Fighting to prevent blindness

15 September 2018

The ACT branch of Retina Australia recently donated $40,000 to the ANU Clear Vision Research Laboratories and their work into treating retinal degenerations, the leading cause of blindness in Australia.

Dr Riccardo Natoli and his team from Clear Vision joined Robin Poke (President), Jan James (Secretary) and other members of Retina Australia at a recent ANU function to thank them for their support.

The support from Retina Australia will help Dr Natoli and his team further their research into what causes the retina, the part of the eye responsible for converting light to an electrical signal that our brain can understand, to degenerate with age.

Dr Natoli says his interest in vision research was partly inspired by reading Oliver Sacks's book, The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, as a student.

"The stories of vision patients really stuck with me and I wanted to discover more about how the retina works and what happens when things go wrong. What started as an interest, has developed into a passion. I now have the opportunity to try and help everyone enjoy a visual life."

ANU has a long tradition of breakthrough Neuroscience research, starting in the 1950s with Sir John Eccles, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1963 for his work in deciphering basic processes that cause electrical impulses, which control nerves and muscular movement.

Clear Vision is continuing this tradition of research excellence. The group's position across the ANU Medical School and the John Curtin School of Medical Research, gives them a unique opportunity to bridge basic and translational research, enabling expedited "bench-to-bedside" innovation.

This has resulted in a number of commercial partners, a prolific publication rate and patents in the field of vision research.

For more information on this research, please visit

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