The Keratoconus Research Group, which is based at the Sydney Eye Hospital, is fortunate enough to receive funding from the Foundation. Without the funding and support of the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation, the Keratoconus Research Group would not be able to continue its exploration into the causes of keratoconus.

Keratoconus is a common condition which causes significant visual disability and loss of sight of Australians. It is the most common indication for a corneal transplantation. Recent studies are suggesting that keratoconus is much more
common than previously thought and often runs in families.

Our research team includes Dr Jing Jing You, Dr Li Wen, Associate Professor Michele Madigan, Professor John McAvoy, Mr Chris Hodge and Professor Gerard Sutton (team leader). Our work has resulted in a number of new fi ndings in the
underlying cellular problems of keratoconus. We have published our fi ndings in prestigious journals such as Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology and Experimental Eye Research. We have two further publications that we expect to be in press early in 2013.

In addition to the publications, the research has been presented at meetings around the world, including the Australasian Ophthalmic and Visual Sciences meeting in Melbourne, the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology in Korea, the World Cornea Congress in Boston, the Keratoconus Research Meeting in France and the most esteemed ophthalmic research meeting in the world Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in the United States of America.

Our papers and lectures have sparked further research in the area, with our publications forming the basis of other scientists’ work around the world. Our team has also established the fi rst-ever Australian registry for patients with
keratoconus, which will form part of an Ethics Committee-approved ongoing review of patients with keratoconus. Without the support of the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation and donors in the community, this work would not be possible.

Our research is receiving international recognition and a new collaboration with Professor Charles McGhee at Auckland University has been established for further international research projects.

We are pleased to say that a book co-authored by Professor Gerard Sutton on keratoconus has been very useful for many sufferers of keratoconus. The small profits from the sale of books are put back into ongoing research in keratoconus.

Books available from kati.kenny@visioneyeinstitute.com.au or the Foundation office.

Every now and then we come across patients with complicated eye health problems which are particularly difficult to treat. Thankfully, as new technology develops, we are given the opportunity to meet these challenges more effectively.

We have just purchased the Intraocular Endoscopy Equipment for the Eye Hospital Theatres. Pictured, right, are doctors using this equipment, which now makes it possible for us to handle cases that would traditionally be considered inoperable.

Endoscopic vitreo retinal surgery is a rarely indicated procedure. Some cases involve eyes that have multiple problems and a poor prognosis. On other occasions, endoscopy makes it possible to salvage vision where other techniques cannot. It can lead to a simple solution for what otherwise would be a complicated problem.

Clearly the team were keen to acquire the equipment but the biggest challenge was fi nding the funds to add it to their arsenal. Thanks to your support, we have been able to provide $43,000 to purchase the actual equipment that was used in the trial for Sydney Eye Hospital (at considerable discount). We believe the system, which includes numerous state of the art components, is the only one of its kind in Australia, once again placing Sydney Eye Hospital at the absolute forefront of eye surgery.