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New director commences at Centre for Eye Research Australia

13/02/2019By Myles Hume
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The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) has welcomed its new leader Professor Keith Martin, marking the beginning of a new chapter for the organisation.

Martin assumed his role as CERA’s new managing director on Monday after arriving from the UK. He brings an impressive resume to the organisation that includes the development of glaucoma gene therapy, and recognition as the youngest full Professor in the history of Cambridge University’s Clinical School.

Martin is also said to bring a track record of successful collaborations and commercialisation; he is a co-founder of Cambridge spinoff gene therapy company Quethera, which sold for around £85 million (AU$153 m) last August.

Ceasing his role as Head of Ophthalmology at the University of Cambridge (UC) last month, the CERA appointment also sees him become the new Ringland Anderson Professor and Head of Ophthalmology at the University of Melbourne.

Keith Martin
“I’m looking forward to building on the strong collaborative relationships between CERA and the University of Melbourne and Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and the opportunity to work with the best scientists and clinicians in a vibrant and innovative research community.”
New CERA director Professor Keith Martin

“I’m looking forward to building on the strong collaborative relationships between CERA and the University of Melbourne and Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and the opportunity to work with the best scientists and clinicians in a vibrant and innovative research community,” Martin said.

“It’s these relationships that give CERA the unique ability to translate what we discover in the lab to develop new ways to treat patients.’’

CERA chair Olivia Hilton said Martin would be a major asset to CERA as well as the broader research community.

Martin’s groundbreaking research has led to the development of a gene therapy to protect the nerve cells in the eye that are damaged in glaucoma, and it is hoped this will progress to human clinical trials. His work has also investigated the potential to regenerate and repair nerve damage in the eye and brain.

Until last month, Martin was deputy director of the UC John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair and an Affiliate Principal Investigator at the Wellcome Trust - MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute.

He was also Academic Lead for Ophthalmology and Lead Clinician for Glaucoma at the UC Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and graduated from UC with a 'Triple First' in Medical Sciences and Neuroscience before completing clinical Training at Oxford University Clinical School, Ophthalmology Residency in Cambridge and Clinical and Research Fellowships in Glaucoma at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore.

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Clinically, Professor Martin specialises in the medical and surgical management of complex glaucoma in adults and children. He is also currently President of the World Glaucoma Association.

 

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Centre for Eye Research Australia reveals new director

 

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