How the fovea shapes our world: genetic and functional insights into foveal morphology


  • Dr Panagiotis Sergouniotis

    University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Project summary

The fovea is a specialised area at the centre of the retina, the tissue lining the back of our eyes. Despite being less than 1.5mm in diameter, it is responsible for most of our visual function, including reading and face recognition. Technology allows us to image the fovea and previous studies have highlighted that foveal appearance differs significantly in the population. We do not know what causes this variation and what implications it has for vision. This project will address this. I will study the foveal appearance in thousands of healthy volunteers and people with reduced vision. I will also perform laboratory experiments on retinal cells derived from patients' blood samples. This work will help us understand how the fovea is built and when changes in foveal structure cause reduced vision. I expect this project to inform new treatments for diseases affecting the fovea including albinism and age-related macular degeneration.