Dr Alex Hewitt

Lions Eye Institute, University of Western Australia
Research Field: Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Glaucoma has been labelled the ‘sneak-thief of sight’ because many people remain undiagnosed until irreversible vision loss occurs. In the past two years Dr Hewitt’s team have made important genetic discoveries, which have dramatically improved our understanding of how glaucoma develops. They are now working to develop new treatments for glaucoma using induced pluripotent stem cells. This means we can examine the development of a disease in tissue, such as the retina, which cannot be easily obtained from a living person. We are using this technique to uncover the pathways for glaucoma, hopefully leading to new therapies.

Alex is quick to share with many groups about his research findings. He has spoken at Lions Club and Rotary meetings as well as at Glaucoma Australia community forums. He has also given podium presentations at many national and international scientific meetings. He volunteered in surgical outreach clinics as part of the East Timor Eye Program.