Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an ocular complication of diabetes and is the leading cause of blindness in working age adults worldwide. Further understanding of the genomic and social determinants of disease progression will assist in reducing the associated disease burden in the future.


Research focus areas

Genetic and developmental determinants of diabetic retinopathy

Our department has identified associations between several genes and higher rates of diabetic retinopathy.

Although not typically associated, both inflammation and abnormal blood vessel development are characteristics of diabetic retinopathy. Research within the department is also exploring the intersection between these two components, with a specific focus on the evaluation of inflammatory molecules and their novel role in abnormal retinal blood vessel development.


Funding provided through the National Health and Medical Research Council:

  • Centre for Research Excellence: Diabetic Retinopathy - Closing the Loop for Diabetic Eye Care and Complication Risk Mitigation.
  • 1094399 Epidemiological and molecular risk factors for diabetic retinopathy blindness

Funding provided through the Australia Research Council Future Fellowships

  • Molecular activities of retinal endothelial cells, retinal disease processes, biological therapies to address efficacy and safety deficiencies of current treatments.
Featured publications

Kaidonis G, Gillies MC, Abhary S, et al. A single-nucleotide polymorphism in the MicroRNA-146a gene is associated with diabetic nephropathy and sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy in Caucasian patients . Acta Diabetol. 2016 Aug;53(4):643-50. Epub 2016 Mar 21.

Burdon KP, Fogarty RD, Shen W, et al. Genome-wide association study for sight-threatening diabetic retinopathy reveals association with genetic variation near the GRB2 gene . Diabetologia. 2015 Oct;58(10):2288-97. Epub 2015 Jul 19.

Kaidonis G, Burdon KP, Gillies MC, et al. Common Sequence Variation in the VEGFC Gene Is Associated with Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema . Ophthalmology. 2015 Sep;122(9):1828-36. Epub 2015 Jun 11.


Diabetic retinopathy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

A lack of specialist services within rural and remote parts of Australia, where higher populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reside, have been associated with higher rates of blindness from diabetic retinopathy.

A health search filter relating to diabetic retinopathy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was developed in conjunction with the Lowitja Institute.


Diabetic retinopathy search filters

Diabetic retinopathy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The following search combines a validated search filter for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health with a topic search for diabetic retinopathy.

This topic search provides quick access to the literature about diabetic retinopathy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It ensures trustworthy reliable results and saves the user time.

Two search options are offered:

  • All citations – the only limit applied is English language.
  • Free full text – the search is limited to freely accessible journal articles


Diabetic Retinopathy and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples All citations

Free full text