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Menzies Research Scholarship

The Pennicott Foundation Research Scholarship provides a PhD candidate with $22,500 over three years to undertake full-time research at the Menzies Research Institute in Hobart.

The current recipient, Sionne Lucas (pictured), is working with Associate Professor Kathryn Burdon on identifying genetic risk factors for keratoconus, which is an eye disease that affects the cornea at the front of the eye. She is using genome sequencing technologies to identify new genes that cause keratoconus in large families, as well as conducting detailed genetic analyses of several genes already thought to be involved. This work is enabling increased understanding of the genetics of keratoconus and the molecular causes of this blinding disease.

Associate Professor Kathryn Burdon and her colleagues are working to build a comprehensive picture of the connections between genetics and eye disease. In particular they are focusing on glaucoma, keratoconus and diabetic retinopathy. It is hoped their research can allow practitioners to better diagnose, prevent and treat these blinding conditions.