Associate Professor Lauren Ayton

Principal Research Fellow, Retinal Gene Therapy Unit

Associate Professor Lauren Ayton is a Principal Research Fellow at CERA, with research interests in inherited retinal disease and gene therapy.

Associate Professor Lauren Ayton

Principal Research Fellow, Retinal Gene Therapy Unit


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.

A/Prof Ayton has previously held senior roles in bionic eye projects in both Australia (at CERA) and in the USA (Harvard/Cornell Universities). She has experience working in industry, as a Director of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, and is now Director of SPARK Melbourne, a research accelerator.

A/Prof Ayton and Dr Edwards’ team are working to provide people with IRDs opportunities to be involved in research at all stages, from natural history studies, online surveys and questionnaires, or clinical treatment trials.

Current projects

Key publications

Key collaborators

Funding and support

Current projects

  • VENTURE Inherited Retinal Disease Natural History Registry
  • Female carriers of X-linked inherited retinal disease.
  • Sensory substitution devices for people with low vision, to assist with mobility and activities of daily living.
  • Nacuity clinical trial of a neuroprotection therapy for patients with Usher Syndrome.
  • Gyroscope gene therapy clinical trial for age-related macular degeneration associated with geographic atrophy (dry AMD).
  • Belite oral medication clinical trial for adolescents with Stargardt disease.
  • Janssen Chromeos natural history study for achromatopsia.

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