Macular Research Unit

Research Overview

The Macular Research unit at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) is a leading research team focusing on the most common cause of vision impairment in people aged over 50 years in Australia - Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The group is headed by Professor Robyn Guymer, an internationally renowned medical retinal ophthalmologist and clinician. Prof Guymer's research is focused on finding novel ways to assess, monitor and treat this devastating eye disease.  She also collaborates to investigate underlying mechanisms invovled in disease pathogenesis.


Professor Robyn Guymer, Group Leader, Professor

Assoc/Prof Chi Luu, Deputy Group Leader, Associate Professor -

Dr Penelope Allen - Senior Research Scientist

Dr Carla Abbott, Research Fellow

Dr Lauren Ayton, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Jia Jia Lek, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Associate Professor Peter Keller

Miss Kate Brassington- Clincal trials Coordinator/ Orthoptist

Miss Emily Caruso - Clinical Trials Coordinator/Orthoptist

Miss Elizabeth Baglin - Clinical Trials Coordinator/Orthoptist

Mrs Pyrawy Sivarajah - Clinical Trials Orthoptist

Dr Galina Makeyeva - Research Assistant

Dr Khin Zaw Aung - Scientist

Dr Luba Robman - Senior Research Scientist

Ms Melinda Cain - Clinical Research Manager

Dr Amy Cohn - Senior Research Fellow

Ms Nicole Tindill - Database Manager

Ms Sue Griffin - Executive  Assistant


Professor Darren Kelly, OccuRX

Associate Professor Erica Fletcher, University of Melbourne

Professor Steven Krillis, Department of Infections Disease, Immunology and Sexual Health, St George Hospital, NSW

Professor Ted Maddess, ARC Centre for Excellence in Vision Science, NSW

Martin Pera, Chair of Stem Cell Sciences at University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Fred Chen, Lions Eye Institute, W.A.

Dr Jenny Arnold, Marsden Eye Specialists

Professor Anthony Burkitt, Bionic Vision Australia

Professor Jim Wiley and Dr Ben Gu, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Professor Graham Giles and Dallas English, Cancer Council of Victoria.

Associate Professor Mark Gillies, University of Sydney.

Professor John Hopper, Centre for Genetic Epidemiology, University of Melbourne.

Victor Previn, Ellex Australia, Adelaide, South Australia.

Professor Rob Shepperd, Peter Blamey, Bionic Ear Institute.

Drs Gregg Suaning and Nigell Lovell, School of Biomedical Engineering, UNSW

Professors Steven Prawer, John Morley and M Ibbitson – Bionic Vision Australia

Associate Professor Algis Vingrys, Department of Optometry and Visual Sciences. University of Melbourne

Emeritus Professor Alan Bird, Moorfields Eye Hospital. UK

Dr David Birch, Retina Foundation of the Southwest, USA

Professor Emily Chew, National Eye Institute, Maryland, USA

Professor Usha Chakravarthy, The Queens University, Belfast

Dr Karl Csaky, Retina Foundation of the Southwest

Frederick Ferris, National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Professor Martin Friedlander, The Scripps Research Institute, California, USA

Professor Gregory Hageman, University of Iowa. USA

Professor Frank Holz, University of Bonn, Germany

Philip Luthert, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

Professor Phil Rosenfeld, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, USA


Current NHMRC Support

2016-2020NHMRC Research Fellowship (GNT1103013)  $828,300.00  Age-related macular degeneration: A cause and a cure . CIA Robyn Guymer

2016-2013NHMRC Development Grant (APP1113654)  $366,300 Novel ways of treating angiogenesis in the eye.  CID Robyn Guymer

2015-2017NHMRC Project Grant (APP10832358)  $1,182,255.25. Safety and Efficacy of a Surgically Implanted Suprachoroidal Retinal Prosthesis ("Bionic Eye") – AI – Robyn Guymer

