Paediatrics and Child Health - Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Paediatric ophthalmology

Our research interests aim to improve the lives of children and young people with visual loss. The team collaborates widely across CES, the wider University and beyond. There are projects at all stages of translation from laboratory-based cell biology, through drug discovery and clinical trials. A particular focus is research into nystagmus and Albinism for which the group has an international reputation. The team works closely with patient support groups like Nystagmus Network UK and the Albinism Fellowship to develop research priorities and disseminate the latest research findings. 

Approximately 5% of children in the UK have a sight impairment and globally the rates are often higher. Many of the underlying causes of visual loss in childhood are treatable and importantly because vision matures until the age of 7 to 8 years, vision must be rescued before this age to save sight. 

The group has a track record in improving screening for eye disease in childhood, refining diagnostics and developing novel treatments. In addition, we are developing codes of practice to ensure delivery and translation of research findings into the NHS and beyond. Examples include:

  • developing genomic tests for the NHS based on gene discovery work completed at the University
  • creating new tools for assessment of vision in children with nystagmus for use in clinical trials and clinical practice
  • leading guideline development for the management of children with nystagmus through the RCOphth
  • taking novel drug repurposing work from cells to animal models and translating this into clinical trials
  • collaborating with computer scientists to exploit machine learning and AI to develop a tool to encourage simple patch use in children through game play 
  • participating in multicentre paediatric ophthalmology clinical trials