Ophthalmology Research in the East of England

 

We recognise and champion the importance of Research and actively encourage our trainees to develop research skills and take on projects both in basic sciences and clinical medicine.

We have academic units at both Addenbrookes, Cambridge (contact Rupert Bourne) and Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (contact David Broadway). There is also a lot of active research opportunities at many of the smaller units. 

We have an active CRN / NIHR team that actively encourage our trainees to participate in research and learn skills. Useful tips include those attached below on this page and contact details for our NIHR team are Karen Tibbenham.

In addition we :

1. Welcome trainees keen on taking time out to do an M.D. / PhD as an OOPR  (contact Narman Puvanachandra)

2. Run 2 Academic Clinical Fellow programs (1 at Addenbrookes and 1 at Norwich; contacts above) - 3 year programs incorporated into the program

3. John Cairns Research Prize Competition (held at a college in Cambridge; contact Anthony Vivian)

4. Research Skills Workshop and Roadshow - delivering essential skill sets to help trainees keen on research and showcase of research in EoE - contact Heidi Cate, Norwich)

Most, if not all, of our trainees present Research at National and International meetings regularly. 

 

Cambridge University Hospital (Addenbrookes)

Lead for Research is Professor Rupert Bourne 

In Cambridge, The Cambridge Eye Research Centre, Brain Repair Centre and the Pathology laboratory have active research programmes. More information about research activities in Addenbrooke's Hospital and Cambridge can be found here.  

For further information look at the websites below:

 

Launched on 22 January 2019, the Cambridge Eye Research Centre has the following objectives:

  1. To establish CERC as a World-class clinical research facility with national and overseas research collaboration in and outside of the field of Ophthalmology
  2. To obtain financial, staffing and infrastructural support on a recurring annual basis with a rapid growth in the next five years, through submission of Ophthalmology-specific staffing bids for CRN core funding support in 2019/20 and future years.
  3. To work with CUH R&D to establish a robust governance structure for Ophthalmology research that includes for example a commercial income distribution policy modelled on NIHR guidance and exemplars in other UK centres, as commercial income will be critical to early development.
  4. To integrate NIHR portfolio study research into clinical care at CUH and at partnering institutions, and encourage more nurse, optometrist and orthoptist participation.
  5. To create a single point of access to Ophthalmology research infrastructure for non-Ophthalmology-led and Ophthalmology studies at different stages of pre-approval, such that the newly created research clinics are utilised effectively and are financially sustainable.
  6. To encourage a culture of integrated research among trainee Ophthalmology residents at CUH by promoting and growing the current Ophthalmology Trainee Research Network that can interact with other UK and overseas centres.
  7. To actively seek non-commercial and commercial research partnerships and grow CERC to match this demand.

 

Addenbrooke’s Hospital is a key part of the Cambridge National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre and profits from close collaborations with a number of basic and applied science departments.  The Addenbrooke’s site boasts Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, Glaxo Smith Kline, National Institute of Health Research as well as Wellcome Trust and University of Cambridge research laboratories. There are also independent research institutions such as the Sanger Centre and the Babraham Research Institute in close proximity. This biomedical campus is the UK’s most successful medical research enterprise, being home to the monoclonal antibody, the first protein sequence and structure as well as 14 Nobel prizes from the Laboratory of Molecular Biology alone. The ophthalmology department employs 14 consultants and numerous clinical and research fellows who are both lab and clinic based:

Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital

Ophthalmology Research

Glaucoma

Mr Broadway  and Mr Niyadurupola carry out collaborative work together with Dr Julie Sanderson in the Schools of Pharmacy and Biological Science at the University of East Anglia. Currently there are 2 PhD students and an MD student working in the Sanderson lab.

At present his areas of interest are as follows:

Basic Science

Mr Broadway carries out collaborative work together with Dr Julie Sanderson in the Schools of Pharmacy and Biological Science at the University of East Anglia. Currently there are 2 PhD students and an MD student working in the Sanderson lab.

The current research carried out in the Sanderson lab is based around the use of Human Organotypic Retinal Cultures (HORCs) with respect to understanding the pathways of retinal ganglion cell death in relation to glaucomatous insults, the long-term aim being the development of novel neuroprotective strategies for the treatment of glaucoma. With respect to this work there is a healthy relationship for collaboration with Professor Keith Martin’s lab in Cambridge.

Epidemiological research

Mr Broadway is a co-investigator on the Norfolk EPIC Eye Study, collaboration with Cambridge University and the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. The Norfolk EPIC Eye Study is the largest ophthalmic epidemiological study of its type, the major aim of which is to identify life-style determinants of glaucomatous neuropathy.

Adherence with glaucoma medication studies

Mr Broadway carries out collaborative work together with Dr Debi Bhattacharya in the School of Pharmacy at the University of East Anglia. Currently there is a PhD student working in this aspect of research. The current research is investigating the potential benefits of a patient education and support programme for improving adherence with topical anti-glaucoma medication.

