Professor Justine Smith

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1995 …2023

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Research Biography

Professor Justine Smith is an internationally recognised expert in the causes, effects and treatment of uveitis - inflammation of the eye. Her work extends to infection by parasites and viruses, and ocular cancers.

Through her research, important discoveries on the mechanisms of infectious uveitis have been made, while her laboratory research and the associated clinical trials have supported the use of biologic drugs to reduce vision loss from non-infectious uveitis.

Professor Smith is a Research Strategic Professor at Flinders University, Principal Research Fellow at SAHMRI, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and Chair of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.

She is Executive Vice-President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the world’s largest eye and vision research organisation, a past President of the American Uveitis Society, and serves on Boards of the International Council of Ophthalmology and the International Ocular Inflammation Society.

In 2017 Professor Smith was named a Superstar of STEM by Science and Technology Australia and is a passionate advocate for supporting girls and women to pursue careers in science.

Research Interests

My team studies inflammation, infection and cancer of the human eye

I have projects available for Honours, Masters and PhD level students, in the following areas:

  1. Response of human eye cells to infection with emerging viruses (Dengue virus, Zika virus, Ebola Virus): how do these viruses persist in the eye and cause inflammatory disease?
  2. Toxoplasma gondii infection of meat consumed in Australia: what is the risk of parasite infection to the Australian public?
  3. Toxoplasma gondii infection of human eye cells: How does the parasite cause retinal disease
  4. Migration mechanisms for leucocytes into the human eye: molecules that leucocytes use to enter the eye could be targeted to treat inflammation of the eye
  5. Regulation of adhesion molecules on endothelial cells inside the eye: a new way to treat blinding inflammatory eye disease
  6. Retinal lymphoma: what molecular signals attract malignant white blood cells into the eye?


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