Glaucoma is a blinding neurodegenerative illness that is responsible for a significant proportion of the worlds blindness. World wide its prevalence is growing, as the population ages, and the number of people with glaucoma is expected to reach 80 million world wide by the end of the decade.

Within Australia, according to Glaucoma Australia, the total annual cost of glaucoma to society is expected to reach over 4.3 billion dollars by the year 2025 

Currently eye specialists have limited options for the treatment of glaucoma. The only therapeutics available for glaucoma are pressure lowering medications. Clearly these medications have benefits in a significant proportion of the population with glaucoma but their limitation lies in the fact that they only address one risk factor involved in the illness. Moreover, for a significant number of patients, pressure within the eye is not abnormal suggesting that pressure is unlikely to be a big factor in the development of their disease.

This research project aims to assess how host microbiota interactions may provide a new avenue for the development of neuroprotective therapeutics for glaucoma. Given that glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease, it is our opinion that a therapeutic option that boosts the neuroprotective response to the pathology is likely to have benefit to the broad population of people that suffer with glaucoma.

This travel grant will support Zac’s travel to work under the supervision and tutelage of Professor Sven Pettersson. Professor Sven Pettersson is Professor of Metabolic Diseases at Lee Kong Chain School of Medicine at NTU in Singapore.


Zachery McPherson, Associate Professor Mark McEvoy, Laureate Professor Nick Talley

Research Area 
Project type 
Travel Grant
Year of funding