Investigating the molecular regulation of neovascular eye disease

Investigating the molecular regulation of neovascular eye disease

Age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy are two leading causes of blindness in adults. In both cases, inappropriate growth of blood vessels (neovascularisation) causes damage to the retina, leading to vision-impairment.

This project will investigate the molecular pathways involved in neovascular blood vessel growth to determine how blood vessels grow abnormally in the retina. Understanding the mechanisms by which these vessels grow may open new avenues for therapy.

Skills and Techniques: This project will involve techniques in advanced imaging and image analysis. In particular, the project will develop new methods for quantitative image analysis involving methods such as machine-learning.

About our research group

My laboratory uses cutting edge techniques in genetics and imaging to understand the molecular regulation of angiogenesis: the growth and remodelling of blood vessel networks (Coultas et al, Nature 2005 438:937-945). This process has a critical role in a number of diseases including cancer and eye disease such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Recent relevant publications:

  • Watson et al, Cell Mol Life Sci 2017 doi: 10.1007/s00018-017-2577-y.
  • Watson et al, Development 2016 143(16):2973.
  • Watson et al, Cell Death Differ 2016 23(8):1371.
  • Koenig et al, Cell Death Differ 2014 21(11):1687.


Dr Leigh Coultas

Dr Leigh Coultas at a microscope
Laboratory Head
Dr Lachlan Whitehead
Systems Biology and Personalised Medicine division

Project Type: