Regan Ashby

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Personal profile


Regan graduated with his PhD in Medical Science from the Australian National University in 2007, under the supervision of Professor Ian Morgan. After completing his PhD, Regan received a two year Early Career Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Tuebingen, Germany, as part of the European Union, Marie-Curie European Training Program, with Dr Marita Feldkaemper and Professor Frank Schaeffel. On returning to Australia, Regan took up a lecturing position at the University of Canberra in 2011 before accepting the position of Assistant Professor within the Faculty in 2012. He now heads the Visual Neuroscience Group within the Centre for Research into Therapeutic Solutions (Health Research Institute). 

Regan's research focuses on the molecular pathways underlying the regulation of normal ocular growth, and how such neural pathways are affected during the development of the visual disorder myopia (short-sightedness). Myopia is now at epidemic proportion in many parts of the world, most notably in urban East Asia, where 80-90% of school-leavers are myopic. Recently, Regan’s research has shown that exposure to bright light levels; similar to that experienced by being outdoors, can prevent the development of experimental myopia in animal models. This protection appears to be driven by light-induced increases in the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine within the eye. This work has culminated in Regan being awarded the prestigious Attempto Prize for Neuroscience, from the University of Tuebingen, Germany (2010), and the Carl Zeiss Young Investigators Award in Vision Science (2013).  

Regan's current research looks at better understanding the genomic and epigenomic regulatory mechanisms by which exposure to high light levels can retard the development of myopia. 

Research interests

  • Investigating the underlying causes of the visual disorder myopia (short-sightedness)
  • Genomic/epigenomic regulation of ocular growth
  • Retinal neural development

External positions

Visiting Fellow, Australian National University

1 Feb 2012 → …

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Myopia Medicine & Life Sciences
Lenses Medicine & Life Sciences
Chickens Medicine & Life Sciences
Growth Medicine & Life Sciences
Bees Medicine & Life Sciences
Light Medicine & Life Sciences
Retina Medicine & Life Sciences
Honey Medicine & Life Sciences

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Projects 2016 2019

Research Output 2003 2019

8 Citations (Scopus)

Imi: Report on experimental models of emmetropization and myopia

Troilo, D., Smith, E. L., Nickla, D. L., Ashby, R., Tkatchenko, A. V., Ostrin, L. A., Gawne, T. J., Pardue, M. T., Summers, J. A., Kee, C. S., Schroedl, F., Wahl, S. & Jones, L., 28 Feb 2019, In : Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 60, 3, p. 31-88 58 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Theoretical Models
Animal Models
Growth and Development
46 Citations (Scopus)

The epidemics of myopia: Aetiology and prevention

Morgan, I. G., French, A. N., Ashby, R. S., Guo, X., Ding, X., He, M. & Rose, K. A., Jan 2018, In : Progress in Retinal and Eye Research. 62, p. 1-16 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Young Adult
Degenerative Myopia
3 Citations (Scopus)

Bright light blocks the development of form deprivation myopia in mice, acting on D1 dopamine receptors

Morgan, I. G. & Ashby, R. S., 1 Apr 2017, In : Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 58, 4, p. 2317 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Dopamine D1 Receptors
5 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Contrasting Sex-and Caste-Dependent piRNA Profiles in the Transposon Depleted Haplodiploid Honeybee Apis mellifera

Wang, W., Ashby, R., Ying, H., Maleszka, R. & Forêt, S., 1 Jun 2017, In : Genome Biology and Evolution. 9, 5, p. 1341-1356 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Apis mellifera
1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Developmental and loco-like effects of a swainsonine-induced inhibition of a-mannosidase in the honey bee, Apis mellifera

Wedd, L., ASHBY, R., Foret, S. & Maleszka, R., 2017, In : PEERJ. 5, p. 1-22 22 p., 3109.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access