2015-2017NHMRC Project Grant (APP 1084081) $547,179.70.  Novel functional imaging for age-related macular degeneration – CIB Robyn Guymer

2014-2016NHMRC Project Grant (APP1060323)  $630,558.  Oxidation of complement proteins and AMD – CIA Prof Steven Krilis; AI Robyn Guymer

2014-2016NHMRC: Project Grant (APP 1063458) - $552,562.  Novel functional testing for macular degeneration.  CIA Prof Ted Maddess;  AI Prof Robyn Guymer

2014-2016NHMRC: Project Grant (APP1061419)  $659,890.  The role of purines in age related macular degeneration. CIA Assoc Prof Erica Fletcher CIC Robyn Guymer.

2014-2017NHMRC: Project Grant (APP1059369)  552,562.  Uncovering the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration using induced pluripotent stem cells.  CIA Alice Pebay CIB Robyn Guymer

2013-2016NHMRC: Project Grant (APP10511625):  $991,797.06  Project Title:  Low dose aspirin and age-related macular degeneration: randomised controlled trial.  CIA Prof John McNeil (Monash University) CIB Robyn Guymer                                                                     

2016Macular Disease Foundation: $200,000

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Publications


1.Ayton LN, Guymer RH, Allen PJ, Luu CD. Bionic Eyes:  Vision Restoration Through Electronic or Photovoltaic Stimulation. In: Pebay A, editor. Regenerative Biology of the Eye: Humana Press; 2014. p. 257-74.

Peer reviewed journal articles

1.Wu ZC, Ayton LN, Luu CD, Baird PN, Guymer RH. Reticular Pseudodrusen in Intermediate Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Prevalence, Detection, Clinical, Environmental, and Genetic Associations. IOVS. 2016;57(3):1310-6.

2.Wu Z, Guymer RH, Finger RP. Low luminance deficit and night vision symptoms in intermediate age-related macular degeneration. Brit J Ophthalmol. 2016;100(3):395-8.

3.Qi M, Abdelatti M, Krilis M, Madigan MC, Weaver J, Guymer RH, et al. Do Beta 2-Glycoprotein I Disulfide Bonds Protect the Human Retina in the Setting of Age-Related Macular Degeneration? Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2016;24(1):32-8.

4.McGuinness MB, Karahalios A, Simpson JA, Guymer RH, Robman LD, Hodge AM, et al. Past physical activity and age-related macular degeneration: the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Brit J Ophthalmol. 2016 January 19, 2016.

5.Greferath U, Guymer RH, Vessey KA, Brassington K, author) FEGRijf. Correlation of histological features with in-vivo imaging of reticular pseudodrusen. Ophthalmology. 2016;Accepted for publication 2/2/2016.

6.Fritsche LG, Igl W, Bailey JNC, Grassmann F, Sengupta S, Bragg-Gresham JL, et al. A large genome-wide association study of age-related macular degeneration highlights contributions of rare and common variants. Nat Genet. 2016;48(2):134.

7.Finger RP, Chong E, McGuinness MB, Robman LD, Aung KZ, Giles G, et al. Reticular Pseudodrusen and Their Association with Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Ophthalmology. 2016;123(3):599-608.

8.Arnold JA MC, Kurstjens NP, Guymer RH. The role of sub-retinal fluid in determining treatment outcomes in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration - a phase IV randomised clinical trial with ranibizumab: the FLUID study. BMC Ophthalmology. 2016;16(31).

9.Aplin FP, Vessey KA, Luu CD, Guymer RH, Shepherd RK, Fletcher EL. Retinal changes in an ATP-induced model of retinal degeneration. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. 2016 2016-April-29;10. English.

10.Wu ZC, Ayton LN, Luu CD, Guymer RH. Longitudinal Changes in Microperimetry and Low Luminance Visual Acuity In Age-related Macular Degeneration Jama Ophthalmology. 2015;133(4):442-448

11.Wu Z, Luu CD, Ayton LN, Guymer RH. Re: Wu et al.: Optical coherence tomographyLdefined changes preceding the development of drusen-associated atrophy in age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmology. 2015;Author Reply(121):2415-22.

