Dr Audra Shadforth is the Bette Forgan-Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Queensland Eye Institute (QEI) focussed on understanding the development of age-related eye diseases in order to design new therapy options for patients. Being able to alleviate suffering and restore hope is at the forefront of her research goals. Dr Shadforth joined QEI in 2009 as a research assistant with Professor Damien Harkin, and her research work over the last decade has included the evaluation of biomaterials designed for use in ocular tissue reconstruction, through to preliminary development of a cell-based therapy for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dr Shadforth’s work has gained national and international attention which has translated into significant competitive grant funding and important strategic collaborations for the research group.
Dr Shadforth’s current research project is focussed on characterising the important mechanisms of wound healing in the choroidal vasculature – the blood vessels that supply the outer retina. Pathologies of the outer retina can cause devastating visual impairments such as those in AMD, and fresh innovative research approaches are required to address this devastating condition.
Over the last 10 years Dr Shadforth has also taught human biology to undergraduate university students. She is a passionate educator and relishes every opportunity to inspire the next generation to become critical thinkers and lifelong learners. Dr Shadforth earned a PhD in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) from the University of Queensland.