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Dr WengOnn Chan, Ophthalmic Research Laboratories, Ophthalmology Network, Royal Adelaide Hospital, University of Adelaide, South Australia

Retinal detachment is a common ophthalmic condition and causes blindness if left untreated. This is because the blood supply is compromised leading to the irreversible death of specialised light- detecting cells call photoreceptors.

In this exciting research project, a new drug will be tested to see if it can rescue the dying photoreceptors. A novel calpain antagonist will be investigated in a laboratory animal model to test its effect on rod and cone survival.

“Although the latest vitreoretinal surgical techniques generally achieve good results augmenting photoreceptor survival in the perioperative period would be a useful adjunct to the surgical armamentarium,” explained Dr Chan.