12.Wu Z, Luu CD, Ayton LN, Goh JKS, Lucci LM, Hubbard WC,Hageman J, Hageman G, Guymer RH. Fundus Autofluorescence Characteristics of Nascent Geographic Atrophy in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest Ophth Vis Sci. 2015;56(3):1546-52.

13.Wu Z, Jung CJ, Ayton LN, Luu CD, Guymer RH. Test-retest repeatability of microperimetry at the border of deep scotomas. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015;56(4):2606-11.

13.Wu Z, Guymer RH, Jung CJ, Goh JK, Ayton LN, Luu CD, et al. Measurement of Retinal Sensitivity on Tablet Devices in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Translational vision science & technology. 2015;4(3).

14.Wu Z, Guymer RH, Finger RP. Low luminance deficit and night vision symptoms in intermediate age-related macular degeneration. Brit J Ophthalmol. 2015,100(3):395-398

15.Wu Z, Ayton LN, Luu CD, Guymer RH. Microperimetry of Nascent Geographic Atrophy in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015;56(1):115-21.

16.Wu Z, Ayton LN, Makeyeva G, Guymer RH, Luu CD. Impact of Reticular Pseudodrusen on Microperimetry and Multifocal Electroretinography in Intermediate Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015;56(3):2100-6..

17.Wickremasinghe SS, Janakan V, Sandhu SS, Amirul-Islam FM, Abedi F, Guymer RH. Implication of recurrent or retained fluid on optical coherence tomography for visual acuity during active treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration with a treat and extend protocol. Retina (Philadelphia, Pa). 2015. Epub Dec 11, 2015

18.Stavert B, McGuinness MB, Harper CA, Guymer RH, Finger RP. Cardiovascular Adverse Effects of Phenylephrine Eyedrops: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015 133 (6) 647-52

19.Robman LD, Islam FMA, Chong EWT, Adams MKM, Simpson JA, Aung KZ, Makeyeva GA, Hopper JL, English DR, Giles GG, Baird PN, Guymer RH. Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Ethnically Diverse Australia: Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Ophthal Epidemiol. 2015;22(2):75-84..

20.Richard G, Monés J, Wolf S, Korobelnik JF, Guymer R, Goldstein M, et al. Scheduled versus Pro Re Nata Dosing in the VIEW Trials. Ophthalmology. 2015;122(12):2497-503

21.Razavi H, Arnold J, Guymer R. To dry or not too dry: should we be more tolerant of stable subretinal fluid in patients receiving anti-vascular endothelial growth factor treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration? Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology. 2015;43(8):707-10.

22.Osthoff M, Dean MM, Baird PN, Richardson AJ, Daniell M, Guymer RH, et al. Association Study of Mannose-Binding Lectin Levels and Genetic Variants in Lectin Pathway Proteins with Susceptibility to Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Case-Control Study. PloS one. 2015;10(7):e0134107.

23.O'Hare F, Bentley SA, Wu Z, Guymer RH, Luu CD, Ayton LN. Charles Bonnet Syndrome in Advanced Retinitis Pigmentosa. Ophthalmology. 2015 ;122(9);1951-3

24.Nguyen TT, Guymer R. Conbercept (KH-902) for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2015 Sep;8(5):541-8.

25.Jobling AI, Guymer RH, Vessey KA, Greferath U, Mills SA, Brassington K, et al. Nanosecond laser therapy reverses pathological and molecular changes in age-related macular degeneration without retinal damage. FASEBJ. 2015;29(2):696-710.

26.Guymer R, Cipriani T, Rittenhouse KD, Lim L, Robman LD, Li W, et al. Plasma levels of amyloid beta and other proinflammatory mediators in patients with age-related macular degeneration. Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 2015:253(8)1347-1354..

