Heads of laboratory

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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. Using a range of in vitro and in vivo models, 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.

Research achievements

Lovicu FJ, and McAvoy, JW. 2001.
FGF-induced lens cell proliferation and differentiation is dependent on MAPK (ERK1/2) signalling.
Development. 128. 5075-5084.

Stump RJW, Ang S, Chen Y, von Bahr T, Lovicu FJ, Pinson K, de Iongh RU, Yamaguchi TP, Sasoon DA, McAvoy JW. 2003.
A role for Wnt/ß-catenin signalling in lens epithelial differentiation. Dev. Biol. 259:48-61.

Lovicu FJ and Robinson ML (editors). 2004.
Development of the Ocular Lens.
Cambridge University Press. New York.

Lovicu FJ, McAvoy JW. 2005.
Growth Factor Regulation Of Lens Development.
Dev. Biol. 280:1-14.

Lovicu FJ, Steven P, Saika S,. McAvoy JW. 2004.
Aberrant lens fiber differentiation contributes to anterior subcapsular cataract formation in vivo: a process dependent on reduced levels of Pax6.
Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. 45:1946-1953.

Iyengar L, Patkunanathan B, Lynch OT, McAvoy JW, Rasko JEJ, Lovicu FJ. 2006.
Aqueous humour- and growth factor-induced lens cell proliferation is dependent on MAPK/ERK1/2 and Akt/PI3-K signalling.
Exp. Eye Res. 83:667-78.

Chen Y, Stump RJW, Lovicu FJ, McAvoy JW. 2006.
A role for Wnt/Planar Cell Polarity signaling during lens fiber cell differentiation?
Semin Cell Dev Biol. 17:712-25.

Boros J, Newitt P, Wang Q, McAvoy JW, Lovicu FJ. 2006.
Sef and Sprouty expression in the developing ocular lens: implications for regulating lens cell proliferation and differentiation. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 17:741-52.

Iyengar L, Wang Q, Rasko JEJ, McAvoy JW, Lovicu FJ. 2007.
The duration of MAPK/ERK1/2 phosphorylation induced by FGF or ocular media determines lens cell fate.
Differentiation. 75:662-668.

Chen Y, Stump RJW, Lovicu FJ, Shimono A, McAvoy JW. 2008.
Wnt signaling is required for organization of the lens fiber cell cytoskeleton and development of lens three-dimensional architecture.
Developmental Biology. 324:161-176.

Wang Q, Stump R, McAvoy JW, Lovicu FJ. 2009.
MAPK/ERK1/2 and PI3-kinase signalling pathways are required for vitreous-induced lens fibre cell differentiation.
Exp Eye Res. 88: 293-306.

Iyengar L, Patkunanathan B, McAvoy JW, Lovicu FJ. 2009.
Growth factors involved in aqueous humour-induced lens cell proliferation.
Growth Factors. 27:50-62.

Sugiyama Y, Stump RJ, Nguyen A, Wen L, Chen Y, Wang Y, Murdoch JN, Lovicu FJ, McAvoy JW. 2010.
Secreted frizzled-related protein disrupts PCP in eye lens fiber cells that have polarised primary cilia.
Dev Biol. 2010;338:193-201.

Newitt P, Boros J, Madakashira BP, Robinson ML, Reneker LW, McAvoy JW, Lovicu FJ. 2010.
Sef is a negative regulator of fiber cell differentiation in the ocular lens.
Differentiation. 2010;80:53-67.

Wang Q, McAvoy JW, Lovicu FJ. 2010.
Growth factor signaling in vitreous humor-induced lens fiber differentiation.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Jul;51(7):3599-610.

Lovicu FJ, McAvoy JW, de Iongh RU. 2011.
Understanding the role of growth factors in embryonic development: insights from the lens.
Phil Trans R Soc B. 2011; in press.


Frank Lovicu || (+612) 9351 5170 ||
Room S252, Anderson Stuart building, Camperdown campus