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Dr Mark Hassall, Flinders Centre for Ophthalmology, Eye and Vision Research School of Medicine, Flinders University, South Australia

Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness and affects an estimated 80 million people worldwide.

Glaucoma affects the ganglion cells of the retina through both increased eye pressure and genetic susceptibility resulting in vision loss.

“Current treatments slow vision loss by lowering eye pressure but cannot protect ganglion cells directly,” explained Dr Hassall.

“This project will use established gene therapy strategies to deliver protective genes to the retina with the aim of protecting retinal ganglion cells and prolonging vision in glaucoma,” he said.