22 February, 2024

Hot Off The Press

The assessment of biomarkers in the eye is becoming an increasingly important research tool. “Targeted Diffuse reflectance and fluorescence spectroscopy” enables concurrent imaging of the regions of the fundus and analysis of high-quality spectra from a targeted region within the imaged area.

This non-invasive examination can give us more information than ever before about the structure, composition, and function of regions of the fundus. It can assess oxygenation, photo-oxidation and photodegradation in greater detail than previously.

It seems that natural virus vectors, and previous splicing mechanisms for gene therapy have now been improved upon. By using newly engineered “virus-like particles” (eVLPs) instead of the previous natural viruses, and by improving the gene editing machinery inside the particles, outcomes have been up to 100 times more efficient than previously. In this study eVLPs were used to successfully treat mice with RP, and also mice with Lebers Congenital Dystrophy.


IRD research is getting more complex, and harder to understand as we move closer to curing IRDs. The body is an incredibly complex and clever creation, and I am constantly awed by it, and by our researchers who are able to delve into, and to decipher such incredible detail. Fantastic

Looking forward to the next discoveries…… Cathy

Guest writer – Dr Catherine Civil

My name is Dr Catherine Civil. I have been associated with Retina Australia since the early 2000s. At that time, they were called WARPF, or the WA Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation. WARPF were raffling a car in a shopping centre, and it caught my eye because my dad and my uncle both had Retinitis Pigmentosa. Being a doctor and a parent, I had a particular interest and awareness, not just of the disease, but of the fact that there was a significant risk that I or my children or my relatives might have inherited it.

I turned up at an AGM and found myself on the Board and engaged in fundraising. I spent several years on the Board and met some wonderful people, and I was even Chairman for a couple of years. When I left, I started writing the “Hot off the Press” research update column for the newsletter.

I arrived from the UK in the early 1990s with my husband and twin baby girls to live in Perth for a year for a bit of sunshine and fun, and we find ourselves still having fun in WA 30 years later, and with a grown son as well.

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