To commemorate World Sight Day today, Glaucoma Australia has announced the inaugural recipients of its new Glaucoma Research Grants Program.
Research grants have been awarded to Dr George Kong from the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and Professor Jamie Craig from Flinders University.
Since 2006, Glaucoma Australia has facilitated the allocation of $934,527 to a broad range of research projects related to eye health via external partnership grants. This inaugural round commits $200,000 over the next three years using funds which have been specifically earmarked for research related to glaucoma.
The aim of Dr Kong’s research in the next five years is to continue to harness the latest developments in portable and connected technologies to improve eye care in Australia and around the world. This translational research project, supported by Glaucoma Australia, will be the world’s first clinical trial to examine the validity of home monitoring using the world’s first software app for tablet devices for glaucoma patients.
Professor Craig’s proposed work forms the basis for an ongoing vision over the next five years to ensure that population level screening for glaucoma is achieved in a cost-effective manner. He aims to provide evidence which drives early intervention to the highest risk individuals before vision loss occurs. This is expected to grow into a National study achieving Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) level support provided pilot data is favourable and a suitable partner is acquired.
Glaucoma Australia is committed to supporting research which focuses on the following four domains in its mission ‘to eliminate glaucoma blindness’.
- Increasing the rate and reliability of early detection of glaucoma
- Improving the treatment experience
- Improving the quality and experience of monitoring the condition for progression and maintaining better population wide statistics
- Providing management tools to improve the quality of life for people with glaucoma.
“The two proposals were selected from a very strong pool of applications and the decision was difficult to make,” said Professor Allison McKendrick, Glaucoma Australia’s Independent Research Panel Chair and Head of Department for Optometry and Vision Sciences at the University of Melbourne.