The blog of the Institute of Ageing & Chronic Disease

If you’re interested in how people and animals move, see, eat and age, and what we can do when things go wrong, then this blog is for you.

This is a behind the scenes look at the latest research and activities from the Institute of Ageing & Chronic Disease. We’d love to hear your questions and comments.


Antimicrobial contact lens development - an update

Posted on: 31 January 2018 | Category: 2017 posts

The hydrogel used to make contact lenses

You might remember that last year we announced that a project led by Professor Rachel Williams successfully applied to the Medical Research Council’s Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme to fund the development of an antimicrobial contact lens. The lens, which is naturally antimicrobial, has applications for post-surgery infection prevention. The gels can also incorporate antibiotics and antifungals to treat microbial keratitis, one of the commonest conditions affecting the cornea. It is now month four of the project and staff have made real progress.


Treating AMD through cell transplantation

Posted on: 29 January 2018 | Category: 2017 posts

Section of a scan of a healthy retina

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a debilitating condition which results in the loss of central vision. More than 600,000 people in the UK alone are affected by it, and in the developed world it is the most common cause of sight loss. Staff at Eye & Vision Science are working with colleagues at St Paul’s Eye Unit and the University’s School of Engineering to develop a new surgical treatment for AMD which could radically change the lives of people with both the wet and dry forms of the condition.


Outreach event for primary school children

Posted on: 28 November 2017 | Category: 2017 posts

Whole class of primary school children outside William Henry Duncan Building

“Inspiring, educational, awesome, factual, exhilarating, incredible, epic, fab….” These are some of the ways the children described their visit to the Institute, following the IACD Junior Science Lab on 28 November. The theme for the opening session was “The Giant Cardiovascular System”, with demonstrations and hands-on activities to explore the physiology of blood cells and circulation, the eye, and the brain. Twenty-nine Year Six children (aged 10-11) and four members of staff from St Thomas CE School (Lydiate) were amazed by their experience and excited about what they learned. Whilst 50% of the children reported previously having visited a university, only 32% had ever met a scientist before their visit.


Workshop on chemical cross-linking for the treatment of keratoconus

Posted on: 22 November 2017 | Category: 2017 posts

A group of smiling Indian and European people

A workshop was organised by Eye & Vision Science staff with experts at the Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai, India to discuss the findings of a project that aims to develop a new chemical cross-linker to treat keratoconus. The workshop, on November 18th 2017, featured speakers including Professor Rachel Williams (front, second left), Professor Colin Willoughby and Dr Atikah Haneef (front, second right) from Eye and Vision Science and clinicians from across India. The workshop was funded by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council under the Translational Alliance Program Scheme.


Ageing workshop & symposium

Posted on: 6 November 2017 | Category: 2017 posts

A room of people watching a presentation entitled 'what is ageing?'

On the 26th and 27th October 2017, our lab (the Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, led by Dr. João Pedro de Magalhães), organised a two day scientific symposium and workshop to bring together scientists researching the field of ageing.


Microbial keratitis in Malawi

Posted on: 30 October 2017 | Category: 2017 posts

Image of a standing African man in a white coat attending to the eye of a seated African man

Microbial keratitis is an infection of the cornea that may lead to ulcers, scarring and loss of sight. The risk factors and organisms that cause microbial keratitis are unknown in Malawi meaning that treatment is limited and outcomes are poor. One of the barriers to identifying the organisms responsible has been the difficulty in collecting samples from the cornea. This has depended on the use of sharp instruments and specialist equipment, which are not available in resource deprived settings as you find in Malawi. Dr Tobi Somerville, also of St Paul’s Eye Unit, recently tested a novel method for identifying the cause of the infection.


Diagnosing malaria in comatose children

Posted on: 23 October 2017 | Category: 2017 posts

A man looks down a large camera into the eyes of a child laying on a bed - the room is dark

Great strides have been taken in the battle against malaria – the biggest killer of African children under five years of age – but still around 450,000 children die from the disease every year. Many of those children will slip into a short coma during their illness; around 15% of them will die and a further 15% will suffer a neurological disability. It is therefore imperative that an accurate diagnosis is made as quickly as possible so that treatment can begin.


Tackling blindness in Malawi

Posted on: 16 October 2017 | Category: 2017 posts

Dr Nankwenya shows young nurses how to treat a diabetic patient

Staff from Eye & Vision Science recently visited the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme in Blantyre, Malawi, one of five Wellcome Major Overseas Programmes. This first post on their visit examines the dramatic rise of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in Malawi and the programme’s efforts to tackle the problem.


Launch of the ONWARD Network

Posted on: 2 October 2017 | Category: 2017 posts

Logo featuring an eye and the word 'ONWARD'

The National Institute for Health Research (the research arm of the NHS) Ophthalmology Speciality Group has given its approval to support a national strategy, in collaboration with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, for supporting Trainee Research Networks. In the Liverpool region, Dr Neeru Vallabh (Glaucoma Research Fellow) will be leading.


At the European Conference of Machine Learning, Macedonia

Posted on: 27 September 2017 | Category: 2017 posts

Evening shot of a bridge over a river

Machine learning can be applied to medical images for enhanced medical diagnosis. The complex challenge of high-level analysis creates a necessity to improve machine learning theory itself. The Centre for Research in Image Analysis (CRiA) team at IACD used the problem of fundus image diagnosis to devise a theoretical solution to large image analysis. As a PhD student presenting at my first conference outside the UK I will briefly talk about my experience at the recent ECML conference and about the work I presented.


    Blog

    Antimicrobial contact lens development - an update

    Posted on: 31 January 2018 | Category: 2017 posts

    The hydrogel used to make contact lenses

    You might remember that last year we announced that a project led by Professor Rachel Williams successfully applied to the Medical Research Council’s Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme to fund the development of an antimicrobial contact lens. The lens, which is naturally antimicrobial, has applications for post-surgery infection prevention. The gels can also incorporate antibiotics and antifungals to treat microbial keratitis, one of the commonest conditions affecting the cornea. It is now month four of the project and staff have made real progress.


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