• The Crowston Lab

Our Research

Our Objectives

The goal of our research is to understand why advancing age predisposes individuals to the loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) and from this determines new therapeutic approaches for protecting the optic nerve in glaucoma and other optic neuropathies.

Another key area of our research is to develop diagnostic tests that inform on the state of RGC health. We believe these are needed to facilitate translation of candidate neuroprotective treatments into clinical trial. Functional recovery is increasingly recognised in response to treatment in human glaucoma. We have recently completed a clinical trial demonstrating visual recovery in human glaucoma in response to nicotinamide and a larger clinical study is in train.


Study the in vivo eye injury response and recovery

We have developed an in vivo eye injury model to investigate the impact of exercise on aged retina and optic nerve, as well as its response to injury. This project aims to understand the role of ageing in glaucoma and then develop new therapeutic targets. We use rodent models of retinal injury and specialize in the technique of electrophysiology to record retinal function together with anatomical and biochemical analyses of retinal tissue such as immunohistochemistry, protein and gene expression assays.

Scientist behind this research: Dr Vicki Chrysostomou

Search for neuroprotective factors and mechanisms using in vitro models

By developing retinal cell culture and co-culture systems, we are establishing injury and senescence models to investigate on neuronal protective factors. By applying different technqiue, which include immunohistochemical staining, cell imaging, and next generation sequencing, we are diving deep into the neuroprotective mechanisms.

Scientists behind this research: Dr Katharina Bell, Dr Marion Millet, Ng Sze Woei, Samyuktha Suresh and Gayathri Karthik

Decipher the single-cell genomics underlying neuronal recovery process

This research focuses on understanding why ageing predisposes individuals to optic nerve damage in glaucoma, and developing new therapeutic approaches to boost neuronal repair. Using single-cell sequencing and proteomic analysis, we seek to study the retinal ganglion cell response and status changes at the single-cell level so as to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of functional recovery process following IOP injury.

Scientists behind this research: Dr Katharina Bell and Samyuktha Suresh