Dr Sushma Anand

Research Fellow

Dr Sushma Anand is as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Mitochondria and Neurodegeneration Research Unit and the Retinal Gene Therapy unit.

Dr Sushma Anand

Research Fellow

BSc, MSc Biotechnology, PhD

Dr Sushma Anand is an early career researcher who aspires to forge a successful international research career in the biology of mitochondrial diseases.

Her aim is to utilise a combination  of cell biology, proteomics, biochemistry and immunology to conduct research that translates into new clinical treatments.

Her current research is focused the mitochondrial dysfunction that occurs neurodegeneration and optic neuropathies including glaucoma and Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy.

She aims to grow the cells that are lost in glaucoma in the lab, creating new ways to study the disease and the possibility of restoring a patient’s sight.

If successful, it would open the door to many new ways to study the condition and potentially lead to a treatment that could restore a patient’s sight.

She is also working in Retinal Gene therapy unit, where her research is focused on developing gene therapy For Macular Telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel).

Dr Anand’s first postdoctoral research (supervisor Professor Jamie Rossjohn, Monash University) was to decipher the structural functional interaction of HLA and T cell receptor (TCR) interaction in autoimmune disorder, psoriasis.

Dr Anand’s doctoral research (supervisor Professor Suresh Mathivanan, La Trobe University) was focused on cancer exosomes biology.

Her research projects have provided her with extensive experience with cellular and molecular assays and techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9, PCR, qPCR, cell death, viability, confocal microscopy etc.

Prior to embarking her academic research journey Dr Anand also worked in an ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ICH, 21CFR accredited quality-controlled facility of a reputed biopharmaceutical company in India.

She worked as Quality Control Analyst where she excelled in biosimilar drug testing using HPLC bioanalytical assays, method transfer and validation. She acquired a deep understanding of the drug commercialisation process.


Current projects

Selected publications

More publications

Key collaborators

Funding and support

Current projects

Vision restoration in glaucoma using direct reprogramming of fibroblasts

Glaucoma ranks fourth among the leading causes of permanent blindness in the world according to the World Health Organization. It caused by the degeneration of a type of cells called retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), resulting in optic nerve damage. RGCs are the eye neurons that carry information of “what we see” to the brain. In this project we will standardise a method to regenerate RGCs under laboratory conditions which will serve as a dish model to study glaucoma.

Omics study of mitochondrial dysfunction in nuclear-mtDNA mismatch mouse model

The current project aims to investigate how mismatch of nuclear and nuclear-mitochondrial genetic interactions can drive susceptibility to neurodegeneration.

Gene Therapy for Macular Telangiectasia type 2

Macular Telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel) is a disease causing progressive vision loss in around 1 in 1000 people. Currently there is no treatment for MacTel and it therefore represents a critical unmet medical need.

To develop the first treatment for this potentially blinding condition, we are developing a gene therapy product.

Gene therapy is a technique where a well-tested, harmless virus is co-opted into delivering helpful genetic material to cells of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Our gene therapy will deliver a normal, functioning copy of a gene which has been linked to MacTel through laboratory studies and clinical research.

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