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First in the world - Singapore scientists discover genes responsible for cornea blindness
Date:1/16/2013

atening conditions. Eye doctors can in the future through genetic analysis better manage such patients, preventing regression of their conditions.

Prof Aung Tin, Deputy Director, Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and a senior consultant ophthalmologist and Head of Glaucoma Service at Singapore National Eye Centre and a co-author of the paper, said, "This was a tremendous achievement, involving many centres from several countries around the world. Singapore played a major role in this work, especially SERI's population based studies of 10,000 Chinese, Malay and Indian people."

Assoc Prof Eranga Vithana, Associate Director, Basic and Experimental Sciences, SERI and a co-author of the paper, said, "This paper identified 6 novel genetic variants that confer increased risk of keratoconus, a condition for which genes were not very forthcoming prior to this study. It once again underlined the inevitability of large scale collaborative studies to unravel genes for common complex diseases and also the advantage of having well characterized large cohorts."

Assistant Professor Khor Chiea Chuen, Principal Investigator, Division of Human Genetics, Genome Institute of Singapore-an institute of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the paper's co-lead author, said, "Yet again, this paper underscores the power of modern genetic approaches studied in very large sample sizes in revealing the hereditable basis of normal human traits, and how the extremes of which may give rise to common diseases."

Prof Ng Huck Hui, Executive Director of the Genome Institute of Singapore said, "I am very pleased that the Genome Institute of Singapore is a part of an international effort to dissect the genetics of eye conditions such as keratoconus and glaucoma. Genomics remains a very powerful tool to identify the link between genetic variations and phenotypes. This study that focuses on central corneal thickness illustrates the value
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Contact: Winnie Lim
limcp2@gis.a-star.edu.sg
656-808-8013
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

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