Society (IOIS), 3. Sydney Tissue Engineering and Matrix group (STEAM), 4. Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR), 5. Australian Protease Network, 6. Mutagenesis and Experimental Pathology Society of Australasia (MEPSA), 7. Member, NHMRC GRP Panels(Autonomic/Peripheral & Sensory Nervous System; Surgery/Dental/Medical & Related Technologies), 8. Member, ORIA Research Advisory Committee, 9. Editorial board Member, J Biomed Biotechnol, 10. Section Editor, Clin Exp Ophthalmol
Specific Research Keywords:
Corneal Stem Cell Biology, Stem Cell Therapy, Ocular Surface Cancer, Pterygia, Ultraviolet Radiation