Lens Research Laboratory

The Lens Research Laboratory is comprised of two teams of researchers, one headed by Dr. Frank Lovicu in Anatomy & Histology, Anderson Stuart Building on the main University campus and the other headed by Prof. John McAvoy at the Save Sight Institute, Sydney Eye Hospital on Macquarie Street.

The work of the Lens Research Laboratory is primarily directed at identifying the molecules and mechanisms that govern the behaviour of cells of the ocular lens, in health, ageing and disease. Our studies have identified a number of molecules that play key roles in both normal and pathological lens development and growth. Currently we are working to gain a better understanding of how these molecules are regulated in the eye. This is fundamental to identifying new therapeutics for retarding or preventing cataract, one of the most common and costly diseases of ageing.

Major funding

2012-2015
NHMRC Project grant. “Preventing blindness: Blocking TGFß-induced EMT and Cataract Development” Lovicu FJ and McAvoy JW ($332,175).

2012-2015
NEI/NIH grant. “Studies on lens differentiation: a role for Wnt-Fz/PCP signaling.” McAvoy JW and Lovicu FJ (USD$817,243; AUD$815,000).

2011-2013
NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia) McAvoy JW and Lovicu FJ. Role of primary cilia and PCP proteins in lens development: implications for lens regeneration after cataract surgery. ($399,462)

2009-2011
NEI/NIH grant. Lens differentiation and cataract: role for Wnt/PCP signaling. McAvoy JW and Lovicu FJ (USD$420,000; AUD$615,000)