Dr Matt Rutar

Email: matthew.rutar@unimelb.edu.auPhone: 3 9035 9912Page: Find an Expert

Research Overview

Dr Matthew Rutar is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Stem Cell Systems. His research focus lies in exploring the immunological vistas of the central nervous system, in particular using the eye as a system for driving exciting insights into the role of the innate immunity and macrophage biology in health and disease. His work to date has contributed to our understanding of the events that spur inflammatory processes in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), including pathways that augment innate immunity and macrophage recruitment at the neuroimmune juncture. His current research aims will utilise induced pluripotent stem cells and synthetic biology approaches to model macrophage function and neuronal interaction in culture and in animal models of ocular disease. Ultimately, this work promises to yield new understanding into the immune biology at play in the eye whilst also offering prospects for the treatment of ocular diseases such AMD.


NHMRC New Investigator Project Grant (1127705) - The use of microRNA as novel therapeutic targets for reducing retinal inflammation and degeneration (2017)

Anatomy and Neuroscience Departmental Seed Funding (2018)

NHMRC Standard Project Grant (1165599) - Macrophages as novel targets for ameliorating deleterious complement activation in retinal degeneration (2019)

Supervisor and Collaborators

Professor Christine Wells – Supervisor

A/ Prof Alice Pebay – Collaborator

Professor Erica Fletcher – Collaborator

Professor Robyn Guymer – Collaborator

A/ Prof Michelle Madigan – Collaborator

Currently Supervising

Nadia Rajab - PhD student

Available for Supervision


Research Publications

Natoli, R., Mason. E., Jiao, H., ....Rutar, M, (2018). Dynamic Interplay of Innate and Adaptive Immunity During Sterile Retinal Inflammation: Insights From the Transcriptome. Frontiers in Immunology.

Natoli, R. Fernando, F., Jiao, H.,…. Rutar, M, (2017). Retinal Macrophages Synthesize C3 and Activate Complement in AMD and in Models of Focal Retinal Degeneration. Investigative Ophthalmology and Vison Science; 58 (7), 2977-2990.

Natoli, R., Fernando, N., Madigan M., Chu-Tan J., Valter, K., Provis, J., Rutar, M. (2017) Microglia-derived IL-1β promotes chemokine expression by Müller cells and RPE in focal retinal degeneration. Molecular Neurodegeneration; 12: 31.

Karlstetter, M., Scholz, R., Rutar, M., Wong, W. T., Provis, J. M., & Langmann, T. (2015). Retinal microglia: Just bystander or target for therapy? Prog Retin Eye Res, doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres. 2014.