Seeing Beyond Lecture: Corneal Neuro-Immunology - Are social distancing measures between nerves and immune cells important for a healthy cornea?

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mdhs-alumni@unimelb.edu.au

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Many patients present with corneal disease linked to complex corneal pathophysiology, which can make clinical diagnosis and treatment challenging. In this dual lecture, we will present clinical and research perspectives on the fascinating interplay between corneal nerves and immune cells.

We will share recent pre-clinical research findings of novel neuroimmune interactions, as well as a potential new therapy aimed at modulating corneal immune cells to improve nerve health. Clinical cases of an immune-neurotrophic corneal lesion and a post-adenoviral corneal sub-epithelial infiltrate will be presented. A differential diagnosis work-up will be presented with suggestions for optimum treatment options.

Guest presenters

Dr Holly Chinnery
Topic: 
Corneal neuro-immunology - evidence from mouse models of nerve injury and disease

Dr Holly Chinnery is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, where she heads the Corneal and Ocular Immunology Laboratory. Her team’s current research focus is on understanding how the corneal nervous and immunological systems interact in the context of homeostasis, inflammation, injury and neurodegenerative diseases. Her pre-clinical, fundamental research studies using mouse models are designed to closely mimic conditions affecting the human ocular surface.

Associate Professor Mark Roth OAM
Topic:
Clinical perspectives on cases related to corneal neuroinflammation

Associate Professor Mark Roth FAAO OAM is a clinical optometrist with a degree in pharmacology. He is currently in private practice and since 2008 has been a principal fellow in the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, The University of Melbourne. Mark has extensive experience as a therapeutic practitioner and in therapeutics education. His main areas of interest are clinical ocular therapeutics, contact lens problem solving, clinical therapeutics education and ocular photography. In 2017 he received an Order of Australia, OAM for services to therapeutic optometry.