UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Two new non-clinical lecturers appointed at UCL IoO

28 February 2020

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (IoO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Emily Eden and Dr Ryan MacDonald to two non-clinical lecturer posts, adding to our already world-class research and teaching teams.

composite photo of Emily Eden and Ryan MacDonald

We would like to congratulate Dr Emily Eden and Dr Ryan MacDonald on their new roles at the IoO, which have just been announced by the Director of the IoO, Prof. Andrew Dick. Emily is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the IoO, and will begin her lectureship on 1 April 2020. Ryan is also based at the IoO, and is part-way through a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) David Phillips Fellowship; he will take up his new position once the fellowship is complete. 

Commenting on the new appointments, Prof. Andrew Dick said:

I am extremely pleased to welcome Emily and Ryan, two highly regarded members of the UCL IoO community, to their new roles. I know they will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to new audiences here at UCL, building on our capacity to deliver high-quality research and teaching to the benefit of students and colleagues across the Institute

We also asked Emily and Ryan for their reactions:

I am absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity to build my lab at the Institute of Ophthalmology and am really excited about the next chapter of our research here.

Dr Emily Eden 

The Institute of Ophthalmology has always been a pioneer for new ideas and therapies. I am delighted to join such a dynamic institute and look forward to exploring the role of glial cells in the maintenance of healthy retinal function.

Dr Ryan MacDonald


Dr Emily Eden

After two years working for a Biotech company in New Zealand, Emily returned to the UK, where she completed her PhD at Imperial College in Prof. Anne Soutar’s lab within the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, studying hereditary hypercholesterolaemia and endocytic trafficking of the LDL receptor.

As a postdoc, Emily moved to UCL to Prof. Clare Futter’s lab at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (IoO) to study endocytic trafficking. It was during this postdoc position that Emily’s interest in membrane contact sites began, and in 2015 her independent research at UCL IoO was launched with an MRC New Investigator award to study lipid transport at membrane contact sites.

Emily’s research program focuses on the regulation of membrane contact sites and their role in lipid transport and disease prevention, and her lab is exploring the potential for contact site expansion as a therapeutic approach for lipid accumulation in disease models.

Dr Ryan MacDonald

Ryan’s research career started in Canada as a PhD student at the University of Ottawa, before moving to Sweden for a brief postdoc. In 2011 he joined the laboratory of Prof. Bill Harris at the University of Cambridge. It was in Cambridge where he began using the zebrafish retina to study glial specification and the consequences of glial loss on neuronal function and structure. From there he started his own small research at the University of Sheffield and Bateson Centre as a JG Graves Medical Research Fellow in 2016.

In July 2019 Ryan joined the Institute of Ophthalmology (IoO) with a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship. Now at the IoO, the MacDonald laboratory aims to understand how a healthy retina is built and maintained throughout life. More specifically, they are interested in how glial cells, the major support cells in the retina, are patterned and shaped during development to support neurons.