Professor David Mackey oversees LEI’s Clinical Genetics and Epidemiology department. He has spent 20 years studying the genetics of the optic nerve, with Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy the topic of his doctoral thesis.
In 1993 he initiated the Glaucoma Inheritance Study in Tasmania (GIST), creating one of the largest glaucoma biobanks in the world, and is now recognised as an international leader in the genetics of glaucoma.
In 2000 he started the Twins Eye Study in Tasmania and Brisbane to investigate the genetic and environmental factors contributing to the ocular biometry related to glaucoma and myopia. A similar study, the Western Australian Eye Protection Study, is investigating the environmental factors of outdoor activity, sun damage and myopia.
In Western Australia David leads the eye health investigation of participants from the Raine Study birth cohort. He has over 400 publications across a wide range of genetic eye diseases.