Lighting the way: Annual Review 2021

This year CERA’s Annual Review highlights some of the incredible people supporting us on our mission to develop better treatments and faster diagnoses for eye disease.


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In their message to our supporters, Managing Director Professor Keith Martin and Chair Olivia Hilton shared that strong collaborations allowed CERA to continue advancing vision research into 2021.

“Impactful medical research does not happen in isolation.

“It is a result of an extensive network of collaborators working towards a shared vision.

“Our retinal gene therapy researchers, in partnership with colleagues from the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, delivered Australia’s first trial of an experimental gene therapy for dry age-related macular degeneration.

“They were also a part of another global study investigating the use of an antioxidant as a potential treatment to prevent vision loss from retinitis pigmentosa in people with Usher syndrome.

“Successful clinical research projects like these rely on understanding what matters to patients and their families, as well as ensuring that they are well informed about the role of research.

“CERA and the University of Melbourne conducted a world-first survey which asked patients with inherited retinal diseases about their views on potential gene therapies.

“These findings will provide a valuable resource for future trials, and we look forward to releasing the results later this year.

“Our corneal researchers became founding partners in BIENCO, a pioneering national collaboration funded by the Medical Research Future Fund to develop a fully bioengineered cornea.

“Researchers utilising artificial intelligence and detailed imaging techniques to improve the diagnosis of eye and cardiovascular disease received funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council’s prestigious Investigator Grants scheme.”

Our research impact

Further achievements from 2021 include:

  • Our clinical trials program, including our partnerships with suburban ophthalmic practices to improve access for clinical trial participants.
  • The development of four new research units: Genetic Engineering Research, Visual Neurovascular, Ocular Oncology and Clinical Biomarkers.
  • Investing in the next generation of vision researchers using funds from the sale of Oculo, CERA’s first spin-out company.


You can read Professor Martin and Ms Hilton’s full message to supporters and stories about our research in Lighting the Way: Annual Review 2021.



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