Prof Simunovic is actively engaged in research into emerging treatments for retinal disease, visual function and experimental vitreoretinal surgery. If you are seeing Prof Simunovic as a patient and are interested in participating in a research project, please discuss this with him at your appointment. If you are a prospective research trainee (pre- or -post-doctoral) interested in working on one of these projects, please see his University of Sydney webpage (

Current Projects

Optogenetics for retinal degeneration

This is a pre-clinical trial aimed at vision restoration and has two principal aims: 1. To restore central vision in advanced atrophic (dry) macular degeneration (supported by the Macular Disease Foundation Australia) and 2. To restore vision in inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) (supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council).

Structure, Function, Gene Therapy and Surgery in Retinal Dystrophies

Hereditary diseases of the retina affect up to 1 in 3,000 individuals and are now the commonest cause of blindness registration in persons of working age. This project is aimed at:

  • Assessing the effects of hereditary retinal diseases on vision and retinal structure in patients with known genotypes.
  • Modelling different modes of surgical delivery of therapeutic substances into the sub-retinal space. ( identifier ACTRN12619001121156).
  • Assessing expression of viral vectors in human retinal explants.

This project is supported by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, USA (


This is a phase III clinical trial of a ciliary neurotrophic factor implant for patients with macular telangiectasia II (MacTel II; identifier NCT03316300). The Sydney arm is being conducted by the Macula Research Group at the Save Sight Institute (

ONL 1204

This is a Phase I trail of ON 1204 in macula-off rhegmatogenous retinal detachment ( Identifier: NCT03780972). ONL 1204 is a first-in-class inhibitor of Fragment Apoptosis Stimulator receptor (Fas)-mediated cell death and has demonstrated protection of multiple retinal cell types in numerous preclinical models of acute ocular injury.


This is a phase I trial investigating the safety of a novel polymer vitreous substitute to permit retinal detachment repair without the need for gas "tamponade”.

Fight Inherited Retinal Blindness!


I am the Chief Investigator for this new inherited retinal disease registry hosted by the Save Sight Registries, which is directed at tracking natural history and real-world treatment outcomes following retinal gene therapy (e.g. with voretigene neparvovec/Luxturna).



You may book an appointment with Professor Simunovic by calling one of our locations. If you are preparing for a visit, please read this important information prior to your appointment