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Clinical Glaucoma Research and Ophthalmic Research Laboratory

The Clinical Glaucoma Research and Ophthalmic Research Laboratory undertakes groundbreaking research on retinal cell biology and glaucoma, with translation into clinical trials.

Our research uses both in vitro and in vivo systems, as well as state-of-the-art molecular biology, to better understand: 

  • the pathogenesis of glaucoma
  • developing a new neuroprotective agent to treat glaucoma
  • retinal/photoreceptor metabolism
  • alternative laser treatment for retinal diseases.

Our highly innovative research covers a number of areas. Our research in blinding eye disease and retinal energy metabolism, for example, has laid the foundation for further clinical trials. This trial stemmed from our bioenergetics research and in it, we delivered ‘proof-of-principle’ clinical translation in a first-to-man, double blind randomised trial. In this trial, we demonstrated that ocular glucose delivery temporarily recovered contrast sensitivity and visual acuity in patients with severe primary open-angle glaucoma. 

Since then, we have established rapid clinical translation of our bioenergetic research using clinical methodology that measures neurorecovery. This is useful for retinal and optic nerve diseases where energy failure is part of the problem. 

In other significant studies, we have looked at axonal transport and early molecular pathology in glaucoma. We hypothesised that axonal transport from the eye to the brain is disrupted in glaucoma, resulting in death of specific retinal axons and loss of vision—and we have been able to show that certain marker molecules accumulate at the optic nerve head in experimental glaucoma. We have also shown that early phosphorylation of tau (an abundant protein found in neurons) also occurs in ocular tissue in our experimental model of glaucoma. 

Lead researcher: Professor Robert Casson

Research team

  • Dr Glyn Chidlow
  • Dr John Wood
Research support
  • Mark Daymon
  • Teresa Mammone


  • Dr Dan Peet - University of Adelaide
  • Professor Jonathan Crowston - Centre for Eye Research Australia 
  • Kim Hemsley - South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI)
  • Professor Mark Gillies - University of Sydney  
  • Ellex Medical Lasers

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.