Mr Luis James Knight

BSc (Biomedical Science); BBiomedSci (Hons) - First Class

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


I am a PhD candiate who is currently investigating the role of the Cystine/Glutamate Antiporter (CGAP/System Xc-) in the mammalian retina. I graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biomedical Science in 2017, and again with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with first class honours in 2018. I undertook my honours research with Dr. Julie Lim and Dr. Monica Acosta, and I am now continuing this research in my doctoral studies.

I hope that this research will yield new understanding of the development of Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and lead to new strategies in early detection and prevention of this debilitating disease.

Research | Current

In my honours year, I investigated the potential impact of the Cystine/Glutamate Antiporter (CGAP/System Xc-), a protein that is potentially involved in retinal energetic and aging metabolism, on glutamate metabolism within the mouse retina in two different ages. Through this research, I revealed a number of metabolic alterations, as well as distributional differences of substrates such as glutamate, glutamine, and glutathione, in the retina after genetic knock-out of the protein, detectable as early as at six weeks of age (before visible age-related symptoms appear).

In my PhD, I will expand upon this research, using a number of biochemical and histological techniques, as well as functional, live-animal techniques, with the primary aim of understanding the role of CGAP in the retina and the consequences of its failure or removal. This understanding will in turn lead to new strategies to identify and target damaged or failed CGAP before pathological symptoms appear.

Teaching | Current



MBChB 221



2017 - J D Sinclair Postgraduate Award in Physiology 

2017 - University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship

2018 - Mary Bullivant PSNZ MEDSCI Poster prize

2018 - HealtheX 2019 AMRF Best Poster Presentation Award

2019 - Selected for an Oral Presentation at the ARVO annual meeting 

Areas of expertise

Mammalian retinal physiology


Cellular/Molecular biology

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Martis, R. M., Knight, L. J., Donaldson, P. J., & Lim, J. C. (2020). Identification, Expression, and Roles of the Cystine/Glutamate Antiporter in Ocular Tissues. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 202010.1155/2020/4594606
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paul Donaldson, Renita Martis, Julie Lim
  • Chen, J., Anchan, A., Knight, L., & Sherwin, T. (2019). HealtheX: Proudly celebrating student research. New Zealand Medical Student Journal (28)
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Joseph Chen, Akshata Anchan, Trevor Sherwin


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 502 - Bldg 502
Level 4, Room 401
New Zealand

Web links