Investigating the role of retinal blood supply regulation in AMD
This research project position is open to expressions of interest from PhD students.
Suitable for: PhD
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of central vision loss in people over 50 years of age. The pathogenesis of AMD remains not fully understood, however, retinal hypoxia is thought to play a role.
Normal regulation of blood supply is vital for cell’s function and survival. Dysregulation of blood supply leads to hypoxia and is implicated in several ocular and neurological conditions. Like in the brain, there are constant changes in local metabolic demand depending on the visual input. Thus, normal regulation of blood supply is vital for redistribution blood flow and ensuring the supply matches the demand, which in turn is important to the health and function of the neural retina.
In this project, we will use a state-of-the-art imaging technique – called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) – to study the regulation of retinal blood supply by examining how the retinal microvasculature responds to different metabolic stress conditions. We will investigate whether the regulation is impaired in AMD and whether the impairment is associated with AMD phenotypes, retinal function and disease progression. If dysregulation of blood supply is proven to play a role in AMD, developing therapeutic strategies aimed at improving blood flow could potentially prevent AMD progression and vision loss.