Clinical Associate Professor Andrew White is a clinician scientist ophthalmologist at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research with close links to Westmead Hospital, with an interest in eye conditions resulting in vision impairments and vision loss. These conditions include cone dystrophies, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and glaucoma. Andrew’s specific clinical interest is glaucoma. 
Andrew was awarded First Class Honours in Medical Science in 1995 and has a combined MBBS/PhD degree awarded in 2001 from the University of Sydney. He has also undertaken research work at the Max Plank Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Gottingen, Germany and the State University of New York (SUNY). Trained at the Sydney Eye Hospital, Andrew undertook subspecialty training in Glaucoma at Westmead Hospital in Sydney and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, UK. In 2011, Andrew was promoted to the post of Consultant Ophthalmologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmology at the University of Cambridge. Throughout his time in the UK, Andrew undertook research at the Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge. He he currently active as a Glaucoma Subspecialist at Westmead Hospital and has been head of the Department of Ophthalmology there since 2016.
He has been invited to speak at glaucoma and ophthalmology conferences in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australasia, and is also actively involved in the training of medical students, registrars and fellows in ophthalmology. He has also had multiple postgraduate research students and currently supervises 6 PhD Students, 1 Masters student and 2 Honours Students as well as 1 Postdoctoral Researcher. He is a Clinical Associate Professor and has research affiliations with the University of Sydney, University of NSW and the Westmead Institute for Medical Research. 
In addition to 78 published papers, Andrew is a reviewer for the for multiple internationally known scientific journals. He is also member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), European Glaucoma Society, Australian and New Zealand Glaucoma Interest Group (ANZGIG). He is on the Associate Advisory Board for the World Glaucoma Association as well as two of its subcommittees. He is also on the NSW RANZCO Branch Committee as well as RANZCO Federal Council. He is Co-Chair of the of the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation Ophthalmology Network Governing Body.


Microsurgery, Ophthalmology


Healthy Ageing, Lifespan, Neurosciences and Mental Health

Clinical Specialty


Research Focus


As a clinician scientist, my research interests focus on the patient. My clinical interest as an ophthalmologist is glaucoma. Ultimately I am interested in research that will have concrete benefit to the patient, whether it be by developing a potential new treatments or by the clinical study of disease progression and how that is modified by treatment. Glaucoma is the leading of irreversible blindness in the world. The condition involves progressive death of retinal ganglion cells (RGC) in the eye resulting in irreversible visual loss. We don’t truly understand how or why this happens. Recent evidence suggests that neuronal death in glaucoma has common mechanisms with other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Thus, advances in our understanding of glaucoma may have implications for other brain diseases and we can learn and translate breakthrough findings from those related research fields to glaucoma research.

My Current research Interests are diverse


We now have effective treatments that can dramatically slow the progress of glaucoma by lowering eye pressure. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is by far the most important risk factor for the development and progression of glaucoma. IOP-lowering treatment is therefore the current mainstay of glaucoma treatment. However, some patients with glaucoma worsen and go blind despite maximal IOP reduction. At present, there is no available treatment that can restore visual function once the damage has been done.

We need understand better the mechanisms of RGC death in glaucoma, to develop methods to protect these cells, thus slowing the progression of glaucomatous visual loss. We need to be able to do this before we can focus on restoration of vision that has been lost.

With overseas collaborators, we have developed a novel laboratory model of glaucoma that has proven to be very useful in the investigation of glaucoma pathogenesis. Using this model, we have demonstrated potentially important changes in RGC metabolism that may be able to be targeted in potential new treatments for glaucoma. Potentially already existing drugs such as common antihypertensives may be able to target this pathway. This work continues through my affiliations with Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the Save Sight Institute as well as a longstanding collaboration with the Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge.



Pathological Changes Associated with Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty

A common and relatively safe laser procedure to treat glaucoma is called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). Rarely, it can produce changes in the cornea that lead to vision loss. We have recently published a study showing that SLT almost always produces some change in the cornea post treatment, which usually gets better. We have a project underway looking to understand why this happens and look at ways of making the treatment safer. The project is a conjoint one between the Save Sight Institute and UNSW



Clinical Study

I am involved in a number of clinical trials as well as a study looking at the genetic basis of advanced glaucoma which is poorly understood (ANZRAG). I have an interest in the epidemiology of glaucoma and glaucoma management in places as diverse as Burma and Botswana. I have also been looking at changing models of eye healthcare delivery in both the hopsital and community setting.

Other Affiliations

Faculty of Medicine and Health > Westmead Clinical School > Westmead Clinical School|Faculty of Medicine and Health > Central Clinical School > Central Clinical School

Awards and Recognition

  • 2013: University of Sydney Early Career Researcher Grant
  • 2014: Save Sight Research Fellowship
  • 2015: Sydney Medical School Foundation Fellowship


  • B.Med.Sci (hons), University of Sydney
  • MBBS, University of Sydney
  • PhD, University of Sydney