Dr Shiwani Sharma

Academic Status

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Flinders Medical Centre (4D:322)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Dr Shiwani Sharma has been pursuing ophthalmic research in the School of Medicine for more than seventeen years. She has undertaken many research projects including on corneal dystrophies, cataract, glaucoma, and published research findings in leading international scientific journals including Nature Genetics, Journal of Cell Science, American Journal of Human Genetics and Human Molecular Genetics. She has been an invited speaker at meetings of national and international scientific societies including the International Society for Eye Research, Asia and Oceania Society for Photobiology, and Australian Society of Biochemists and Molecular Biologists.

  • PhD; Punjab Agricultural University, India
  • MSc; Punjab Agricultural University, India
  • BSc; Guru Nanak Dev University, India
Honours, awards and grants
University Merit Scholarship during Master's Program; 1986-1987
Junior Research Fellowship, CSIR (India); 1987-1989
Senior Research Fellowship, CSIR (India); 1989-1991
Key responsibilities
  • Initiating and leading research projects
  • Research student and staff supervision
  • Research Administration
  • Teaching medical science topics
  • School of Medicine Animal Ethics Review Sub-committee Member
Research expertise
Molecular biology
Ophthalmology and optometry
Research interests

Dr Shiwani Sharma's research in Ophthalmology focuses on deciphering the molecular and cellular processes underlying eye diseases, with the objective of developing diagnostic, preventative and/or treatment strategies. She is particularly interested in genetically predisposed eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and corneal dystrophies with both early and late onset forms. Her research has defined the molecular mechanism of inherited congenital cataract in affected families. In NH&MRC funded research she is investigating the interaction of environmental and genetic factors and its contribution to aging related cataract, the leading cause of blindness worldwide. She is also investigating the mechanisms underlying genetic susceptibility factors in glaucoma, the major cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. In addition, she is investigating the pathophysiology of Fuchs' corneal endothelial dystrophy, one of the major indications for corneal grafting in developed countries, and keratoconus. She employes molecular and cellular biology techniques, and uses pathological specimens and cell-based and animal models for her research. She guides a team of research students and staff pursuing this research.

Teaching interests

Teaching about eye and eye diseases.

Teaching molecular and cell bioloigy methodologies and thier application in research.

Topic lecturer
MMED1005 How Your Body Works
MDSC2000 Medical Skills 2
Supervisory interests
Animal models of eye diseases
Interaction between genetic and environmental factors in eye diseases
Molecular basis of eye diseases
Therapeutic strategies for eye diseases
Higher degree by research supervision
Associate supervisor: Glaucoma genetics (1), Genetics of congenital cataracts (1), Diabetic retinopathy (-1)
Principal supervisor: Genetics and molecular biology of Fuchs' corneal dystrophy (1), Molecular biology of congenital cataract (1), Corneal dystrophy (1), Congenital cataract (-2)
Associate supervisor: Biophysical studies in Pseudoexfoliation syndrome (1)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Alpana Dave

Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence - APR 2016

Further information

Interested in

  • prevention and/or better management of eye diseases
  • increasing public awareness about common eye diseases
  • developing cost-effective treatment/ management strategies for eye diseases

Current Research Projects for RHD Students (pptx)

Honours Research Projects for 2017 (pptx)

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