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CERA researchers appointed as Associate Professors

CERA's A/Prof Alice Pébay and A/Prof Chi Luu

A/Prof Alice Pébay and A/Prof Chi Luu

The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) congratulates two of its leading researchers, Dr Alice Pébay and Dr Chi Luu, on their appointment as Associate Professor with the University of Melbourne.

Dr Pébay has an extensive research career in stem cell research in Australia. After graduating from the University of Paris with a PhD in Neurosciences in 2001, Dr Pébay re-located to Melbourne and since has worked with Australia’s leading stem cell scientists.

In 2012, Dr Pébay was appointed to head CERA’s stem cell research program. Since the start of her career, she has mentored and supervised multiple post-doctoral fellows and PhD students and published around 50 research articles and book chapters. Earlier this year, Dr Pébay was awarded a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship taking over from her NHMRC Career Development Fellowship.

Dr Pébay and Dr Alex Hewitt also secured significant philanthropic support to establish an Australian first automated stem cell facility to fast-track research and discovery of new treatments for major blinding diseases.

Commenting on her appointment, Dr Pébay spoke of her motivation “to understand why we are who we are”.

“I have also had the pleasure of working with the best team to advance our research,” she said.

Dr Chi Luu, Deputy Head of CERA’s Macular Research Unit, commented that it was great to see that all the hard work from his research unit is recognised.

Since joining CERA in 2008, Dr Luu and Professor Robyn Guymer (Head, Macular Research) have been at the forefront of CERA’s research program in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the bionic eye.

In a career with many highlights, his work includes the identification of better ways to monitor AMD progression using multimodal imaging and assessment of retinal function.

Building on the foundation of Australia’s world leading cochlear research program, Dr Luu is also working to restore vision through bionic eye research.

It’s early days yet, but Dr Luu is researching opportunities to use bionic eye technologies to slow retinal degeneration using electrical stimulation to protect neurons from dying.