Development of regenerative therapy for photoreceptor losses using cellular reprogramming technology

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Raymond Wong Personal web page

Project Details

Photoreceptors are light-sensing cells that form the basis of our vision by converting light into electrical signals that can be decoded by the brain.  the loss of photoreceptors is a key hallmark of many blinding diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.  These diseases affect millions of patients and cause a significant socis-economic burden on our healthcare system. Currently, there are no effective means to cure blindness once photoreceptors are lost.  We must therefore find a new approach to help restore vision to these patients.  Regenerative therapy to replace photoreceptors has the very real prospect of helping patients to restore vision.

Cell reprogramming could be the key to this critical issue.  This innovative technology relies on converting one cell type into another by rewriting the transcriptome to alter the cell’s identity.  One of the most famous examples is the Nobel prize-winning discovery of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, in which the altered expression of four transcription factors converted adult fibroblasts into stem cells.  Beyond iPS cells, direct reprogramming is now possible by converting one somatic cell type directly to another, such as fibroblasts to neurons, without passing through an intermediate stem cell state.  this project aims to develop cell reprogramming technology to generate new photoreceptors, providing novel regenerative therapy approach to treat photoreceptor loss.  Techniques involved in this project include cell reprogramming, CRISPR/Cas9, transcriptomic analysis, molecular cloning, fluorescent micrscopy and virus generation.

This project is conducted in Centre for Eye Research Australia, Cellular Programming Unit.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.



Research Group / Unit / Centre

Cellular Reprogramming

Research Node

Surgery, Ophthalmology, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital

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