The Macular Degeneration Foundation is delighted to announce that the recipient of the 2012 Blackmores Dr Paul Beaumont Research Fellowship is Dr Bamini Gopinath, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Vision Research, Westmead Millennium Institute. Dr Gopinath will be working under the supervision of Prof Paul Mitchell, one of the world's leading experts in macular degeneration.
This fellowship is provided for research into the dietary and lifestyle aspects of macular degeneration, with the purpose of reducing the incidence and/or impact of the disease in Australia. The fellowship is valued at $50,000 per year for two years, $40,000 pa of which is provided by Blackmores and the Marcus Blackmore Foundation, with the remaining $10,000 pa provided by the Macular Degeneration Foundation's research fund.
Dr Gopinath has a remarkable track record with over 70 research publications in the last five years; she is the lead author on over 50% of these.
Her proposed research involves a detailed analysis of the 15 year data from the landmark Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) to improve knowledge of the nutritional and lifestyle risk and/or protective factors (particularly dietary antioxidant and supplement intake, diet quality and food groups). This is expected to help explain the causes of disease, improve early detection of people at risk of progression, and facilitate new approaches to therapy. As AMD typically progresses over 10 to 15 years or more, detailed analysis of the 15 year dataset is especially important.
The assessment will include a comprehensive analysis of changes in behaviour in people diagnosed with AMD in the initial BMES exams, a significant gap in existing knowledge.
Dr Gopinath also intends to pool data with other leading international studies including the Beaver Dam Eye Study and the Rotterdam Study, and conduct a meta-analysis to strengthen statistical power and help confirm key risk or protective factors.
Further contributions for the research are being provided by the Westmead Millennium Institute and the National Heart Foundation.
The Macular Degeneration Foundation and Blackmores congratulate Dr Gopinath for her excellent application, wish her well with this exciting and important research and look forward to the results of her work.
Click here to read the press release.
The Dr Paul Beaumont Research 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.
11 October 2012