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Home » Vision & eye health » Spearheading eye care research to find better treatments and cures

Tunde Peto

Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Queen’s University Belfast

Researchers are helping to spearhead a major UK research drive to understand and treat a range of sight-threatening retinal diseases as part of a global fight.

Drawing on an intense collaborative approach, the Ophthalmology Programme at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) holds a distinctive place in UK eye research, building its success on a combination of basic and transitional science from local and international experts focused on delivering real results and impact through teamwork, commitment and innovation.

Prioritising eye health

The Eye and Vision Research Team based in the Centre for Public Health has a long-standing international reputation which has been built around high-quality epidemiological studies and clinical trials, with a high level of patient involvement.

It is led by a renowned Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at QUB, Tunde Peto, who specialises in chronic blinding diseases, ophthalmic image analysis, epidemiology and statistics. Professor Peto is acclaimed for setting up and managing diabetic retinopathy screening and training programmes and says “collaboration has been key to its success, which has helped in securing more than £20 million in funding in recent years and many leading industry partnerships.”

“Building expertise in delivering groundbreaking research into the cause and effect of retinal diseases and their causes has been and remains our focus,” Professor Peto adds.

Through extraordinary collaboration between clinicians, patients and a wider supportive team, we have been able to continually identify and improve our research.

Ophthalmology leaders

“Through extraordinary collaboration between clinicians, patients and a wider supportive team, we have been able to continually identify and improve our research to ensure our findings add significantly to determining eye health. It is increasingly relevant to several other major diseases including diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Down’s Syndrome. Working carefully through trials with patients, we have been able to better explore and advance the scientific paths towards better treatments and cures.”

Professor Peto’s team has been responsible for working with several countries in the Commonwealth to enable appropriate clinical pathways in diabetic eye care to reduce diabetes-related blindness.

“Our work spans five continents supported by a dedicated Reading Centre in Belfast which collates, reviews and digitally analyses detailed images taken from the eyes to advance our specialist work.”

Collaborative research

The excellence of the ophthalmology programme contributed to establishing endowed professorships and to the landmark success for QUB of the Wellcome-Wolfson Capital Award for ‘Translational Vision Science’ at the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine with ophthalmology and diabetic microvascular disease among the pillars of excellence. “To advance the cause for eye care around the world, we proactively share our research and continually seek new collaborations,” Professor Peto says.

A prestigious Russell Group UK university, Queen’s is recognised as one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities and has a global reputation for excellence.

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