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UK-wide Ophthalmology Clinical Research Strategy

 

Contents

Ophthalmology is a rapidly growing research area in the UK recruiting 10-15,000 patients to research trials annually and involving most NHS Trusts. Ophthalmology has the largest demand on outpatient departments in the country and this is increasing.

The UK-wide Ophthalmology Clinical Research Strategy will help tailor research to meet this demand, exploring the areas of unmet need in the population and facilitating a non-commercial and commercial ‘research pipeline’ of therapies and technologies, which should encourage more coordinated funding streams.

The Strategy is managed by an Executive Board which is chaired by Professor Rupert Bourne, NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Ophthalmology.

Five ophthalmology subspecialty Clinical Study Groups (CSGs) have been established to act as key routes through which research themes are prioritised and studies are peer reviewed and developed. Each have both professional and lay representation and offer peer-review support for new study ideas, support to develop studies in set-up and investigator-led studies to attract external funding. Importantly, the CSGs will reach out to specialties allied to Ophthalmology such as Ageing, Dementias and Diabetes research in order to further the collaborations needed to improve patient and population outcomes.

The CSGs are coordinated by Manjo Doug (manjo.doug@nihr.ac.uk). The subspecialty areas and chair of each group are listed below:

  1. Cornea, refractive error and lens – George Saleh (george.saleh@nihr.ac.uk)
  2. Glaucoma – Augusto Azuara-Blanco (a.azuara-blanco@qub.ac.uk)
  3. Paediatric ophthalmology and neuro-ophthalmology – Irene Gottlob (ig15@leicester.ac.uk)
  4. Retina – Sobha Sivaprasad (sobha.sivaprasad@nhs.net)
  5. Uveitis – Srilakshmi Sharma (srilakshmi.sharma@ouh.nhs.uk)

The Strategy was initiated by the NIHR Clinical Research Network and is supported by the following charities for the next three years: Macular Society; Fight for Sight; Moorfields Eye Charity and Retina UK.