Reeva Nadkar is one of our PhD students who works in Professor Robyn Jamieson’s Eye Genetics Unit here at Children’s Medical Research Institute, where the team are passionate about finding therapies for inherited retinal conditions, like Stargardt disease.
Stargardt starts as blurriness caused by small black spots that affects central vision, and as the condition progresses, the patient will eventually lose their entire central vision, leaving only their peripheral vision.
Reeva is on the Rosemary Raymer Scholarship, a prestigious scholarship for PhD students in the Eye Genetics Research Unit.
My area of focus for my research is around Stargardt disease, which is an age-related macular degenerative condition
Reeva’s research aims to find therapies for inherited retinal conditions by looking at the ABCA4 gene, which is known to cause an autosomal recessive form of Stargardt disease, and as a part of her research will be aiming to re-classify variants in ABCA4 that currently don’t have a known role in the disease.
Alongside this, Reeva will also be looking to design a gene therapy approach for a common pathogenic variant in the PROM1 gene, which causes the autosomal dominant form of Stargardt disease.
While Reeva’s hard work and passion got her the scholarship, it’s thanks to one of our generous supporters, the late Beryl Raymer, that the scholarship can be awarded. Beryl left a gift in her Will to in memory of her late sister Rosemary, who herself suffered from an eye disease which led to blindness, which helps to fund the lab that keeps the research going.
As the recipient of this scholarship, I feel very honoured and grateful to Beryl and her family for their generous contribution that will support my research endeavours
If you would like to see just how important Reeva’s research is to young children with Stargardt disease, please read Arato’s story here. He’s 12 years old and his vision has already begun to deteriorate, but he’s an amazing tennis player, recently representing Australia internationally. Unfortunately, the cost of an inherited retinal disease can be up to $5.2M over a persons lifetime.
This is why Reeva’s research is so important.