27.Gisbert R, Mones J, Korobelnik JF, Wolf S, Guymer RH, Goldstein M, et al. Scheduled versus Pro Re Nata (PRN) Dosing in the VIEW Trials Ophthalmology. 2015,122(12)2497-503Gillies MC, Campain A, Barthelmes D, Simpson JM, Arnold JJ, Guymer RH, et al. Long-Term Outcomes of Treatment of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Data from an Observational Study. Ophthalmology. 2015;122(9):1837-45.

28.Gillies MC, Campain A, Walton R, Simpson JM, Arnold JJ, Guymer RH, et al. Time to Initial Clinician-Reported Inactivation of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treated Primarily with Ranibizumab. Ophthalmology. 2015;122(3):589-94.e1.

29.Fritsche LG, Igl W, Bailey JNC, Grassmann F, Sengupta S, Bragg-Gresham JL, … Guymer RH et al. A large genome-wide association study of age-related macular degeneration highlights contributions of rare and common variants. Nat Genet. 2015;48(2):134.

30.Finger RP, Chong E, McGuinness MB, Robman LD, Aung KZ, Giles G,Baird PN, Guymer RH. Reticular Pseudodrusen and Their Association with Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Ophthalmology. 2015;123(3):599-608

31.Fenwick EK, O'Hare F, Deverell L, Ayton LN, Luu CD, McSweeney S, Bentley SA, Guymer RH, Finger RP.. Rasch Analysis of the Independent Mobility Questionnaire. Optometry and vision science: official publication of the American Academy of Optometry. 2015;93(2):181-7.

32.Chong EW, Wang YY, Robman LD, Aung KZ, Makeyeva GA, Giles GG, Graves S, Cicuttini FM, Guymer RH. Age Related Macular Degeneration and Total Hip Replacement Due to Osteoarthritis or Fracture: Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. Plos One. 2015 Sep 10;10(9).

33.Chong EW, Amirul Islam FM, Robman LD, Aung KZ, Richardson AJ, Baird PN, Guymer RH. Age-Related Macular Degeneration Phenotypes Associated with Mutually Exclusive Homozygous Risk Variants in Cfh and Htra1 Genes. Retina. 2015 35(5):989-98

34.Barthelmes D, Walton R, Campain AE, Simpson JM, Arnold JJ, McAllister IL, Guymer RH, et al. Outcomes of persistently active neovascular age-related macular degeneration treated with VEGF inhibitors: observational study data. Br J Ophthalmol. 2015 Mar;99(3):359-64.

35.Barthelmes D, Arnold JJ, Campain A, Simpson JM, Guymer R, Hunyor A, et al. Two Year Outcomes of "Treat And Extend" Intravitreal Therapy for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Ophthalmology. 2015;122 (16): 1212-1219

36.Barthelmes D, Campain AE, Arnold JJ, McAllister I, Simpson JM, Hunyor AP, Guymer RH et al. Effects of Switching from Ranibizumab to Aflibercept on Visual Outcome, Lesion Activity and Treatment Intensity in Eyes with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest Ophth Vis Sci. 2015;56(7):4589-4589.

37.Barnes NM, Scott AF, Stacey A, McCarthy C, Feng D, Petoe MA, Ayton LN, Dengate R, Guymer RH, Walker J. Enhancing object contrast using augmented depth improves mobility in patients implanted with a retinal prosthesis. Invest Ophth Vis Sci. 2015;56(7):755-755.

Peer reviewed journal articles as member of study group

1.Slater KD, Sinclair NC, Nelson TS, Blamey PJ, McDermott HJ, Bionic Vision Australia Consortium, et al. neuroBi: A highly configurable neurostimulator for a retinal prosthesis and other applications. IEEE Journal of Translation Engineering in Health and Medicine. 2015;Accepted for publication 3/7/2015

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor Robyn Guymer

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Macular Research Unit