Science and Research

Eye movement disorder research

Our researchers investigate eye movement disorders such as strabismus and ptosis, striving to understand the genetic causes, improve early detection and help find better treatments.


Our work on eye movement disorders such as strabismus (‘turned’, ‘crossed’ or ‘lazy’ eyes) and ptosis (drooping eye lid) aims to advance our scientific understanding of these conditions, and may lead to developing new or better treatments.

Through our Twins Eye Study, our researchers confirmed the type of eye turns that are more likely to be inherited. We are also working with Professor Elizabeth Engle’s team at the Children’s Hospital Boston to find the genes that cause childhood strabismus and congenital ptosis. We also co-ordinated the Australian arm of a clinical trial for an iPod-based game to treat amblyopia.

Our researchers have also developed an information pamphlet for new parents describing early signs of eye problems in children – white pupil (leukocoria) and strabismus. The aim of this project was to raise awareness of these early signs of eye disease and reduce delayed diagnosis of common strabismus or more rare eye diseases such as retinoblastoma (eye cancer in children).

This research has been incorporated into the Victorian Government’s infant health book and the Maternal Child Health App.

Why this research is important

Understanding the cause of eye movement disorders will aid the development of new treatments for the condition.

Early diagnosis and treatment of strabismus and ptosis are essential for preventing vision loss. Parents recognising the early signs of eye problems such as strabismus or white pupil’s in children is important for early diagnosis and treatment.

In the case of retinoblastoma, early diagnosis can save the child’s sight, eye or life.