2 July 2015
Optometrist and Research Fellow at the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Dr Zhichao Wu, has been awarded the 2015 Menzies Allied Health Sciences start up grant of $25,000 to support his research into glaucoma, a leading cause of irreversible blindness.
The 2014 Menzies Allied Health Scholar successfully applied for this year’s start-up grant* and will use it to further his research into developing new clinical biomarkers to better identify those at high-risk of vision loss and determine treatment efficacy.
Participants with glaucoma will be recruited from the Glaucoma Investigation and Research Clinic at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and from private ophthalmology clinics in Melbourne.
Dr Wu said, “These new clinical biomarkers can potentially revolutionise the management of glaucoma by allowing us to identify those at high-risk of vision loss, and intervene at a stage before any vision becomes irreversibly lost.”
Dr Wu recently took out the University of Melbourne Dean’s Award for Excellence for his PhD thesis on the Novel Clinical Biomarkers of Disease in Early Stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Dr Wu’s PhD was supported by the 2014 Menzies Memorial Research Scholarship in the Allied Health Sciences.
This new grant will further his research expertise into two of the leading causes of blindness.
The funds from the grant will employ a research assistant for the study, which will generate crucial pilot data and ensure the work is completed in a shorter timeframe.
(* the start-up grants are available to recipients of the Menzies Memorial Research Scholarship in the Allied Health Sciences in the first five years after the completion of their PhD).