Associate Professor Zhichao Wu

Head of Clinical Biomarkers Research

Associate Professor Zhichao Wu is a clinician-scientist and leads CERA’s clinical biomarkers research. He focuses on expediting the discovery of new treatments and ways to prevent irreversible vision loss from conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma.

Associate Professor Zhichao Wu

Head of Clinical Biomarkers Research

BAppSc(Optom), PhD, FAAO

Associate Professor Zhichao Wu is a Principal Investigator and Head of Clinical Biomarkers Research at CERA, and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

He is a clinician-scientist whose research aims to exploit technological advances to prevent irreversible vision loss, especially from common eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma.

His work focusses on establishing new biomarkers of these conditions using state-of-the-art imaging and functional assessment of the eye, which are used in clinical trials to expedite the discovery of new treatments. These biomarkers are also developed to enable the earlier detection of these conditions and their progression, prediction of vision loss, and the uncovering new insights about what causes these conditions. His research is undertaken in collaboration with researchers and industry both nationally and internationally.

Associate Professor Wu completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne (based at CERA), where he was awarded the Dean’s Award for Excellence in the PhD Thesis. He was subsequently awarded the prestigious NHMRC Neil Hamilton Fairley Overseas Clinical Research Fellowship and undertook research fellowships at the University of California, San Diego and Columbia University. His work has also been recognised through the receipt of the Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award by the American Academy of Optometry in 2020, and he is currently the recipient of an NHMRC Investigator Grant, Emerging Leadership 2.

Key research questions
  • How can we expedite the discovery of new treatments to prevent the development, and/or worsening, of vision-threatening late AMD complications and glaucoma?
  • How can we better predict who will develop vision loss amongst those with the early stages of AMD, and those with glaucoma under routine care?
  • How can we accurately detect the earliest signs of glaucoma and its worsening?
  • What are the underlying causes driving vision loss in AMD and glaucoma?

Current projects

Selected publications

Funding and support

Current projects

Research areas:

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal diseases
  • Imaging and functional assessment
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Clinical trials outcomes and design
  • Functional impairment from vision loss

Graduate research projects currently available:

Associate Professor Wu’s research is multidisciplinary in nature and therefore welcomes collaborations and graduate research projects from other fields (such as engineering, biostatistics, public health, and psychosocial research). Given the rapid pace of research, new research opportunities often emerge and may not be listed above, so please contact to discuss your interest further.

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