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Miss Laura Paletto

Miss Laura Paletto

Research student, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Educational and Professional Qualifications:

2007-2010 – Bachelor Degree – Biomedical Laboratory Techniques – University of Turin, Italy

2013-2015 – Master Degree – Cell and Molecular Biology – University of Turin. Italy

2015 – present – PhD Student – School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University

Academic Positions:

2015 – Now – PhD Student – School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University

Professional Memberships

2015 – Now - CITER Member

2018 – Now – British society of matrix biology (BSMB) member

Conference/seminar presentations

Extracorporeal Shock waves - SITOD – Società italiana di terapia con onde d’urto. Italian society of therapy with shock waves - XI National Congress. October 2014, Turin, Italy

British Society of Matrix biology (BSMB) – September 2016, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK – Poster presentation “Analysis of connective tissue in the human optic nerve head: molecules and microstructure”

UK Eire and Glaucoma Society – November 2016, Cheltenham Racecourse, UK – Poster presentation “Connective Tissue Analysis in The Ageing Human Optic Nerve Head”

Research interests

Research Overview

My project is focused on the hypothesis that changes in the connective tissue within the optic nerve head increases the susceptibility to develop glaucoma. Age is an important risk factor in glaucoma (Anderson 1989), and during ageing, there is a gradual rise in collagen components that normally provide support to the LC. In addition, the optic nerve head (ONH) is of interest because it is a “weak” spot that can lead the development of glaucoma.

Research Topics and Related Projects:

Glaucoma is a chronic, progressive and multifactorial disease that can lead to axon degeneration and loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). It is the major cause of blindness worldwide and in 2020; 80 million people will be affected (Quigley and Broman 2006). This disease is more common in the elderly eye and unusual in the young (Quigley and Vitale 1997).

Age related changes in the optic nerve head and in the lamina cribrosa have been demonstrated before (Hernandez, Luo et al. 1987, Hernandez, Luo et al. 1989) (Hernandez, Wang et al. 1991), (Morrison, L'Hernault et al. 1989) (Albon, Karwatowski et al. 1995) (Albon, Karwatowski et al. 2000) (Albon, Purslow et al. 2000a). It has been suggested that the extracellular matrix of the human lamina cribrosa provides support to the RGCs axons that pass through the LC (Quigley, Hohman et al. 1983).

The LC forms a tissue that is compliant and resistant to IOP variation (Hernandez, Luo et al. 1987). Morphologic studies of the LC have shown larger pores and less connective tissue in the superior and inferior parts of the lamina than in temporal and nasal parts (Quigley, Addicks et al. 1981), which might mean that these regions are more susceptible to develop glaucoma. Thus, the axons, which pass through these, are first damaged in glaucoma (Quigley, Addicks et al. 1981).

There appears to be an increase in connective tissue within the lamina cribrosa with age (Hernandez, Luo et al. 1989) (Morrison, Jerdan et al. 1989), including an increase in basement membrane components (type IV collagen and laminin) and a gradually increase in the amount and density of type I, III and IV collagen and elastin (Hernandez, Luo et al. 1989). Changes in the connective tissue of the optic nerve head also occur in glaucoma.


I am currently involved in first year undergrad teaching.

“From Cell to Organism” – Lab practical work – teaching first year undergraduate students

Julie Albon

Dr Julie Albon

Senior Lecturer, Deputy Director of Research, Optic Nerve Head Group Leader, Person designate, Cathays Park HTA satellite licence

Professor Vic Duance

Professor Victor Duance

Emeritus Professor

Craig Boote

Dr Craig Boote

Senior Lecturer, Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research

External profiles