School of Medicine

Translational Vision Research in the Department of Ophthalmology

Cornea and Stem Cells - Associate Professor Trevor Sherwin

sherwin Assoc. Prof. Trevor Sherwin

Associate Professor Trevor Sherwin’s research focuses on the use of human tissue for vision research, aiming to translate the research into the clinical setting.

“The use of human tissue for research is challenging but hugely rewarding” he says. “The results obtained are directly applicable to the clinic however the interpretation of results is compounded by the variable factors of age, sex, lifestyle and genetics, but this is the reality of the conditions that we are trying to find therapeutics for...”

4-day-wound Stem cell spheres exhibit directed cell migration.

Trevor's research team focuses on several research themes:

  1. Corneal dystrophies. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind the pathogenesis of corneal diseases, in particular keratoconus.
  2. Corneal engineering. Establishing methods to enable the construction of ‘artificial’ corneas in vitro, aiming to supply corneal surgeons with improved tissue for transplant.
  3. Adult stem cell therapy. Evaluating the plasticity of corneal limbal stem cells for repair and replenishment of ocular tissues and for autologous grafting in optic nerve, spinal cord and brain neuronal loss.
  4. Directed cell migration. Studying a unique adult stem cell line that displays polarised growth to study the mechanisms behind organ development and aberrant processes in cell migration that are involved in diseases such as cancer.
pericentrin Modelling human stem cell spheres for corneal therapies.

Recently, Trevor has formed new collaborations with scientists with in the Department of Molecular Medicine aiming at furthering two new research areas which are offering exciting opportunities for future PhD students:

  • The use of induced pluripotent stem cells in elucidating the pathogenesis of corneal dystrophies with Associate Professor Alan Davidson.
  • Translating data from human specimens into zebrafish models of corneal dystrophies with Professor Phil Crosier and Dr Andrea Vincent.

Applicants for these projects should contact Trevor directly.

Associate Professor Trevor Sherwin has published over 60 papers in top ranking journals including the premier journals Nature, Science and Cell and has presented his work at many international venues including a prestigious open lecture at the Natural History Museum, London. Trevor’s research has attracted over $4 million dollars in funding and has received over 2500 citations in the scientific literature. Trevor also strives to maintain excellence in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and focuses on the achievements of his research students, having mentored, 8 PhD, 2 MD, 2 Masters and 8 honours students to completion. Trevor’s students have gained high honours including ‘Vice Chancellor’s prize for best Doctoral thesis’, ‘Best PhD thesis from the Faculty of Medical and Health science’, the ‘Wallath Prize for Biomedical Science’ and the ‘Phyllis Paykel Memorial Scholarship’.