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University of Liverpool

St Paul’s Eye Unit has been partnered with the Department of Eye and Vision Science in the Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease at the University of Liverpool for 27 years.

Using world-class research, the department works to improve the quality of life of millions of people on an international scale. Scientists, engineers and clinicians work from bench to bedside to uncover how basic mechanisms, processes and structures relate to vision and how they are affected by ageing and disease. This work is having life-changing results for patients of all ages, all around the world.

When St Paul’s Eye Hospital moved into the Royal Liverpool University Hospital in 1992, it created an opportunity to forge strong collaborations with other experts, which opened up a new way of doing research. Liverpool had never had an academic department for ophthalmology before, and by investing in academic research we could start to discover the causes of disease and how to treat them. Our clinicians worked with academics to create new ideas for treatment to prevent blindness and tackle disease, giving patients better outcomes.

We aim to expedite research and prevent patients from losing their sight by bringing a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise together to find novel ways of tackling blindness, bridging the gap that can exist between research and treatment of patients.

From humble beginnings, the Department of Eye and Vision Science team has grown considerably from a team of around 10 to over 200. In recognition of the quality and amount of work we have produced, we’ve been involved in major, world-wide research projects into in eye disease.

Our partnership has had remarkable success, including:

  • Discovering how to diagnose cerebral malaria with more accuracy by looking at the back of African children’s eyes, making treatment much more precise, saving the lives of millions of children in Africa and other parts of the world.
  • Creating the first UK treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) through our Clinical Eye Research Centre (CERC).
  • Developing silicone oil for vitreo-retinal surgery.
  • Pioneering the diabetic eye screening service to prevent diabetic retinopathy, a sight-threatening complication of diabetes. This has been rolled out nationally by the NHS and replicated in over 40 countries. We’re now helping developing counties, including China, Malaysia and Malawi to tackle diabetic retinopathy.

To find out more about the work we’re doing together, take a look at our blog.