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MACULAR DISEASE FOUNDATION AUSTRALIA RESEARCH GRANTS PROGRAM

The Macular Disease Foundation Australia Research Grants Program was launched in 2011 to fulfil the Foundation’s objective to support research to reduce the incidence and impact of macular degeneration and ultimately to find a cure for this chronic disease. Since the program launch, over $1.4 million has been committed to world leading Australian researchers.

The Foundation’s grants and fellowships make significant contributions to Australian medical, psychosocial and nutritional research into macular degeneration. They are awarded following rigorous evaluation, based largely on the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) process, along with international peer review, to ensure that the successful applicants meet the highest standards.

MACULAR DISEASE FOUNDATION AUSTRALIA RESEARCH GRANTS RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED IN 2013

The Foundation awarded Research Grants, totalling $600,000 over three years, at an event held at the Sydney Opera House in celebration of World Sight Day on 10 October 2013.

The Foundation was honoured to have the Hon. Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Health, Minister for Sport, announce the Foundation's successful recipients against the backdrop of the “Through his Eyes” photo tribute to Sydney Opera House designer Jørn Utzon. Jørn lived with macular degeneration in his later life.

The recipients of the grants (for research commencing in 2014) were:

Associate Professor Erica Fletcher
Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience
University of Melbourne

For more information, click here.

Associate Professor Damien Harkin
School of Biomedical Sciences,
Queensland University of Technology and Queensland Eye Institute

For more information, click here.

To read about the research grant announcement held at Sydney Opera House, click here.

MACULAR DISEASE FOUNDATION AUSTRALIA RESEARCH GRANTS RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED IN 2011

The Foundation awarded its inaugural research grants, totalling nearly three-quarters of a million dollars over three years, at an event hosted by Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, CVO, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia at Admiralty House on 13 October 2011.

The grants were awarded to two world leading Australian researchers to support crucial research to shed light on prevention and early detection in order to save the sight of Australians.

The recipients of the grants (for research commencing in 2012) were:

Professor Paul Mitchell
Director Centre for Vision Research Westmead Millennium Institute
The University of Sydney

For more information, click here.

Professor Robyn Guymer
Deputy Director Centre for Eye Research Australia
University of Melbourne
Co - investigators: Prof Greg Hageman, Associate Professor Paul Baird and Dr Chi Luu

For more information, click here.

To read about the research grant announcement held at Admiralty House, click here.

Blackmores Dr Paul Beaumont Fellowship

In recognition of the extraordinary work performed by the Foundation's Founding Director, Dr Paul Beaumont, the Blackmores Dr Paul Beaumont Research Fellowship was launched in 2011. The Foundation is most grateful to Blackmores for supporting this Fellowship.

The Fellowship is awarded to researchers based in eligible Australian institutions to pursue research into nutritional and/or lifestyle aspects of macular degeneration, consistent with the mission of the Foundation to reduce the incidence and impact of macular degeneration.

The inaugural 2012 Fellowship (announced in 2011) was a one-year grant. In 2012 the Fellowship was increased to a duration of two years and supported with an additional $10,000 from the Foundation to total $50,000 per year.

The Macular Disease Foundation Australia would like to advise that the closing date for applications for the Blackmores Dr Paul Beaumont Research Fellowship 2015 has been extended to 5.00pm EST, 21 July 2014 for electronic submissions, with hard copy confirmations to be received by 23 July. For more information, click here.

The recipient of the 2013-14 Fellowship (announced in December 2012) was:

Dr Bamini Gopinath
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Vision Research
Westmead Millennium Institute

For more information, click here.

The recipient of the 2012 Fellowship (announced in October 2011) was:

Dr Liubov Robman
Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Eye Research Australia
University of Melbourne

For more information, click here.

LATEST NEWS ON MACULAR DEGENERATION RESEARCH

Researchers around the world are currently working on macular degeneration to find reasons for this disease and the answers needed. There are many ongoing clinical trials and the Foundation is proud of the many brilliant and dedicated Australian researchers who form part of this international team.



Macular Degeneration Research News (for eye health professionals)
Macular Degeneration Research News is a free weekly bulletin listing the latest published research articles on macular degeneration as indexed in the NCBI, PubMed (Medline) and Entrez (GenBank) databases.

Click through to review current and past bulletins

Subscribe
To subscribe email research@mdfoundation.com.au with 'Subscribe to MD Research News' in the subject line, and your name and address in the body of the email. You may unsubscribe at any time by emailing the above address with your 'unsubscribe' request.

RESEARCH AND REPORTS

There is ongoing research into macular degeneration both in Australia and around the world. The Macular Disease Foundation Australia provides access to research reports for the macular degeneration community to review and learn more about the disease. It is important to note however, that some research studies are more robust that others, and that there are differing opinions amongst the medical community about the validity of some of the research.

FOUNDATION ADVOCACY

 

In 2012, the Macular Disease Foundation Australia reported on the layers of activities that have been undertaken in Australia over several years to improve awareness. This paper which was published in the American Journal of Public Health also reports on the outstanding outcomes achieved.

For more information, please click here.

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RISK FACTORS

 

Age, family history and smoking are the only proven risk factors for macular degeneration, with smoking being the only modifiable risk factor.

 

     

     

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SUPPLEMENTS
  • AREDS2 (2013)
    • The initial results of the AREDS2 study were released in May 2013. This study recommends some small modifications to the original AREDS formulation, please click here.

  • Clinical trials conducted in the United States, titled The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) have found that antioxidants and zinc could help to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), among people with intermediate and late stages of macular degeneration.
  • A review of four large randomised trials comparing antioxidant vitamin or mineral supplementation (alone or in combination) to a control intervention in people conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration.
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NUTRITION AND DIET

 

Please consult your health care professional before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. Some foods and/or supplements can have an adverse effect on individual health conditions or drug regimens.

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WET MACULAR DEGENERATION TREATMENTS

 

The following papers provide evidence regarding the extent of success about various treatments for wet macular degeneration available in Australia.

  • Eylea (aflibercept) is an anti-VEGF treatment introduced in Australia in December 2012. Click here and here for information about the pivotal VIEW1 and VIEW2 studies.

     

  • CATT (Comparison of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatments Trials) was a large study funded by the US National Institute of Health to compare the efficacy of Lucentis (ranibizumab) and Avastin (bevacizumab).
CATARACT AND MACULAR DEGENERATION

 

OTHER DISEASES AND MACULAR DEGENERATION

  • Macular Degeneration and Heart Disease
    Researchers at the University of Sydney have conducted a study which suggests that the risk of dying from cardiovascular conditions is at least doubled in people with AMD.
    Read the Summary
CURRENT CLINICAL TRIALS

 

 

OTHER RESEARCH DEVELOPMENTS

 

 

  • A study published in Australia studied red meat and chicken consumption and its association with age-related macular degeneration. The results from this study suggest that different meats may differently affect AMD risk and may be a target for lifestyle modification. Please note that this is the first study of its kind worldwide and the quantity of meat consumption is very large.

 

 

 

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS

 

 

OTHER RELEVANT AUSTRALIAN PUBLICATIONS

 

LINKS TO OTHER RELEVANT ORGANISATIONS

 

 

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