Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Ocular Tissue Engineering Laboratory


Dr. Fred Chen

Ocular Tissue Engineering Laboratory
Lions Eye Institute, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

Haemorrhage in front of the retina treated with YAG laser hyaloidotomy

Area of Expertise

The Ocular Tissue Engineering Laboratory, established in 2012, is a translational pipeline that brings clinical problems to the laboratory to solve using stem cells and gene editing technology and novel image analysis algorithm measure subtle disease progression in multimodal retinal images. The disease in focus is retinal degeneration including macular degeneration and inherited retinal disease. Dr Chen brings his experience in conducting clinical trials, validating endpoint measures, performing retinal surgery, interpretation of retinal images to the group which consists of clinical fellow, biophysicist, stem cell biologist and molecular biologists. In collaboration with disease registries and other groups with expertise in developing gene based therapies, the Ocular Tissue Engineering Laboratory is in a unique position to identify most suitable patient for testing novel therapeutics developed through these collaborations.

Top 5 Recent Publications

  1. McLenachan S, Zhang D, Hao E, Zhang L, Chen S-C, Chen FK. Human limbal neurospheres prevent photoreceptor cell death in a rat model of retinal degeneration. Clin Experiment Ophthalmol accepted 2017 March 3rd
  2. Chen FK, Chew AL, Zhang D, Chen S-C, Chelva E, Chandrasekera E, Koay EMH, Forrester J, McLenachan S. Acute progressive paravascular placoid neuroretinopathy with negative type electroretinopathy in paraneoplastic retinopathy. Documenta Ophthalmologica 2017 134(3):227-235
  3. Sampson DM, Gon P, An D, Menghini M, Hansen A, Mackey DA, Sampson DD, Chen FK. Axial length variation impacts on superficial retinal vessel density and foveal avascular zone area measurements using optical coherence tomography angiography. IOVS accepted May 3rd 2017
  4. Lek JJ, Brassington KH, Luu CD, Chen FK, Arnold JJ, Heriot WJ, Durkin SR, Chakravarthy U, Guymer RH. Sub-threshold nanosecond laser intervention in intermediate age-related macular degeneration. Study design and baseline characteristics of the laser in early stages of age-related macular degeneration (LEAD) study. LEAD Report Number 1. Ophthalmology Retina 2017;1(3):227-239
  5. Chen FK, McLenachan S, Edel M, Da Cruz L, Coffey PJ, Mackey DA. iPS cells for modelling and treatment of retinal diseases. J. Clin Med 2014;3(4):1511-1541

Recent Grant Successes

  1. Centre of Research Excellence: National Health and Medical Research Council – From discovery to therapy in genetic eye disease 2017-2021
  2. Project grant: National Health and Medical Research Council – Young adult myopia: genetic and environmental associations 2017-2020
  3. Project grant: Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia – Stem cell therapy for age-related macular degeneration 2017
  4. Project grant: National Health and Medical Research Council – A fibroin-based prosthetic Bruch’s membrane for treatment of age-related macular degeneration 2015-2017
  5. Project grant: Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia – Developing personalised disease modelling for testing novel treatment in RP1 mutation 2016

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