Dr Zhichao Wu, from the Centre for Eye Research Australia.
Dr Zhichao Wu is investigating techniques to better identify who is at high risk of progressing to late stage wet (neovascular) AMD so those people can be monitored more closely.
Effective treatments are available for wet AMD, but often vision loss occurs because of delays and challenges with detecting the development of the disease.
Dr Wu says the imaging technique optical coherence tomography (OCT) shows promise as a powerful imaging technique for identifying new prognostic biomarkers of wet AMD development. His project will also use OCT angiography (OCTA) and artificial intelligence (AI) methods to exploit the wealth of information available in these scans.
Dr Wu is conducting a three-year study where OCT and OCTA imaging will be obtained from 200 people with intermediate AMD at baseline. They’ll then be reviewed to determine the development of wet AMD. Novel imaging-based biomarkers will then be automatically extracted to calculate a multi-attribute risk score (MARS) for wet AMD development.
An unsupervised deep learning approach will also be used to calculate a MARS, and the performance of both approaches will be evaluated.
This study, over three years with $240 000 from the MDFA Research Grants Program, has the potential to provide findings that can be used immediately in clinical practice.
Dr Wu’s project is called ‘Novel prognostic imaging biomarkers for improved risk stratification in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration’.