USHER in FOCUS – Usher Basics Session 2

Professor Alex Hewitt – Ophthalmologist and Research Scientist

The Genetics of Usher Syndrome, Australian Research Efforts




Professor Alex Hewitt 

Professor Alex Hewitt is a Principal Research Fellow at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and the School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania, as well as Principal Investigator at the Centre for Eye Research Australia. He is a practising ophthalmologist and in 2016 received a Research Excellence Award as the top ranked NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship applicant in Australia for his work on patient-specific stem cell lines and emerging gene-based therapies. 

The Genetics of Usher Syndrome & Australian Research Efforts 

Professor Hewitt will present the very latest on clinical research being undertaken in various research laboratories in Australia addressing strategies to slow or halt the progression of retinitis pigmentosa, the eye disease associated with Usher syndrome. He will explore the importance of genetic testing and tracking the natural progression of the disease and how these contribute to research efforts. Professor Hewitt will explain the medical interventions designed to correct the mutation or error in the Usher syndrome-causing gene as well as discuss the stages in research including preclinical studies and clinical trials, with timelines to give the audience a realistic overview of the advancements of research. 


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