We are delighted to announce that Dr Jerome Ozkan, Research Fellow at UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science has been awarded the 2021 Macular Degeneration Grant from the Estate of the late Peter Anthony John Vild.

Recent studies suggest that the development of AMD is influenced by genetic, inflammatory and nutritional factors and early reports suggest there are differences in the intestinal microbiome of patients with the wet-AMD compared to healthy controls. The research project will investigate differences in the microorganisms on the conjunctiva (ocular microbiome) and proteins in the tears (tear proteome) of patients with dry-AMD compared to wet-AMD and healthy controls.

Dr Ozkan will collaborate with Professor Minas Coroneo, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Professor Torsten Thomas from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and, Dr Simin Masoudi and Professor Mark Willcox from the School of Optometry and Vision Science.

We thank the Estate of Peter Vild for their support of our early career researchers.