Amplify: 1 - 9 June 2017


Jessica Tang

‘Surveying the silent thief of sight (glaucoma)’

Research summary:

Imagine losing your vision and not even realising it. Glaucoma is a disease that silently damages the nerve cables that connect the eye to the brain. By the time glaucoma is detected, almost half the nerve cells are lost and unrecoverable, and the race is on to rescue the remaining cells. Saving sight requires an effective surveillance system that can assess if treatment has kept the 'thief' at bay. But herein lies the problem - the current tool, called a visual exam, requires 12-24 months to determine if the treatment has worked. A more effective measure of response and glaucoma progression is clearly needed. Jessica's research looks at hand-held, portable electroretinogram (ERG) device, which endeavours to fill this gap. The ERG has the potential to revolutionise the way glaucoma is managed, allowing for more targeted, personalised medicine and testing of new therapies, which may ultimately prevent further vision loss and improve patient quality of life.


Jessica is a doctor with an interest in eye diseases. After completing her internship and residency at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, she moved to Melbourne to commence her PhD at the Centre for Eye Research Australia in the field of glaucoma. Jessica hopes that her research will change the way we monitor glaucoma, and prevent unnecessary vision loss caused by the 'silent thief' of sight.