Science and Research

Clinical biomarkers research

Our researchers uncover new markers of eye disease using advanced imaging and functional tests. These markers are used to fast-track discovery of new treatments and transform eye care to prevent irreversible vision loss.


‘Biomarkers’ are measures of normal or abnormal biological processes, that serve a range of critical functions. They are used to diagnose conditions, predict worsening of disease, assess the effectiveness of treatments and understand disease mechanisms. Our research aims uncover new biomarkers of the eye that can be non-invasively assessed. These biomarkers are used to help pave the way for therapeutic innovation and to transform how we manage eye diseases, so that we can prevent irreversible vision loss. Our researchers use state-of-the-art eye imaging and functional assessment techniques, as well as advances in artificial intelligence to identify new clinical biomarkers.

Why this research is important

One of the major barriers in the discovery of new treatments for conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma is the need for large, lengthy and costly clinical trials.

These trials often require thousands of people over many years to assess each potentially promising therapy.

Our research aims to fast-track the discovery of sight-saving treatments by identifying new biomarkers that will help us better assess their effectiveness in a shorter timeframe.

These biomarkers also help us discover new pathways involved in causing these eye diseases, and this knowledge is used to guide the development of new therapies.

New clinical biomarkers are also used to diagnose eye diseases and their progression earlier, and to determine who is at the highest risk of vision loss.

They are crucial in our development of individualised approaches to eye care and prevention of irreversible sight loss.

Key research questions

  • How can we speed up  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?