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CERA scoops the awards pool at leading international conference

5 females holding glass trophies

Prof Robyn Guymer (2nd from left) and fellow BrightFocus Foundation award winners

Three senior investigators from CERA received awards last week at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in Seattle, US, the leading ophthalmology conference worldwide.

Prof Robyn Guymer was delighted to receive the Carolyn K. McGillvray Award for Macular Degeneration Research from the BrightFocus Foundation. The award will allow Prof Guymer to study the underlying mechanisms by which debris accumulates in the retina in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Understanding this this process may lead to novel treatments for early AMD. Prof Guymer was among five innovative vision scientists who received named awards from the Foundation.

Prof Paul Baird also received a grant from the BrightFocus Foundation to support his work on the genetics of AMD. Prof Baird’s research will apply a novel statistical algorithm to identify gene interactions and biological pathways that delineate the two advanced subtypes of AMD.

CERA Managing Director Prof Jonathan Crowston was honoured to receive the inaugural David L. Epstein award for mentorship of an early career glaucoma researcher. Dr Peter van Wijngaarden (also from CERA) will be Jonathan’s mentee, and will investigate energy transport from oligodendrocytes (the support cells of the central nervous system) to retinal ganglion cell (the nerve cells that degenerate in glaucoma) and determine how this impacts the retinal ganglion cell response to advancing age and physical and metabolic stress.