They conduct eye research with real-life impact. They are unravelling the causes of diseases, preventing blindness through earlier diagnosis and better treatments, and restoring sight.
They are closely affiliated with the University of Melbourne Department of Ophthalmology, and are co-located with the Department at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. This three-way partnership between CERA, the University and the Hospital, is key to the successful translation of their research from the bench to the bedside.
Their ultimate goal is to find solutions for the three major blinding eye diseases that affect Australians – macular degeneration; glaucoma and diabetic eye disease – and to pioneer vision regeneration programs to give hope to people who have lost their sight.
The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) was established in 1996 and has grown into Australia’s leading eye research institute.
Led by internationally renowned glaucoma specialist Professor Jonathan Crowston as Managing Director, CERA today has an international team of more than 140 staff and students working to save sight for millions of people worldwide affected by eye disease.
CERA’s original research focus was primarily in population health and clinical epidemiology. In recent years, the institute has built a comprehensive research program that includes a significant laboratory component. CERA now brings together real strength in basic science, clinical and population health research in an integrated program that is at the forefront of translating research into clinical practice.
In recognition of the breadth, depth and quality of its work, CERA was awarded a Centre for Clinical Research Excellence grant for Translational Clinical Research in Major Eye Diseases by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council in 2009.
CERA has also been designated as a Collaborating Centre for the Prevention of Blindness by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the only such centre in Australia.
Professor Hugh Taylor was a driving force behind the establishment of CERA and served as its Managing Director for ten years. His deputy Professor Tien Wong succeeded him in the leadership role before returning to Singapore in 2009 as Director of the Singapore Eye Research Institute. In 2009, Professor Jonathan Crowston was appointed CERA Managing Director.
The Centre for Eye Research Australia is a company limited by guarantee, governed by a Board of Directors. The Company has nine members:
The University of Melbourne
The Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
The Victorian Lions Foundation
Diabetes Australia – Vic
The Ansell Ophthalmology Foundation