Yvette Wooff, PhD
I completed my PhD in December 2020 in the Clear Vision Research group, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, and now work as an early-career postdoctoral fellow in the same lab group. I have a research focus investigating innate immune pathways implicated in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), specifically on the role of extracellular vesicles (EV) in modulating the immune response in health and degeneration. During three separate periods of career disruption totalling 18 months to start and raise a family, I published ten manuscripts (four as a first-author), attended eight conferences (including four international), and secured independent funding for my work on EV as mediators of microglial polarization, and on profiling the EV proteome. I have been successful in developing technical expertise in the fields of vision sciences, retinal biology, microRNA (miRNA), innate immunity, and EV throughout my career, which combined will enable me to lead the innovative and translational project investigating autologous EV-miRNA-based gene therapies for the treatment of AMD. Specifically, I have developed a world-first technique for the isolation of retinal EV, which places myself and my research team at the forefront of this emerging scientific field in understanding EV's role and therapeutic potential in AMD.