UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


New UCL IoO/Santen research collaboration

2 March 2022

A new collaboration agreement with our international partner SANTEN will reinforce ophthalmic knowledge and research, with support from UCL Translational Research Office (TRO).

research lab

Over the last few years SANTEN, a world-leading ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, has been supporting the IoO with PhD studentships, symposia, and networking opportunities, thanks to the mediation of UCL’s Japan ambassador and IoO Professor Shin-Ichi Ohnuma. 

Now one of the original PhD students has been employed by Santen and is embedded within the IoO to continue research. 

Will Lamb PhD, Research Scientist, Santen-UCL Research Lab said:

Having completed my PhD with sponsorship from Santen at UCL, continuing to work collaboratively with the research leaders at the world-renowned UCL IoO is an exciting next step.

 The aim of this research unit is to support investigation into how to prevent and reverse damage caused to the optic nerve and retina by glaucoma.

Najam Sharif, PhD, DSc, VP and Head of Global Alliances and External Research, Santen Inc., USA said: 

It is gratifying to recruit two dedicated post-doctoral scientists to launch this new research initiative in collaboration with the faculty at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology to help discover innovative regenerative medicines to treat glaucoma.

UCL IoO Director, Professor Andrew Dick said:

This is an exciting new development in our strategic partnership with SANTEN which has been going from strength to strength since the original memorandum-of-understanding in 2016. I’m grateful to everyone involved for their enthusiasm and dedication to foster the research potential of this partnership; and to UCL Translational Research Office (TRO) for supporting the IoO’s vision to expand our translational research to generate better therapies, diagnostics and knowledge of eye care.

The UCL Translational Research Office has been supporting and facilitating this collaboration with the understanding of the overall intent of breaking down industry/academic silos by continuing to contribute to the pursuit of therapeutic translational excellence and to training the next generation.

Dr Jane Kinghorn, UCL TRO Director said:

Santen has made a large investment in ophthalmology training & research at the IoO. This research collaboration is an evolution of that commitment with the first Santen employee embedded within the institution. We look forward to supporting this collaboration in the years to come with many more joint research collaboration projects joining the managed portfolio.

The new initiative also represents SANTEN’s first research laboratory in Europe. 

Luis Iglesias, President and Head of Santen EMEA said:

I am delighted to have established a new European research laboratory at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London. The investigations that will now take place in the United Kingdom bring us a step closer to finding new solutions for eye diseases and complements work ongoing around the world in our research hubs in Singapore and Japan.