A team of senior clinician and basic scientists leads our ambitious research program to understand the causes of eye disease, improve the diagnosis of treatment of disease, prevent vision loss and restore sight.
BSc, MSc, PhD
Dr Luis Alarcon-Martinez is Principal Investigator at CERA and Head of Visual Neurovascular Research. His research focuses on how vascular dysfunction may contribute to neurodegenerative disorders and vision loss.
Dr Alarcon-Martinez has spent over a decade working in visual sciences and neuroscience in Europe, Canada, and the US. He has developed sophisticated technical skills, including innovative imaging set-ups and microsurgical skills to study retinal diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and ischemic retinopathy.
Associate Professor Penny Allen leads the bionic eye research at CERA. Her team has developed a next-generation bionic eye implant which is now in trial and has been implanted in four patients.
Associate Professor Allen is also working on new trials for patients with poor vision due to inherited disease.
MBBS, FRANZCO, GAICD
Associate Professor Michael Coote is a Principal Investigator at CERA and the Clinical Director of Ophthalmology at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.
A/Prof Coote has been researching surgical solutions for glaucoma for over 20 years and is a consultant to the Glaucoma Clinic at Hospital.
MB BS, MS, FRANZCO, FRACS
Professor Mark Daniell is the Head of the Corneal Unit at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and Professor at CERA and the University of Melbourne.
His main research interests are in cornea and external disease and stem cell surgery, as well as surgery of the cornea and lens.
MBBS, PhD, FRANZCO
Dr Thomas Edwards’ research looks at the potential of gene therapy to cure inherited retinal diseases.
His research aims to establish the infrastructure and knowledge base necessary to develop treatments that may halt or partially reverse some inherited causes of blindness.
MBChB, MD, FRANZCO
Dr Jennifer Fan Gaskin leads ocular fibrosis research at CERA and is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH).
Dr Fan Gaskin’s current research focus is on developing an effective and safe method of controlling postoperative scarring for glaucoma operations, preventing blindness.
Associate Professor Guei-Sheung Liu is a Principal Investigator and leads the genetic engineering research unit.
His research focuses on the latest gene technology with an aim to develop new therapeutics to treat incurable inherited retinal diseases and chronic eye conditions.
MBBS, PhD, FRANZCO, FAHMS
Professor Robyn Guymer is a clinician scientist who leads a team of researchers primarily investigating age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
She is currently investigating new strategies for treating early stages of AMD with a nanosecond laser and is working to identify novel imaging and functional biomarkers and surrogate endpoints to improve the feasibility of conducting early intervention trials.
BMedSci (Hons), MBBS, PhD
Professor Alex Hewitt is a clinician-scientist who leads a group investigating the molecular mechanisms of blinding eye diseases.
His group applies cutting edge, leading biotechnology and bioinformatics solutions to better understand and treat these diseases.
MBChB, MD, FRANZCO
Dr Nathan Kerr is motivated to help people with glaucoma save their sight by finding better treatments utilising new methods of medication delivery and microscopic devices,
Dr Kerr is investigating a new implant that may replace daily eye drops as well as safer surgical procedures to treat glaucoma.
MBBS, DMedSci, FRANZCO
Professor Lyndell Lim, a uveitis and medical retina subspecialist, leads the Clinical Trials Research at CERA.
Professor Lim’s main research interests are clinical studies in the field of uveitis and ocular immunology, and diabetic retinopathy. Her team runs both investigator-initiated and sponsored clinical trials that aim to investigate new treatments in a variety of ophthalmic disease.
Dr Isabel Lopez Sanchez’ work investigates the mechanisms that regulate mitochondrial biology and how mitochondrial dysfunction can result in neurodegeneration.
She is currently supported by a Mito Foundation Fellowship (2020-2022) to investigate the protective pathways that prevent vision loss in Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. She also conducted postdoctoral work at Karolinska Institute, Sweden as a Wenner-Gren Foundation Fellow in 2019.
BOrth(Hons), GradDip(Epi&Biostats), PhD
Associate Professor Chi Luu is Deputy Head of the Macular Research Unit.
He conducts clinical and preclinical research to better understand the pathophysiology of age-related macular degeneration, and to evaluate safety and efficacy of new interventions.
He also investigates novel approaches for vision restoration and neuroprotection of retinal cells, which have the potential to maintain or restore high resolution and colour vision for people with inherited retinal degenerative conditions.
MA BM BCh DM MRCP FRCOphth FRANZCO ALCM
Professor Keith Martin is Managing Director of the Centre for Eye Research Australia and Ringland Anderson Professor and Head of Ophthalmology at the University of Melbourne.
Professor Martin is working to develop new treatments for eye disease using stem cells, gene therapy and other techniques.
He is co-founder of Quethera, a Cambridge-based gene therapy company which has developed a gene therapy for glaucoma that is currently progressing towards human clinical trials. His other current main research interest is in the potential for regeneration and repair of nerve damage in the eye and brain.
Dr Lisa Zhuoting Zhu is a Principal Investigator of Ophthalmic Epidemiology at the Centre for Eye Research Australia.
Her work leverages artificial intelligence and retinal imaging to detect sight-threatening conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
Associate Professor Ian Trounce is Principal Investigator and Head of Mitochondria and Neurodegeneration research.
His research focus is on mitochondria and how defects in oxidative phosphorylation contribute to age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including diseases of the optic nerve. His expertise encompasses biochemical, molecular and cell biology and genetic approaches.
Associate Professor Trounce supervises a research team investigating the cellular processes related to ageing and mitochondrial dysfunction that affect the vulnerability of retinal ganglion cells to injury.
MBBS, PhD, FRANZCO
Professor Peter van Wijngaarden is a Deputy Director at CERA. His research focuses on two key areas: novel imaging technologies to detect early markers of eye and central nervous system diseases and research relating to diabetic retinopathy screening uptake and effectiveness.
He is a Clinical Director and a founding member of KeepSight– a Commonwealth Government-funded national approach to diabetic retinopathy screening in Australia.
B.Biomed Sci (Hons), PhD
Associate Professor Raymond CB Wong is a stem cell biologist specialising in cellular reprogramming, pluripotent stem cells and neural/retinal differentiation.
A/Prof Wong established the Cellular Reprogramming Unit at CERA with the support of a MAWA Fellowship and a NHMRC New Investigator Project Grant.
Currently, A/Prof Wong’s research focuses on understanding the genetic signals that define retinal cells, and using cell reprogramming and stem cell technologies to study and treat retinal diseases.
BAppSc(Optom), PhD, FAAO
Associate Professor Zhichao Wu is a clinician-scientist, whose research aims to expedite treatment discovery and prevention of irreversible vision loss from conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. His research exploits state-of-the-art imaging and functional assessment of the eye to identify new clinical biomarkers to achieve these aims.
BOptom, PhD, FAAO, FACO, GAICD
A/Prof Lauren Ayton co-leads the Retinal Gene Therapy Unit with Dr Tom Edwards, and is also the Head of the Vision Optimisation Unit at the University of Melbourne.
Her research interests are inherited retinal disease (IRD), low vision, and interventions to assist people with IRD, including gene therapy.
Our honorary researchers play a critical role in advancing CERA’s research efforts and helping us work towards our vision of world free from vision loss and blindness.