Overview - Dr Tiarnan Keenan on AMD

15 June 16

written by:

Ade Deane-Pratt

(more articles)

Dr Keenan gives a 1-minute summary of his research on a genetic fault that increases the risk of getting age-related macular degeneration.

Dr Tiarnan Keenan is a clinical ophthalmologist at the University of Manchester. He has received many awards for his work to understand the cause of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) including the prestigious Fulbright Fight for Sight Research Award in 2013, and a Fight for Sight Clinical Fellowship.

Here’s Dr Keenan giving a 1-minute overview of his research on a genetic fault that makes AMD more likely.

What he said:

  • About 1 in 3 people with European ancestry inherit a genetic fault that makes AMD more likely. It means the eye is less able to protect itself from tissue damage by the immune system. So I was aiming to develop a treatment that could help restore this ability.
  • What we learned was that there’s a link between this genetic fault, which is in what’s known as ‘compliment factor H’ and certain substances in the eye that decrease as we age.
  • It helped to explain why some people are more at risk than others as we get older.
  • So now we’re looking at the substance heparan sulphate as a target for treatment, as having more of it around helps complement factor H protect the eye.

You can find out more about Dr Keenan’s Clinical Fellowship here:

A new approach to therapy for a common cause of blindness

1 May 10 - 1 May 13

Towards a treatment that prevents age-related macular degeneration

Find out more