Science and Research

Macular research

Our goal is to advance scientific understanding of macular diseases, in particular age-related macular degeneration – and ultimately develop new treatments to prevent vision loss.


CERA’s world-class macular research team works to develop new treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and prevent irreversible vision loss.

In particular, our research focuses on the genetics, environmental associations and biomarkers of AMD, as well as ways to identify patients who are more likely to progress to later stages of the disease.

Our focus is on translational clinical research, learning from the natural history of disease progression and new information gathered from investigating anatomical and functional biomarkers.

Why this research is important

One in seven Australians over the age of 50 years has early signs of AMD and is at risk of developing vision-threatening late complications of this condition.

A better understanding of the disease process is needed, so that we can develop novel treatments to prevent irreversible vision loss.

Identifying risk factors for progression of AMD will identify those who require more careful monitoring, and who to target for interventional trials.

Key research questions

  • Amongst the many people with early stages of AMD, how do we predict who is at high risk of progression?
  • Having identified early imaging signs of cell loss, can we validate them as a robust biomarker to facilitate their widespread use?
  • Can we slow progression of AMD using subthreshold laser interventions?
  • What is the cause of reticular pseudodrusen, a high-risk phenotype of AMD?
  • How can we improve self-monitoring of vision in the early stages of AMD?
  • How do we optimise treatment outcomes in wet AMD with the least need for repeat treatment?
  • How do we optimise the dissemination of our current understanding of AMD to community eye care professionals?
  • How do we develop a community network of eye care professional and develop new ways of delivering eye care, especially as it relates to chronic eye disease?
  • Can we establish a registry of early disease in the community to facilitate early intervention trials?

The Synergy High Risk AMD Study

Learn about this world-leading research project led by CERA, investigating age-related macular degeneration and the factors that make some people more likely to lose their vision.