Your impact 2023

Stopping scarring

With your support, Dr Jennifer Fan Gaskin and her team are pioneering efforts to develop a safer and more targeted way to combat eye scarring, which can contribute to eye diseases that threaten sight.


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Scarring is part of the body’s natural healing response, a healthy sign of recovery from a wound or injury. However, when scar tissue forms in the eye it can contribute to the onset of eye diseases that threaten sight.

With your support, Dr Jennifer Fan Gaskin and her team are pioneering efforts to combat eye scarring through cutting-edge gene therapy.

Scar tissue can form in the eye following invasive procedures like glaucoma or retinal surgery, as well as in conditions such as age-related macular degeneration.

Strong anti-cancer drugs are currently used to prevent this scarring following glaucoma surgery. However, they can also damage the healthy tissue around the scarring site – which can lead to vision loss.

Dr Fan Gaskin’s team is working to develop a safer, more targeted approach that aims to stop scarring at the source – the genes responsible for this process.

They have identified potential genes involved in scarring that can be targeted with gene therapy. With the help of your donation, they are now able to commence stage two of the study. Here, they will investigate whether disrupting the function of these genes results in a reduction of fibrosis – the accumulation of fibrous tissue in the eye that can lead to scarring.

While the research is still in its early stages, Dr Fan Gaskin is optimistic about its potential.

“If successful, this study will be the first in the world to use gene therapy to prevent scarring in the eye,” says Dr Fan Gaskin.

“Our hope is that this paves the way for an anti-scarring therapy that can improve the safety and effectiveness of glaucoma surgery and improve treatment for many other eye diseases that occur due to scarring, ultimately preventing more people from losing their sight.

“I sincerely thank CERA donors for contributing to the advancement of our research.”

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