UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

Prof Michel Michaelides

Prof Michel Michaelides

Professor of Ophthalmology

Institute of Ophthalmology

Faculty of Brain Sciences

Joined UCL
2nd Feb 2004

Research summary

I have been integral to UCL Institute of Ophthalmology’s (IOO) significant on-going contribution to the understanding of inherited retinal degenerative diseases over the last 14 years, in terms of clinical characterisation, genotype-phenotype correlations, structure-function associations, advanced high-resolution quantitative retinal imaging, and the underlying molecular genetics both in terms of identification of novel genes and also characterising the mutation spectrum and prevalence in known genes.  In addition, I have made noteable contributions to the literature relating to the management of diabetic macular oedema, which have informed clinical practice.

I have over 150 peer-reviewed publications and 18 book chapters relating to retinal disease.  My ResearchGate score (40.90) is higher that 97.5% of ResearchGate members (7,700 members from UCL alone).  My UCL provided h-index is 25 (Scopus) and 24 (Web of Science (Lite). My Google Scholar h-index is 30, i10-index of 75, with 3015 citations in total.  I have established both national (58 co-authors at UCL) and international collaborations, including with Professors Joe Carroll and Alfredo Dubra (USA) who are world leaders in Adaptive Optics imaging of the eye, and Professor Richard Weleber (USA) who is a leading developer of advanced visual field analysis.  I have 9 on-going ethically approved studies, including a multi-centre international natural history study, with 7 of these studies adopted onto the NIHR portfolio and attracting significant accruals.  I am also actively involved in retinal clinical trials investigating novel and established therapies, being a principal investigator in 4 on-going clinical trials, including the world’s first ocular stem cell therapy trial.

This aforementioned body of work has improved advice on prognosis and genetic counselling, identified the underlying molecular genetic basis of multiple isolated and syndromic disorders, shed light on mechanisms of disease, identified potential novel therapeutic targets, and provided data that will be valuable for current and future therapeutic interventions.  

My current active research grants total over £12,000,000 and include funding from the MRC, Wellcome Trust, NIHR, Foundation Fighting Blindness (USA), NIH NEI, and Fight For Sight.

I have established an Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) at IOO - the only one of its kind outside of the USA. This is game-changing - placing us at the cutting-edge of ocular imaging, enabling us to undertake the world’s first gene therapy trial aiming to rescue cone photoreceptor cells (with potential implications for all causes of retinal blindness - by far the commonest cause of blindness in the developed world), and has helped to establish national and international collaborations.  

Teaching summary

1. Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Ophthalmology Clinical and Research Teaching (2010-present):

(i) MSc in Clinical Ophthalmology 
(ii) MSc in Biology of Vision 
(iii) MSc in Ophthalmology (Retina) 
(iv) UCL Visual Neuroscience Course 
(v) UCL Intensive Revision Course in Basic Sciences For Ophthalmic Exams 
(vi) UCL Institute of Child Health Paediatric Ophthalmology Course 
(vii) Moorfields Eye Hospital Macular Course 

I regularly audit my evaluations and achieve a very high level of approval.

2. External Examiner (2013-present)

I am the external examiner for the Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences MSc course at Manchester University.

My role includes reviewing examination papers, dissertations and attending Exam Board meetings. 

3. Visiting Clinician-Scientists / Medical Students / Nurses / Allied Health Care Professionals (2010-present)

I provide teaching, training and support in my Genetic and Medical Retina clinics and Intravitreal Therapy clinics.

4. Co-Director of Moorfields Eye Hospital Medical Retina Fellowship Programme (2013-present)

There are between 25 and 30 Medical Retina Fellows at Moorfields Eye Hospital at any one time. My role includes interviewing candidates 3-4 times a year, acting as a Mentor, and undertaking annual appraisals. I have recently lead a complete overhaul of the fellowship rotations to facilitate sub-specialist training and development of specialist research opportunities.

5. Lead of the Medical Retina Local Faculty Group (2012-present)

6. Medical Retina Representative on the Specialist Services Education Committee (2012-present)

7. Inherited Eye Disease Reviews and Chapters

I have written several highly cited reviews of inherited eye disease which have served to improve the understanding of these disorders amongst clinicians and vision scientists internationally.

(i) The Cone Dysfunction Syndromes. Michaelides M, Hunt DM, Moore AT. Br J Ophthalmol. 2004;88:291-7. (Cited by 137).

(ii) Progressive Cone and Cone-Rod Dystrophies: Phenotypes and Underlying Molecular Genetic Basis. Michaelides M, Hardcastle AJ, Hunt DM, Moore AT. Surv Ophthalmol. 2006;51:232-58.
(Cited by 102).

(iii) The Genetics of Inherited Macular Dystrophies. Michaelides M, Hunt DM, Moore AT. J Med Genet.  2003;40:641-50. (Cited by 68).

I have co-authored three Inherited Vitreo-Retinal Disease chapters in the 3rd and 4th Editions of the world leading Paediatric Ophthalmology textbook edited by Professors Taylor and Hoyt.

8. I have played a major role in improving the quality, depth and breadth of scientific, medical and research information patients with inherited eye disease can access by providing first class text and images for the website of Retinitis Pigmentosa Fighting Blindness. This is the primary source of information for patients in the UK with inherited retinal dystrophies and received over 4 million hits in 2012 and 2013 – suggesting it has a far wider audience. My excellence in PPI, teaching and communication has also been recognised by being invited to present at 4 sessions at the Foundation Fighting Blindness (USA) 2013 and 2014 4-day national conferences attended by over 600 people.


Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Doctorate, Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists | 2007
University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Medicine | 2004
King's College London
Doctorate, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery | 1997
King's College London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 1994


Michel Michaelides BSc MB BS MD(Res) FRCOphth FACS is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in the departments of Medical Retina, Inherited Eye Disease and Paediatric Ophthalmology; and is a Professor of Ophthalmology, in the Department of Genetics at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. He is a recipient of a career development award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness (USA) – an award which is rarely given to non-US applicants; and has gained membership of the highly prestigious Macular Society and Retina Society in the USA.

He has undertaken a medical retina and genetics clinical fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital, and a combined ophthalmic genetics and paediatric ophthalmology clinical and research fellowship at the internationally renowned Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA. 

His clinical and research interests include diabetic eye disease, age-related macular degeneration and inherited eye disease in adults and children; with over 150 peer-reviewed publications and 18 co-authored book chapters. He is actively involved in retinal clinical trials investigating novel and established therapies, being a principal investigator in 4 on-going clinical trials.