The 2019 Ian Constable Lecture
24 October 2019
- The Ian Constable Lecture is presented in partnership with the Lions Eye Institute.
Glaucoma: what’s on the horizon?
The Lions Eye Institute and the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies present the 2019 Ian Constable Lecture - by Professor Keith Martin, Managing Director, Centre for Eye Research Australia.
Glaucoma remains the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The field of glaucoma is currently experiencing a renaissance, with multiple innovations in drug delivery and surgery expanding the range of options available to those who treat the disease. Personalised medicine is becoming more common in healthcare and it seems inevitable that this approach will be applied to glaucoma as we attempt to target treatments to those most likely to benefit in a world of constrained resources.
In this lecture, Professor Martin considered some of the likely developments in glaucoma diagnosis and treatment in the near future, from genomics to continuous IOP monitoring to gene and cell therapies. In particular, studies have found gene therapy approaches to be very promising and Professor Martin will discuss a project using AAV2 vectors to deliver BDNF and its receptor, TrkB, to retinal ganglion cells that is moving rapidly towards clinical translation. Finally, the talk will outline the prospects for optic nerve regeneration – a goal that once seemed impossible that is now becoming conceivable.
Keith Martin is Managing Director of the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Ringland Anderson Professor and Head of Ophthalmology at the University of Melbourne. Until January 2019, he was Head of Ophthalmology at the University of Cambridge, Deputy Director of the University’s John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair and an Affiliate Principal Investigator at the Wellcome Trust - MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. He was also Academic Lead for Ophthalmology and Lead Clinician for Glaucoma at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with First Class Honours in Medical Sciences and Neuroscience before completing clinical Training at Oxford University Clinical School, Ophthalmology Residency in Cambridge and Clinical and Research Fellowships in Glaucoma at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and the Wilmer Eye Institute in Baltimore. He has been a local Chief Investigator for over 10 glaucoma clinical trials in the UK and co-founded the Cambridge Eye Research Centre as a Clinical Trials Unit in 2018.
In 2010, Professor Martin won the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research Translational Research Award, an international prize to a researcher from any country under the age of 50 years whose research is judged to have the potential to lead to major breakthroughs in the treatment of eye disease. He was also a winner of the World Glaucoma Association Senior Clinician Scientist Award in 2011 and was awarded the Duke Elder Medal by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in 2017.
He is co-founder of Quethera, a Cambridge-based gene therapy company which has developed a gene therapy for glaucoma that is currently progressing towards human clinical trials.
Clinically, Professor Martin specialises in the medical and surgical management of complex glaucoma. He is currently President of the World Glaucoma Association, the largest glaucoma organisation in the world.
The Ian Constable Lecture
2019 marks the 20th anniversary of this annual lecture, which is presented by the Lions Eye Institute and the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies and honours the work of Professor Ian Constable.
Professor Constable is recognised as one of the world’s leading ophthalmic surgeons. He was appointed the Lions Foundation Chair of Ophthalmology in 1975. In 1983 Professor Constable established the Lions Eye Institute (LEI) dedicated to the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease. Today the LEI is a not-for-profit centre of excellence that combines world class scientific research into the prevention of blindness with the highest level of eye care delivery, combining the expertise of researchers and ophthalmologists.