UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

Prof Mariya Moosajee

Prof Mariya Moosajee

Professor of Molecular Ophthalmology

Institute of Ophthalmology

Faculty of Brain Sciences

Joined UCL
3rd Aug 2011

Research summary

Genetic eye disease is a leading cause of blindness among infants, children and adults. Dr Mariya Moosajee is focused on:

  • Understanding the molecular basis of inherited eye disorders, in particular the genetics of retinal dystrophies and ocular maldevelopment such a microphthalmia, anophthalmia and ocular coloboma.

  • Establishing the genotype-phenotype relationship through clinical deep phenotyping studies to identify optimal therapeutic windows and outcome measures for clinical trials, patient risk stratification as significant rates of systemic disease association to ensure the appropriate multidisciplinary clinical pathways for best patient care.

  • Development of novel therapeutic approaches for genetic eye disease including nonsense suppression therapy (ataluren, PTC-derivatives, and NB compounds) anti-apoptotic agents, and gene therapy using non-viral gene delivery systems including scaffold matrix attachment region (S/MAR) vectors.

Teaching summary

Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Ophthalmology Clinical and Research Teaching including:

  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists Study day for Theatre nurses 2015- present

  • Personal tutor for Faculty of Brain Sciences, UCL 2015- present

  • MSc in in Biology of Vision, UCL 2014-present

  • MSc in Reproductive and Developmental Biology, Imperial College London 2008- present

  • PhD Secondary Supervisor 2014-present

  • Course organiser for the London Refraction Course for Ophthalmology Specialist Trainees preparing for their Refraction Certificate Examination 2011- present

  • Regular teaching, training and support in my Genetic clinics at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children


Royal College of Ophthalmologists
Doctorate, Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists | 2015
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2009
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
Doctorate, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery | 2003
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 2000


Professor Mariya Moosajee MBBS BSc PhD FRCOphth

Professor of Molecular Ophthalmology, University College London (UCL), London

Group Leader of Ocular Genomics and Therapeutics, The Francis Crick Institute, London

Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist, Genetic Eye Disease, Moorfields Eye Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, London 

Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Development Fellow, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London

Mariya is a world-class Clinician Scientist who has undertaken joint academic and clinical training in Ophthalmology through the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Integrated Academic Training Programme.

She obtained first class honours for her BSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics in 2000, followed by her MBBS in 2003 from Imperial College London. She was also awarded her PhD in Molecular Ophthalmology in 2009 from Imperial College London.

Mariya completed her Ophthalmology Specialist Training in the London Deanery. In 2011, she was awarded an NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship at the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, during which she established her own research group in the department of Ocular Biology and Therapeutics. In 2015, she became a Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, and undertook her clinical fellowship at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in Paediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Retinal Genetics at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Over the past 10 years, Mariya’s research has focused on investigating the molecular aetiology and disease mechanisms causing congenital eye anomalies and inherited retinal disease. She also has a strong focus on developing novel molecular therapies for genetic eye disease with clinical translation.

In 2016, Mariya was awarded the prestigious five year Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Development Fellowship to unravel the molecular complexity behind ocular maldevelopment and normal human eye development. Alongside this, Mariya has also received a NIHR Rare Disease Translational Research Collaboration Award to support translation of small molecule drugs for the treatment of inherited retinal disease such as Choroideremia and Usher syndrome.

Mariya’s ultimate goal is to improve the lives of patients with genetic eye disease by directly improving molecular diagnosis, understanding the natural history of the disease through deep phenotyping and developing novel treatments to counter these blinding diseases.