Dr Carla Abbott

Senior Research Fellow, Macular Research and Bionic Eye Research

Dr Carla Abbott runs both preclinical and clinical studies to investigate the underlying causes of and potential treatments for retinal and optic nerve disease.

Dr Carla Abbott

Senior Research Fellow, Macular Research and Bionic Eye Research

BOptom, PhD, PGDOcTher, FACO

Dr Carla Abbott is a clinician-scientist and a senior research fellow within the Macular Research and Bionic Eye Research teams at CERA.

She holds an appointment as Honorary optometrist and clinical researcher at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and is a clinical instructor of optometry students at the Australian College of Optometry. She is a practitioner member on the Optometry Board of Australia, the regulatory board of the optometry profession.

Dr Abbott is an expert in structure and function of the retina and optic nerve and has specific research interests in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), inherited retinal diseases (such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP)) and glaucoma.

She has extensive experience in preclinical models and safety and efficacy testing of treatments for retinal disease. She also has experience in clinical trials and translational projects, including the Australian bionic eye project.

Dr Abbott was an integral multidisciplinary team member in both the device development preclinical team and the clinical trial team that has been successful in bringing the Australian bionic eye to two clinical trials.

Dr Abbott is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Optometry.

She is interested in supervising research higher degree students, honours students, and medical students doing a research component of their course.

Key research questions
  • What are the underlying causes of retinal disease?
  • How can we better treat retinal disease, and ensure treatments are safe and efficacious?

Current projects

Selected publications

Key collaborators

Funding and support

Current projects

  • 44 Channel Suprachoroidal Retinal Prosthesis Clinical Trial (clinicaltrials.gov #NCT03406416) and device development
  • Development of a neuroprotective bionic device to slow down retinal degeneration
  • Inherited retinal disease studies including the Nacuity Pharmaceuticals Phase II trial (NCT04355689) and theinherited retinal disease natural history study
  • Using cell reprogramming to regenerate photoreceptors – preclinical studies aimed at finding a stem cell treatment for photoreceptor disease
  • A deep phenotyping study of reticular pseudodrusen in age-related macular degeneration – uncovering novel causes, genetic associations and potential intervention strategies for age-related macular degeneration by determining the underlying aetiology of reticular pseudodrusen in the retina

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