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Tuesday / June 18.
HomeminewsQuinlivan Grant Announced for Glaucoma Research

Quinlivan Grant Announced for Glaucoma Research

Glaucoma Australia and its Patron, the Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency the Honourable David Hurley, have announced the 2022 recipient of the charity’s ‘Quinlivan’ Research Grants Program.

This year’s glaucoma research grant is awarded to Dr Owen Siggs, Associate Professor at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

This study will test a new genetic risk prediction tool for glaucoma… with the ultimate aim of improving referral pathways for all glaucoma suspects

“I congratulate Dr Siggs on receiving the 2022 Quinlivan Research Grant. The work of researchers such as Dr Siggs and his team, and by Glaucoma Australia, is so important in the fight against glaucoma blindness,” the Governor-General said.

Glaucoma Australia is funding Dr Siggs’ research of genomic risk stratification to improve glaucoma suspect triage in rural primary care.

“The team and I are delighted and grateful to be named recipients of the Quinlivan Grant and thank Glaucoma Australia for their ongoing partnership and generous support. Pinpointing individuals at highest risk of glaucoma blindness is a critical challenge, particularly for those in rural, regional, and remote areas where access to specialist care is limited. We hope our project will go some way towards addressing this, and are excited to get underway,” Dr Siggs said.

He explained further, “Optometrists are often faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to refer individuals for a specialist glaucoma assessment. This is especially critical in a rural setting, where specialist glaucoma practitioners are in limited supply. This study will test a new genetic risk prediction tool for glaucoma, to determine if it can help predict outcomes in glaucoma suspects presenting to rural optometry practices, with the ultimate aim of improving referral pathways for all glaucoma suspects.”

Dr Siggs and his team will perform a world-first assessment of the utility of a glaucoma polygenic risk score to predict outcomes amongst glaucoma suspects assessed in a rural primary care setting.

“We hope the results of this study can be used to improve the ability of primary care practitioners to identify which glaucoma suspects require urgent referral to a specialist ophthalmology service, and which suspects can be monitored in a primary care setting. This could in turn improve the quality of treatment and monitoring for both high and low risk glaucoma suspects”.

Ultimately, Dr Siggs hopes this research will play a key role in both increasing the rate of early detection as well as improving the treatment experience for people living with glaucoma.

Image: Dr Owen Siggs, Associate Professor at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.