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BrightFocus Research Grants Funding
Grant Funding for Alzheimer's Research
Grant Funding for Macular Degeneration Research
Grant Funding for Glaucoma Research


Macular Degeneration Research
Current Award

Dr. Chi Luu

Chi Luu, Ph.D.

Centre for Eye Research Australia, The University of Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia

Title: Improved Characterization of Early AMD Phenotype by Combining Novel Imaging, Physiological Markers and Genotypes
Non-Technical Title: Clinical Characterization of Age-related Macular Degeneration Using Novel Imaging and Functional Techniques

Robyn  Guymer, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
Centre for Eye Research Australia

Duration: July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2015
Award Type: Standard
Award Amount: $120,000


Drs. Chi Luu and Robyn Guymer’s team aims to develop realistic and effective diagnostic tests to identify individuals at risk of developing visual loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The results from this study will be crucial in the development of effective diagnostics and therapeutics in an emerging world of personalized medicine where different treatment strategies will be required for distinctly different AMD risk groups.


The goal of the project is to determine a complete phenotypic characterization of a large cohort of AMD subjects whom are at the extremes of genetic risk using novel imaging and physiological markers.

In this study, Drs. Luu and Guymer’s team will use novel imaging techniques, such as multicolor optical coherence tomography and infrared reflectance imaging, to examine the ultrastructure of the retina and detect subtle changes that are not visible through traditional color photography of the back of the eye or a routine eye examination. The team will then correlate these ultrastructural changes with the physiological (functional) changes and genetic risk. Data from this study will help to characterize the risk of disease progression. This knowledge could help to develop realistic and effective diagnostic tests and treatments for distinct subgroups of early stage AMD, and aid in the design of clinical trials.

Drs. Luu and Guymer are extremely grateful for your support on this innovative research project, which could potentially have a direct impact on the future management of AMD.


Wu Z, Ayton LN, Makeyeva G, Guymer RH, Luu CD. Impact of reticular pseudodrusen on microperimetry and multifocal electroretinography in intermediate age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 Mar 3;56(3):2100-6. doi: 10.1167/iovs.14-16210. PubMed Icon Google Scholar Icon

Investigator Biography:

Dr. Chi Luu is a Senior Research Scientist at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA), University of Melbourne, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. He is also a Deputy Head of the Macular Research Unit at CERA. Dr. Luu conducts both experimental and clinical studies in AMD. His current research focus includes identifying novel biomarkers for monitoring AMD progression, developing sensitive outcome measures for AMD treatment trials, and evaluating novel interventions for early stage of AMD.