Major boost for macular research
Professor Robyn Guymer’s ground-breaking research into age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has received a major boost from the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Investigator Grants scheme.
Professor Guymer received the five-year Investigator Grant in the latest round of funding announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt this week.
The Investigator Scheme is the NHMRC’s flagship grants program, which this year funded 237 outstanding researchers at all stages of their career.
Professor Guymer is one of only eight women to receive funding at the most senior level – Leadership 3.
Professor Guymer has led CERA’s Macular Research team since establishing her unit in 1997 and currently oversees the team of 18 researchers conducting a wide-ranging program to prevent vision loss from AMD.
The Investigator Grant will support Professor Guymer’s leadership of the research program which includes a major focus on finding a treatment to slow progression from the early stages to the late vision-threatening stages of AMD.
Finding treatments to slow progression of AMD
“There are currently no treatments for most forms of AMD and our research hopes to change that,’’ says Professor Guymer.
“Our focus in finding better ways to identify high-risk patients, define early signs of the disease and intervene earlier to prevent vision loss.’’
CERA Managing Director Professor Keith Martin congratulated Professor Guymer for receiving funding in such a highly competitive scheme.
“The Investigator Grant recognises Robyn’s international standing as a pre-eminent macular researcher and the impressive body of research she has built over more than two decades.
“Robyn’s investigations have the potential to be a real gamechanger in the treatment of AMD and help save the sight of millions of people worldwide.
“This Investigator Grant – along with the valued support CERA receives from donors and philanthropic foundations – enables us to build extensive portfolio of AMD research to tackle one of the world’s leading causes of vision loss and blindness.’’
In other good news for vision research, CERA Honorary Researcher Dr Lauren Ayton has also received an Investigator Grant in the Emerging Leadership Category.
Dr Ayton, who Heads the Vision Optimisation Lab at the University of Melbourne, has received funding for research into innovative technologies to save the sight of people with Inherited Retinal Disease.