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Grant success to further research into Australia’s leading cause of blindness

Right to left: Diana Tang and His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

Congratulations to Diana Tang, Research Fellow-Cochlear Chair for Macquarie University Hearing, who has been awarded a  grant at a prestigious event marking a 10-year milestone for research into a cure for Australia’s leading cause of blindness.

Ms Tang was among six recipients who were presented with a share of $1 million worth of funding toward age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by Australia’s Governor-General, David Hurley in a ceremony at Admiralty House last month.

The Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA)  grants will fund eight promising projects working to reduce the incidence and impact of macular disease, which affects one in seven Australians over 50. The projects will explore gene therapies, using novel imaging techniques, improving patients’ quality of life, and creating a macula in retinal organoids that could potentially help treat AMD and other macular conditions.

Ms Tang and her MQ Hearing team project will focus on development, implementation and evaluation of an online movement, interaction and nutrition program for people with AMD.

“Our study will pilot a diet, exercise and social interaction program designed to boost the mental and physical wellbeing of people living with AMD,” Ms Tang says.

Celebrating MDFA’s 20th anniversary and a decade of the MDFA Research Grants Program, this $1m investment brings MDFA’s total commitment to $5.1m since 2011. MDFA is now Australia’s largest source of research funding in the field of macular disease outside of government.

“This announcement underlines the sheer volume of gifted researchers – particularly early-career researchers – that Australia is producing,” MDFA CEO Dee Hopkins said.

“MDFA is proud to play its part in supporting and funding these rising stars.”

Applications for the grant were subject to a highly rigorous assessment process.

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