Wilkinson-Berka laboratory: Retinal vascular biology and inflammation
Professor Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka
+61 3 9035 4499
View Professor Wilkinson-Berka's latest publications listing here
The major objective of our research is to understand the factors that lead to the major causes of vision loss and blindness across the globe. We study retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a main cause of childhood blindness and diabetic retinopathy (DR), a disease that occurs in people of working age. We have a growing interest in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which occurs in the aging population. Our research is conducted in animal models of retinopathy with the intention to translate our findings to patient studies. Our established network of basic scientists as well as clinical researchers and ophthalmologists (see below), allows this research to move forward and is enhanced by the new facilities and resources available in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne. Neovascular Retinopathies Progressive damage to the blood vessels within the retina is a major cause of vision loss in ROP, DR and neovascular AMD and involves the excessive growth of abnormal blood vessels, fluid leakage and haemorrhage. Furthermore, inflammation has emerged as an important contributor to vision loss and blood vessel damage in the retina. The pathogenesis of ROP, DR and AMD involve a number of biological pathways that may interact to induce and exacerbate disease in the retina.
Our research program focusses on the vasoactive and oxidative stress factors that contribute to retinal vasculopathy, as well as how adaptive and innate immune systems influence retinal disease. We use dietary, pharmacological and molecular approaches as potential treatment strategies for vision-threatening retinopathies.
The projects available fall into three main themes:
- Dietary interventions, the immune system and retinopathy
- Boosting regulatory T cells to treat retinopathy
- Angiotensin and aldosterone, the immune system and retinal disease.
Professor Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka, Head, School of Biomedical Sciences and Head of Laboratory
Dr Devy Deliyanti, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Helen Jiao, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Amit Joglekar, Research Assistant
Dr Abhirup Jayasimhan, Research Assistant
Vara Suphapimol, Research Assistant
David Berka, Research Assistant
Jack Jerome, PhD student
Professors Fabienne Mackay, Director and CEO of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Queensland
Gary Anderson, University of Melbourne
Dr Berin Boughton, Metabolomics Australia Bio21, School of Biosciences, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Lyndell Lim and Dr Sanj Wickremasinghe, Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA); Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH)
Professors Sharon Ricardo, Robert Widdop, Mibel Aguilar and Dr Mark Del Borgo, Monash University
Professors Mark Cooper, Karin Jandeleit-Dahm and Associate Professor Melinda Coughlan, Department of Diabetes, Monash University
Associate Professors Margaret Hibbs and Mark Wright, Department of Immunology and Pathology, Monash University
Professor Rhian Touyz, Director, Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Scotland
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (USA)
The CASS Foundation
Bayer AG, Germany
This research project is available to PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Researchers to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
For project inquiries, contact our research group head.
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact Head of Laboratory Professor Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka
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