Dr Omar Mahroo, a consultant ophthalmologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded a £1.1 million Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship (CRCDF) to support his research into eye diseases for the next five years.

His research focuses on a wide range of conditions affecting the eye, including understanding retinal diseases and the causes of short-sightedness (myopia). The work will take place at Guys and St Thomas’, as well as Moorfields Eye Hospital, and will begin on the 1st October.

Dr Mahroo said: “Retinal diseases are a leading cause of blindness, and myopia is becoming an increasing problem, with some studies predicting that 50% of the world’s population will be affected by 2050. It can lead to additional complications which threaten vision, which is why research in this field is so important.

“I am delighted to have been awarded this prestigious Wellcome Trust award which will allow me to continue to develop our understanding of how the retina works, and what goes wrong in retinal disease.”

Dr Mahroo uses non-invasive procedures, recording the electrical signals from the cells of the retina in response to light in patients with retinal diseases and healthy volunteers. He works with experts from around the world to analyse these responses mathematically. As well as improving our understanding of disease, these techniques will help us evaluate newer experimental treatments based on stem cell and gene therapies, to decide how effective they are for patients.

Since graduating from Cambridge University with a PhD in Retinal Physiology in 2004, Dr Mahroo has made many contributions to medical science including papers on how the eye adapts to light and dark, retinal imaging in different disorders as well as heritability of retinal function.

Find out more about Ophthalmology services at Guy’s and St Thomas’