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Research group/lab  |  PI Prof. C.C.W. Klaver

Myopia (nearsightedness)

Our research groups investigates how a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors leads to high myopia and how this can be prevented.

About our research group/lab

Our research

Background information

Myopia (nearsightedness) is a growing public health issue worldwide. In particular high myopia (refractive error of -6 diopters or more) carries a considerable risk of blindness for which there are no treatment options. This is one of the most common cause of blindness in the ‘working class’. Various genetic and environmental risk factors are known for myopia per se, but little is known about the specific causes of high myopia.

Overall aim

The main aims of our group are:

  • To identify novel genes for high myopia.
  • To identify interactions between genes and environment.
  • To unravel the complex genetic network of high myopia.

Research focus areas

We use whole exome and whole genome sequencing techniques to find novel genes for high myopia. To identify genes that modulate penetrance of environmental exposures we perform genome-environment wide interaction studies.

To understand regulation of gene expression we search in silico for modifying epigenetic microRNAs. Findings from these studies are input in network analyses to identify critical determinants and pathways characteristics of high myopia.

Key Publications

Environmental factors explain socioeconomic prevalence differences in myopia in 6-year-old children. J Willem L Tideman, Jan Roelof Polling, Albert Hofman, Vincent WV Jaddoe, Johan P Mackenbach, Caroline CW Klaver. 

Axial length growth and the risk of developing myopia in European children. Jan Willem Lodewijk Tideman  Jan Roelof Polling  Johannes R. Vingerling  Vincent W. V. Jaddoe  Cathy Williams  Jeremy A. Guggenheim  Caroline C. W. Klaver. (2018). Acta Ophthalmol. 2018 May;96(3):301-309.

When do myopia genes have their effect? Comparison of genetic risks between children and adults. Tideman JW, Fan Q, Polling JR, Guo X, Yazar S, Khawaja A, Höhn R, Lu Y, Jaddoe VW, Yamashiro K, Yoshikawa M, Gerhold-Ay A1, Nickels S, Zeller T, He M1, Boutin T, Bencic G, Vitart V, Mackey DA, Foster PJ, MacGregor S, Williams C, Saw SM, Guggenheim JA, Klaver CC1; CREAM Consortium.(2016). Genet Epidemiol. 2016 Dec;40(8):756-766.

Effectiveness study of atropine for progressive myopia in Europeans.Polling JR, Kok RG, Tideman JW, Meskat B, Klaver CC. (2016). Eye (Lond). 2016 Jul;30(7):998-1004.

Duke-Elder’s Views on Prognosis, Prophylaxis, and Treatment of Myopia: Way Ahead of His Time. Polling JR, Verhoeven VJ, Tideman JW, Klaver CC. (2016). Strabismus. 2016;24(1):40-3.

Low serum vitamin D is associated with axial length and risk of myopia in young children. Tideman JW, Polling JR, Voortman T, Jaddoe VW, Uitterlinden AG, Hofman A, Vingerling JR, Franco OH, Klaver CC. (2016). Eur J Epidemiol. 2016 May;31(5):491-9.


Collaborations outside of Erasmus MC