Dr Xinhua Shu and Professor Ann Graham, from the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, will research how to promote the removal of retinal pigment epithelium cholesterol, a new therapeutic strategy for tackling the condition. Age-related macular degeneration gradually destroys central vision and is caused by degenerative and neovascular changes at the interface between the neural retina and the underlying choroid. The team hopes to identify drug therapies that will halt the condition’s progress at an early stage.
The National Eye Research Centre is a leading eye research charity that funds research into the causes of and treatments for eye disease, sight loss and blindness. Age-related macular degeneration is expected to affect 291,982 people in the UK – 196 million globally – by 2020.
Dr Shu said: “Sight is the sense that people fear losing most and we are delighted to have received funding from the National Eye Research Centre to pursue the development of a new treatment for a condition that impacts the lives of so many people.”