Next to cancer and dementia, blindness is one of our most feared medical conditions. A team of Flinders University researchers are leading an international campaign to find the cause and possible cure for glaucoma – the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness.
By 2020, glaucoma will affect 80 million people worldwide and within Australia over the next decade the total cost of primary open angle glaucoma is expected to total $4.3 billion.
Since February, Oxford PhD graduate and Rhode Scholar, Dr Mark Hassall has been part of the Eye and Vision Research team at the Flinders Centre for Ophthalmology who are investigating a cure for glaucoma. Led by Flinders Professor Jamie Craig, the pioneering work is focused on the discovery and translation of glaucoma genetics that aims to diagnose and treat patients before they start to lose vision.
Mark’s 12-month post-doctoral research position with the Flinders team is supported by the Michael Tallis Fund for Eye and Vision Research. Last year, Mark completed his PhD at Oxford University in the field of gene therapy, where he explored using modified harmless viruses to carry DNA into cells as treatment for genetic eye disease. His work with the Flinders research team continues his focus on gene therapy to treat and cure eye diseases.