Eye love research

14 February 18

written by:

Yewande Omoniyi

(more articles)

The season of love is upon us! Whether you have a passion for science or a love of looking after your health, there’s one thing that has captured the hearts of many…eye research. We want to share the reasons why some of our Fight for Sight funded researchers love what they do.

Dr Omar Mahroo

I am fortunate to have a career in which I spend part of my week directly seeing and treating patients with eye problems and part of my week conducting basic research that is relevant to understanding those same eye problems. When experiments go well, and we make new discoveries, learning something about how the eye works that wasn't known before, and that might help us better understand retinal diseases, I feel very privileged; it's one of the things I love most about eye research.

Dr Mariya Moosajee

 I love the fact that I am a clinician and a scientist - I bridge both worlds. I wear two theoretical white coats - one as doctor who sees patients with genetic eye disease in my clinics, where my priorities are to understand the cause and mechanisms of disease, how it progresses, what the outcomes will be and to develop therapies. This drives my science. I then put on my lab coat, which allows me to explore the questions raised in my clinics and answer them, hence, reciprocating the outcomes of my research to translational medicine and enhancing patient care.

My weeks are never repetitive or boring. Every day brings a new exciting finding, leading to more research questions and opportunities. Plus I meet families who I can help by providing the highest level of care. The area of genetic eye disease and application of technologies is cutting edge with so many advances. For example, for the first time I can tell patients there is an approved gene therapy for patients with genetic changes in the RPE65 gene, with many more to follow. Being able to give sight to someone who has feared they will never see again is the biggest contribution an individual can make. Eye researchers are working hard to make this a possibility for everyone who suffers from eye disease. There are conditions that have been under-investigated and we must do our best to ensure that all diseases are given equal scientific input. I hope that my excitement and enthusiasm spreads as I would love to see others follow in my footsteps.

Dr Christos Bergeles

What I love about ophthalmic surgery is that it allows us to tackle challenging engineering problems that have tremendous patient benefit. What I love about my role is that I can be at the interface of biology, medicine and engineering, and learn and interact with the best from all three worlds.

Dr Maryse Bailly

I am a curious person by nature and a cell biologist by training. I love to study how cells work and figure out exactly what’s going wrong in diseases. Knowing that what I do may eventually help patients is immensely satisfying and all the more so when it relates to ocular diseases where little is known. Most of my work focuses on looking at how scarring occurs in the eye in various diseases affecting the few (Thyroid Eye Disease) or the many (Trachoma), trying to figure out why the scarring happens and what we can do to prevent it.

Professor Anna Horwood

I research children’s eye focusing (“accommodation”). I am lucky to work in a little-researched area so nearly everything we find out is new, interesting, relevant and often surprising; helping eye care professionals understand and help their patients better. My personal “big research buzz” is when I’ve just done some data analysis and I have found out something that nobody else in the world knows yet – but I know it will help patients once it is “out there”.

Dr Jose Manuel Romero

What I love about eye research is the constant learning of the sophisticated mechanism of vision. Exploring how the retina (that tiny but complex part of the eye allowing us to see) works and adapts to different disease conditions is essential to decipher novel therapy. One of the most gratifying experiences is elucidating potential treatments in eye research models. That feeling that each day may be crucial in advancing eye therapy is such a loving experience, hard to explain.

Our researchers are passionate about eye research and making a difference to the lives of those living with eye diseases and so are we. Which is why we fund pioneering eye research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease. Click here to read about our funded research.