PhD student

Adrian Valerin Cioanca

What is your current research interest?

Toll-like receptors on human choroidal melanocytes and microRNA as therapeutics for ocular inflammatory diseases and malignancies.

How long have you been in the Vision Lab?

Commencing March 2018

What is your favourite experiment?

Immunocytochemistry

What are your favourite hobbies outside of the lab?

Hike and drives

What is your favourite cuisine?

Korean

I am commencing as a PhD student in the Vision Lab at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU. I graduated from The University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Advanced Science with Honours 1st class in 2017 and then took on a research associate position at Save Sight Institute (The University of Sydney). My research so far has been investigating the expression and function of toll-like receptors (innate immune receptors) on human choroidal melanocytes. Melanocytes are traditionally thought to confer pigmentation and perform antioxidant functions. My findings suggest that these cells can also perform an immune function, and thus they may be an important player in ocular inflammation. I presented this work at two international conferences in France and Switzerland in 2017 where I won the first prize for the best paper presentation. My research project in the Vision Lab will be focusing on the potential of microRNA to reduce inflammation in the retina and eye tumours. This may lead to new treatment modalities for debilitating conditions such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration and uveal melanoma.