€3.2m funding for Trinity research looking into degenerative retinal diseases

5 Sep 2022

Prof Sarah Doyle and Prof Matthew Campbell from Trinity College Dublin. Image: Jason Clarke

The Eye-D research project seeks to identify new treatments for degenerative retinal diseases that cause vision loss, such as glaucoma and AMD.

A project looking into degenerative retinal diseases, led by researchers at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), has received €3.2m in funding.

The funding comes from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), which is providing €1.3m, as well as industry partners.

Researchers are working with pharma companies Roche and Eli Lilly’s Disarm Therapeutics on the project, called Eye-D. They are also working with Progressive Vision Research, which is a private ophthalmology clinic, and charity organisation Fighting Blindness Ireland. These four partners will provide an additional €1.6m in funding.

Eye-D is being led by Prof Matthew Campbell, who is based at TCD’s Smurfit Institute of Genetics, and Prof Sarah Doyle from Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience.

“This funding will allow us to build on the major successes our group has had in understanding degenerative eye diseases,” Doyle said.

“Added to this, we can now recruit the most talented group of scientists internationally and place Ireland at the forefront of vision research.”

Campbell added that the team is “excited about the potential developments that will emerge from this grant”.

“Spearheading a project with a cumulative budget of €3.2m will allow us to make a major impact on the international stage of vision research. In addition, our research endeavours put us in a perfect position to identify the cause of some of the most common forms of blindness.”

Degenerative retinal diseases, which can result in severe loss of vision, are estimated to affect 224,000 people in Ireland and 40m people worldwide.

The Eye-D research project seeks to identify new therapeutic treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and other inherited diseases that cause vision loss.

Prof Philip Nolan, director general of SFI, said he welcomed “the broad partnership involved in supporting this research, which includes industry, charities and higher education institutes”.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic