Dr Xinhua Shu and Professor Ann Graham have been awarded £70,000 by the National Eye Research Centre to develop a new treatment for age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in the West’s aging population.
The team, from the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, are to research how to promote the removal of retinal pigment epithelium cholesterol, a new therapeutic strategy for tackling the condition, which is expected to affect 291,982 people in the UK - 196 million globally - by 2020.
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.
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.”
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. The results of that research are published to stimulate further research advances in ophthalmology.