We aim to improve outcomes for patients affected by cornea disorders. Our main research areas are:
Our research is focused on developing innovative solutions to restore sight and eye health for the affected patients.
Professor Stephanie Watson
We are focused on tackling a range of eye health issues, ranging from ocular infections, corneal disorders to ocular surface diseases.
Eye infections can result in vision loss and even blindness when they irreversibly damage the eye's structure.
The appropriate use of antimicrobials for eye infections can save sight. However, antimicrobial resistance is an emerging and significant problem.
Ocular surface diseases cause vision loss, blindness and severely impact on people's quality of life.
Our research focuses on providing innovative solutions to address stem cell repair, sutureless surgery and dry eye. Their implications for eye surface health include:
Our research projects aim to investigate the causes and treatment interventions for a range of ocular infections, corneal disorders and ocular surface diseases.
This research aims to determine the pattern of pathogenic microbes and the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in the most common, sight-threatening eye infections. This project focuses on endophthalmitis (infection of the globe) and microbial keratitis (infection of the cornea), and is supported by the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation.
Herpes simplex kertitis is a leading cause of blindness from eye infections in Australia and developed countries.
Our research group is developing Australian guidelines for anti-viral therapy for this infection, with the aim to preserve vision for those affected. This project is supported by the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation.
This animated video was created for trainees and trainers in opthalmology. It demonstrates the best practice for performing a corneal scrape on microbial keratitis patients for diagnosis.
We have developed a world-first stem cell transplantation technique that has already successfully restored sight to a number of patients. Our technique involves growing corneal stem cells on a contact lens for transfer onto the patient's ocular surface.
Our research continues to examine the factors required to promote stem cell repair of the ocular surface.
Our team has developed a laser-activated chitosan bioadhesive that can be applied rapidly to the eye in place of sutures.
The bioadhesive is also capable of delivering anti-infective and anti-inflammatory agents to wounds in eye surgery.
We have developed a new eye drop that addresses all underlying aspects of dry eye and blepharitis (eyelid inflammation). Our clinical trials show decreased signs and symptoms of the disorders after use.
Our eye drop has the potential to treat both the cause and symptoms of dry eye and blepharitis with less side effects. Our team is currently seeking funding for phase two trials.
Our research suggests breast cancer patients experience dry eye more often than healthy patients.
Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) are standard drugs used in post-menopausal women with breast cancer, and our study found a link between AIs and the occurrence of dry eye.
We are currently investigating whether dry eye symptoms in AI therapy patients resemble the clinical features of dry eye. We will also investigate the effect of AI therapy on serum and tear levels of sex hormones. Establishing these links will assist us in developing new therapeutic interventions and treatments for dry eye.
This project is supported by the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia.