Southampton eye research wins top award
A leading University of Southampton eye specialist has picked up a prestigious prize for research into age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a major cause of blindness among elderly people in developed countries.
Andrew Lotery, professor of opthalmology in the University’s School of Medicine, was presented with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Nettleship medal for the best research paper produced in the last four years.
His work, published last year in the medical journal The Lancet, identified a new genetic risk factor for AMD.
The gene, named SERPING1, is faulty in up to 25 per cent of sufferers. If repeated in larger studies, Professor Lotery and his colleagues suggest their findings might lead to the possibility of genetic screening for AMD and the development of biological agents to control it.
“I am very pleased to have been presented with such a celebrated award as the Nettleship medal for my team and my collaborator Dr Sarah Ennis’ research into AMD,” Professor Lotery said.
“The findings have proved invaluable in helping crush the belief that AMD is not genetic, with people now realising it is strongly genetic and in many cases a systemic disorder.”
Professor Lotery is supported by the Gift of Sight Appeal (www.giftofsight.org.uk) and is based at Southampton General Hospital.