Medical & Health Sciences in Perth
Lions Eye Institute – a cure for blindness?
Perth’s Lions Eye Institute (LEI) continues to lead the way in the field of ophthalmology. LEI employs 150 scientists, clinicians and support staff. It conducts world class scientific research into blindness and incorporates one of Australia’s largest ophthalmic practices. LEI was responsible for breakthrough treatments for retinal bypass procedures and developed the world’s first ophthalmic robotic ultra-microsurgery and artificial human corneal implant. Clinical trials for gene therapy to cure blindness begin in 2013.
Ear Science Institute Australia – from the laboratory to the community
A world-renowned research centre and clinical practice, Ear Science Institute Australia (ESIA) has been operating in Perth since 2001. ESIA specialises in research around hearing disorders and is currently developing ways to repair and engineer the human tympanic membrane (‘ear drum’). ESIA also works with the community in education and medical programs, and works to translate the findings of research into clinical practice.
Burns technology – more than just spray-on skin
The groundbreaking burns treatment ReCell, also known as ‘spray-on skin’, was developed by Perth burns specialist Professor Fiona Wood. The Fiona Wood Foundation continues its research into the miraculous technology, which uses body’s own cells in a regenerative process. ReCell technology has now been picked up by European researchers for use beyond burns treatments, for chronic wounds and lower-limb ulcers, with great success.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease research – working together for better treatment
A joint initiative of the Western Australian government and Edith Cowan University is conducting world-first research on the use of fish oils and testosterone in the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in men. World-renowned expert Professor Ralph Martins, from Perth’s McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, is leading the research team.
Biotechnology – attracting international attention and investment
A revolutionary new treatment for pancreatic cancer, Oncosil, has recently received funding for clinical trials from global Life Science researcher NeuroDiscovery. Oncosil was developed by WA-founded researcher pSivida, and has already undergone some clinical trials, showing great promise for the future treatment of this cancer.
Genetic therapy – a world first in medical research
Professors Sue Fletcher and Steve Wilton from the University of Western Australia have collaborated with American company Sarepta Therapeutics in a research licensing agreement which could see the first genetic drug produced from WA research. The two professors are developing a world first drug which will help boys suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. If the research is successful, they foresee applications across a range of conditions, including asthma and cystic fibrosis.