National and International Clinical Trials

Mr Broadway is a Principal Investigator for The UK Glaucoma Treatment Study, The UK Glaucoma Risk Factor Study and the EAGLE (Effectiveness in Angle-closure Glaucoma of lens Extraction) Study.

Commercial studies

Mr Broadway has been and is a Principal Investigator for a number of pharmaceutical industry run commercial clinical trials, that are carried out within the NNUH Ophthalmology Department.

Clinical in-house research

In addition to the research outlined above, Mr David Broadway, Mr Tom Eke and Mr Nuwan Niiyadurupola encourage in-house clinical research and audit relating to various aspects of glaucoma.

Glaucoma Fellowships

The NNUH Ophthalmology Department has 3 glaucoma fellowships

  1. Junior Glaucoma Clinical Fellow: The aim of this fellowship is to offer training in the management of glaucoma, such that the fellow becomes competent in running glaucoma clinics, can perform routine glaucoma laser procedures and develop surgical skills appropriate in performing cataract surgery in glaucomatous eyes. The fellowship does not routinely offer training in glaucoma filtration surgery. Mr Broadway and Mr Eke co-supervise the fellowship.
  1. Senior Glaucoma Clinical Fellow: The aim of this fellowship is to offer training in the management of glaucoma up to the standard appropriate for the fellow to be able to sub-specialise as a future Consultant and includes training in glaucoma filtration surgery. Mr Broadway and Mr Eke co-supervise the fellowship.
  1. Glaucoma Research Fellow: The aim of this fellowship is to carry out research towards obtaining an MD (or PhD) working in the Sanderson lab (neuroprotection basic science research). The research fellow also has a part-time clinical (non-surgical) commitment. Mr Broadway and Dr Sanderson co-supervise the fellowship

In Norwich, there are also research opportunities available. More information about these can be found here.

James Paget University Hospital

Ophthalmology Research

Prof Ben Burton

Clinical Director Of Research And Development

Visiting Professor at University of East Anglia

 

Medical Students

    There is a six week elective attachment offered each year in ophthalmology research. Students are embedded into the ophthalmology research office and will be expected to help with the research clinic and data entry as required. They will be supported to perform an audit for presentation at a national meeting and where possible will contribute to writing a case report. Previous students have presented posters in Hawaii and Copenhagen. This attachment is ideal for those wishing to pursue a career in ophthalmology.

 

FY1/2 - We offer a 1 week clinical attachment as a taster for local FY1/2 doctors who are considering a career in ophthalmology.

 

Ophthalmology Trainees.

    All Ophthalmology trainees are encouraged to get GCP training and can become co-investigators on the multicentre trials run at JPUH. Trainees are encouraged to develop their own projects and publish case reports and audits.

 

Opportunity for a PhD in AMD/Gut microbiome

   Prof Burton is working with Prof Carding at the Quadram Institute in Norwich. Prof Cardings group has a large grant to look at the correlation between the gut microbiome and development of dementia (The Motion Study). OCT scanning can provide a proxy measure of dementia progression so we will be scanning a large cohort of patients. At the same time as monitoring their RNFL we can assess them for AMD and see if this is correlated to differences in their gut microbiome.

 

Clinical research

   Prof Burton runs a large Retinal trials unit which has contributed over 700 patients to over 20 clinical studies over the last 10 years. We have a full time ophthalmic research nurse and ophthalmic research coordinator as well as a research ophthalmic photographer and research optometrist on a sessional basis.

   Prof Burton is Chief investigator UK for the multinational Panda II Study looking at conbercept v aflibercept for wet AMD.

   Prof Burton is Chief investigator UK for Lightsight II (Lumithera) looking at light therapy to reduce progression of dry AMD by enhancing mitochondrial function.

   Prof Burton is a principle investigator for the following studies

  1. Azure study- comparing different retreatment regimes with Aflibercept for wet AMD (Bayer)
  2. Rhine study- comparing Faricimab with Aflibercept for DMO
  3. Edna Study- looking at early detection of wet AMD in second eyes by different patient reported outcomes and OCT scanning.
  4. Fasbat Study- looking at longitudinal descriptive data on wet AMD patients.
  5. Monarch Study - looking at early detection of disease activity by electronic home testing devices.

6)   Star study- looking at Radiation treatment in wet AMD to reduce the number of injections

      needed

 

Dr Babovic, a clinical fellow, has recently been PI for the Poem Study,

Mr Prabhu is PI for TAGS and Artemis glaucoma studies and recruited the first patient in the UK to  Artemis.

Mr Goldsmith has recently published on Iluvien outcome data and is joining the Video study on vitrectomy for macular oedema.

Mr Raja and Mr Pharoah provide indispensable support for the Retinal trials unit.

Mrs Hemmant and Mr Butler have both support trainees to publish case series, case reports and personal projects and continue to encourage enthusiastic trainees.

The entire department is very supportive of research.

Monday, 19 November, 2018
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