New PhD studentships in ophthalmology

30 March 2009

UCL Front Quad

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology has been awarded three PhD studentships worth £280,000 tenable from October 2009 from Fight for Sight, the UK’s leading charity dedicated to funding research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease.

The awards will enable researchers to develop new treatments for patients with conditions affecting the retina and the cornea.

The studentships will be allocated for supervision under the following members of staff at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology:

  • Professor Robin Ali and Mr Frank Larkin – an award for research into a viral gene therapy that could enhance the quality of donor corneas stored in eye banks, leading to less wastage, and improved functionality and longevity for transplanted corneas.
  • Professor Mike Cheetham – an award for research into key molecular components that help in the manufacture of rhodopsin (a transmembrane protein found in eyes) within the cell and the protection against the formation of its faulty form.  Once identified, these components will be targets for new therapies to treat rhodopsin retinitis pigmentosa, one of the most common causes of inherited blindness.
  • Professor Shin-ichi Ohnuma and Dr Yamamoto Yoshiyuki – an award for a study into genetically determined diseases of the cornea that may lead to blindness. This research will explore options for therapies to treat these diseases.
 

UCL Context

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, a world-leading centre for eye research, is committed to a multi-disciplinary research portfolio that furthers an understanding of the eye and visual system linked with clinical investigations targeted to specific problems in the prevention and treatment of eye disease. Its collaboration with Moorfields Eye Hospital opens the way for advances at the forefront of translational vision research.

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Professor Robin Ali awarded Faulkes Foundation Medal