Many eye diseases have a genetic basis and changes to our eyesight is often indicative of other aspects of our health. By understanding how heritability, lifestyle and environment interact to cause conditions like glaucoma, cataract, short-sightedness and macular degeneration, we can find new ways to prevent and to treat them.
Based at King’s Denmark Hill and St Thomas’ campuses, we bring together 20 experts in clinical ophthalmology, epidemiology, genetics and statistics. We work at a molecular level in the laboratory, sequencing and comparing genomes, and study differences between cohorts of twins to understand how symptoms can progress over time.
Our research has real impact. In 2018 alone, we discovered 133 genetic variations associated with glaucoma, allowing us to identify those most at risk of this leading cause of incurable blindness, and linked increased screen use to short-sightedness in young children.