Pharmacy students help boost research to ease eye problems associated with cystinosis

Three final-year pharmacy students from the University of Sunderland who helped test a range of drugs to treat eye problems in patients suffering from a rare genetic disease have showcased their results at an international conference.

Chee Khaw, Marina Mankarous and Chloe Auckland assisted PhD student Lisa Frost in investigating eye problems associated with cystinosis, a disease that occurs when the body’s mechanism to remove the amino acid cysteine breaks down. If left untreated, the inherited illness can result in kidney failure before a child reaches the age of 10. One of the effects of the disease is the build up of cysteine crystals in the eyes, which causes pain, discomfort and photophobia.

The research was showcased at the Cystinosis Research Network (CRN) international conference in San Francisco in July and, recently, at the UK’s CRN conference, alongside work pharmaceutical scientists are carrying out at Sunderland to improve drug treatment and to learn more about the disease.

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