Tackling common cause of blindness

28 October 2019

A generous donation to the ANU Clear Vision Research Initiative will help to tackle the most common cause of blindness in Australia.

Dr Suan Tan, an ANU alumna, has established the K.T. Tan PhD scholarship to honour her late father, and to thank ANU for the PhD Scholarship she was awarded in 1977.

The 2019 K.T. Tan scholar, Yolanda (Yanzhi Liu), has commenced as a visiting researcher in the Clear Vision Research group and will commence her scholarship once her visa is approved.

Yolanda's research will be led by Dr Riccardo Natoli at the ANU Clear Vision Research Laboratory, which works on finding better treatment outcomes for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Research led by Dr Natoli and his team focuses on 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 that the scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for a talented PhD student to commence their journey into vision research.

"Current projections indicate that, by 2030, 1.7 million people in Australia will suffer vision loss from AMD. Without research into the prevention of vision loss from retinal degenerations it is guaranteed that 1 in 7 people will lose the sense of sight", says Dr Natoli.

Dr Tan says that her father would be gratified if his concerns for education, for finding solutions to serious diseases and cultivating entrepreneurs will be achieved through Yolanda Liu's research. To this end, the K.T. Tan PhD scholarship specifically supports students who are entrepreneurially minded and whose research can lead to commercially viable medical options.


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