Research appeal

“There is more research all the time and it is so important to keep this going to prevent future generations from getting macular disease. For every generation there is more hope." - Josephine Naldrett


Josephine Naldrett, aged 82, was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) 31 years ago. She said: “My father and his sister were diagnosed with AMD aged 47. I was 51 when my eyes started to deteriorate. Unfortunately there must be a faulty gene in our family.

“With more research, there will hopefully be more treatment available.”


How your donation will help...Scientist in lab

£5 buys a bag of microcentrifuge tubes for collecting valuable samples 
£20 buys an essential nutrient, retinoic acid, for the growth of retinal cells
£30 buys an hour of confocal microscopy time for studying sub-cellular processes
£200 buys a bottle of media for growing stem cells 
£1,800 buys a cell reprogramming kit to turn skin cells into stem cells.

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Macular Society funded research projects

Professor Lako’s, Newcastle University
Understanding the role of autophagy in AMD

This project aims to understand how autophagy – the removal of cell waste – affects the RPE, cells that help us see. Changes in the RPE are closely linked to the development of AMD. Researchers will investigate how well cell recycling happens in these cells, aiming to identify whether changes in this process are causing AMD, or are a consequence of it. This project will help identify which step in the recycling process is affected in AMD, and whether drugs promoting cellular recycling can prevent or slow the disease.

Headshot of Robin WalkerProfessor Robin Walker, Royal Holloway University of London
Investigating reading with a loss of central vision.

This project will provide an evaluation of reading performance among people with AMD when using text presented on a moving electronic display, as opposed to a static screen or printed page. A second theme will examine the effectiveness of using an iPad or tablet with scrolling text as a device for training people in the eccentric reading technique, to inform and improve the training offered by the Macular Society. 

Head shot of Dr Clare ThetfordDr Clare Thetford, University of Central Lancashire 
Identifying best practice in the delivery of peer support groups: learning from the lived experience of Macular Society support groups.

The aim of this study is to understand what elements of peer support groups work best, through understanding individuals’ experiences of taking part. This will enable best practice to be developed to maximise the benefit of group participation. The study will also identify barriers that limit participation in Macular Society support groups.

Head shot of Dr Padraig MulhollandDr Padraig Mulholland, Ulster University
Exploring the spatiotemporal stimulation of microperimetric stimuli in AMD. 

The aim of this project is to explore how the visual system collects light energy over space and time and how this can be incorporated into light sensitivity tests to monitor the onset and progression of AMD. By establishing the best spots of light for use in these tests for AMD, vision changes may be detected earlier, progression of AMD may be more effectively monitored and quality of life in AMD predicted more accurately.

Further information

For further information about any of the projects listed above please email We need to do so much more, so that ultimately we can find a cure for macular disease. We want to encourage more groundbreaking projects but can’t fund all the high-quality research project applications we receive. To keep the momentum going and fund more vital projects we urgently need to raise more funds for research.

We rely on the generous donations of supporters to fund research into new treatments and eventually a cure for macular conditions. You can help fund dedicated researchers as they carry out this vital work by donating to our Research Appeal. As people live longer the number of people with AMD continues to increase, making it more important than ever to fund vital groundbreaking research.


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