UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Gene and Cell Therapy Group

A collaboration between the laboratories of Professor James Bainbridge and Michel Michaelides. The Gene and Cell Therapy Group at the IoO has been at the forefront of gene and cell therapy research for over 15 years.

Our research focuses on:

  • vector technology and gene supplementation strategies for retinal degeneration 
  • development of retinal cell and stem cell transplantation techniques
  • retinal phenotyping to better characterise the physical changes to the retina associated with different inherited conditions 
  • increasing our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of diseases that cause severe sight loss.

In the last few years, our work has led to the development of a number of clinical trials including the world’s first gene therapy trial for inherited retinal disease (LCA2) and Europe's first trial of stem cell-based therapy to repair macular damage in people with Stargardt disease. In collaboration with our various research partners both in the UK and around the world, our research aims to bring more gene and stem cell based therapies to the clinic within the coming years to treat patients with a range of sight loss conditions.

Embroyid body

Research Projects

Learn about our pre-clinical and clinical research programmes

Ryea Maswood


Meet our team of world-leading researchers and clinicians

Nature Biotechnology Cover 2013


Read the latest findings from our research programmes

Audience taking part in Retina Day 2015


Find out about the latest progress towards new interventions

UCL Pamela Facility with Guide Dogs


See who we are collaborating with in the UK and abroad