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News, Research

Fellowship for AMD researcher

30/01/2019By Myles Hume
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Queensland Eye Institute (QEI) researcher Dr Audra Shadforth has been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship to further her studies into age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Shadforth was the recent recipient of the Bette Forgan-Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship, and will commence a three-year program allowing her to broaden the ongoing research into AMD.

Her work has largely focused on replacing damaged tissue in AMD by evaluating various tissue-engineering approaches involving the use of Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) cells and novel biomaterial scaffolds. RPE cells are essential for maintaining a healthy retina, but pathologies of these cells can cause devastating visual impairments in AMD patients.

Dr Audra Shadforth
Dr Audra Shadforth
“I am delighted to be awarded this fellowship. It will allow me to dive deep into some new ideas and take advantage of new, emerging technologies to better understand the unique biology of the outer retina.”
Dr Audra Shadforth, QEI

“I am delighted to be awarded this fellowship. It will allow me to dive deep into some new ideas and take advantage of new, emerging technologies to better understand the unique biology of the outer retina. This work has an overall focus on developing new treatment options for AMD patients,” Shadforth, who joined QEI in 2009, said.

“AMD often develops over a long period of time, and by focusing on the earlier stages of the disease we can hopefully halt the progression before major damage and vision impairment has developed.”

Retired specialist pathologist Dr Ross Forgan-Smith and his son, general practitioner Dr George Forgan-Smith, established the Bette Forgan-Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship. 

Dr Ross Forgan-Smith said: “Retinal research hasn’t been a priority in Queensland and seeing the growing number of Australians affected by retinal diseases such as AMD, I think now is the time to focus on something more substantial by supporting outcome driven research which Dr Audra Shadforth and QEI are undertaking.

“I hope that the Bette Forgan-Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship will result in an outcome that enables those who live with vision impairment to improve their eyesight.”

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