Annual Review 2023

Interrupting rare infections

Associate Professor Rosie Dawkins is leading research to find better ways to prevent and treat endophthalmitis, a sight-threatening bacterial infection.

Eye-News emails are sent to
subscribers once a month

Share this article

Associate Professor Rosie Dawkins, Senior Research Fellow at CERA, is working towards improving outcomes from endophthalmitis – an uncommon but sight-threatening bacterial infection.

“Our data shows that in Victoria one in 3300 people develop endophthalmitis after an invasive ophthalmology procedure,” says Associate Professor Dawkins.

Despite often terrible vision outcomes from endophthalmitis, research in the area globally has been neglected. However, with the number of invasive ophthalmology procedures increasing there is a need for better treatments.

“Today, when people come in with an infection, we kill the bugs with antibiotics, but we want to also stop the body’s immune response from damaging the retina,” Associate Professor Dawkins says.

With the support of philanthropic funding, she is collecting samples from patients and analysing preclinical disease models.

Her early work has already found cytokines, a type of protein, that play a role in the disease.

“We’re looking to see if targeting those cytokines can change the inflammatory response, which means we could develop an antibiotic-independent therapy,” Associate Professor Dawkins says.

She is grateful for the philanthropic funding from donors making the research possible.


This story was originally published in People in focus: Annual Review 2023.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Newsletter Subscribe
Receive Appeals