Professor John Nolan reflects on his time at the University of California San Diego (UCSD)

Professor Nolan ( moved to San Diego with his family in December 2016 for a five-month sabbatical at the Hamilton Glaucoma Center and Shiley Eye Institute.

“This collaboration between our research center, the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI), Waterford Institute of Technology, and UCSD represents another key development for our research field said Professor Nolan. Access to new state-of-the-art technologies and different populations are key to furthering our understanding about the link between human nutrition and function.  Also, working with the multidisciplinary research team here at the Hamilton Glaucoma Center has been fantastic. Studying macular pigment in patients with glaucoma is very important and timely. We know already there is a link between macular pigment and visual performance in patients with AMD and in healthy patients, but not much work has been done, as yet, into how macular pigment is related to vision in patients with glaucoma. There is nowhere better in the world to study Glaucoma. Dr Robert Weinreb is a world renowned expert on glaucoma management and research. I have learned so much from my time with Dr Weinreb and his Hamilton Glaucoma Center team, including Linda Zangwill and Felipe Medeiros.   I am also very pleased that we are going to continue this work on macular pigment at UCSD. We already have collected very important data and from this initial work, we expect two research papers in 2017.

Future studies will look at the impact of dietary modification and carotenoid supplementation on vision and cognitive function in patients with glaucoma. We also have a unique opportunity to study the link between genetic profiles and macular pigment across populations.”

In May 2017, Professor Nolan will return to his laboratory in Waterford Ireland, , where he has several ongoing studies.  The Shiley Eye Institute and Department of Ophthalmology look forward to continued collaboration with Professor Nolan.

“Our time in San Diego has been wonderful said Professor Nolan. For me, it represented a new type of challenge. I am pleased that we were able to deliver on this project. We have a lot to do now in Waterford, but I am excited about the future and what we can achieve.”