Science and Research
Diabetic eye disease research
Our scientists are investigating ways to better understand, detect and manage diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macula oedema, helping more people with diabetes to keep their sight.
Our scientists are investigating ways to more easily check for signs of diabetic eye disease using artificial intelligence tools, as well as improving methods to detect people at higher risk of progressing to advanced disease.
We are also working to measure the impact of diabetic eye disease in Australia, and increase participation in diabetic eye health screening through initiatives like KeepSight, a national diabetes blindness prevention program that our researchers developed in collaboration with Vision 2020, Diabetes Australia and other representatives of the eye health and vision sector.
Other areas of diabetic eye disease research at CERA include testing potential treatments for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema, as well as discovering ways to better manage diabetic eye disease when there is higher risk of progression, such as during pregnancy or cataract surgery.
Why this research is important
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in working-age adults in Australia. While the majority of diabetes-related vision loss can be prevented with early detection and timely treatment, more participation in eye screening programs is needed.
Improving eye health screening and developing new and better treatments will allow more Australians with diabetes to keep their sight.
Key research questions
- How can we increase participation in screening for diabetic eye disease?
- How can artificial intelligence tools improve the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic eye disease?
- What is the impact of diabetic eye disease in Australia?
- Why are some people at a higher risk of diabetic eye disease than others, or a higher risk of progressing to advanced disease?
- How can we better treat diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema?
- How can we better manage diabetic eye disease when there is higher risk of progression, such as during pregnancy or cataract surgery?
- Is it possible to predict visual outcomes following treatment for diabetic eye diseases?
Associate Professor Peter van Wijngaarden
Associate Professor Peter van Wijngaarden is an ophthalmologist and medical scientist with research interests in diabetic retinopathy, Alzheimer’s disease and retinal imaging biomarker discovery. He has research experience in retinal vascular biology and central nervous system regeneration.