Awards for Leicester Eye Research

Posted by pt91 at Oct 04, 2017 01:40 PM |
Ophthalmology researchers wins British Isles Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Association prizes

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 4 October 2017

Download photographs of Professor Irene Gottlob and Dr Sohaib Rufai at:

Award-winning eye research from the University of Leicester has been recognised at a national event.

A University researcher won an award for his work in the world’s first study of its type to assess how infant eye defects can affect future vision.

Dr Sohaib Rufai from the Ulverscroft Eye Unit won the prestigious BIPOSA prize for a cutting-edge grading system using Leicester’s state-of-the-art handheld optical coherence tomography (OCT) scanning technology.

At the same event, University of Leicester Professor of Ophthalmology Professor Irene Gottlob was invited to give the keynote lecture and was awarded the Roger Trimble medal for her outstanding contribution to the field of paediatric ophthalmology.

The University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit, based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary,  has conducted the world’s first longitudinal cohort study assessing how the underdevelopment of infant’s retinas impacts their future vision.

Underdevelopment of the central part of the retina responsible for vision is called foveal hypoplasia. Infants with foveal hypoplasia have nystagmus or ‘dancing eyes’, whereby the eyes move involuntarily. Leicester was the first centre in Europe to receive the handheld OCT scanner which produces ultra-high resolution 3D images of these infants' eyes. Leicester also uses highly specialised software to measure parts of the retina in microns to determine which parts of the retina are affected.

The Leicester Grading system for Foveal Hypoplasia in Infants, developed by the University’s Ulverscroft Eye Unit, has been demonstrated to forecast future vision in patients with infantile nystagmus and can provide useful information for new therapies.

Dr Sohaib Rufai, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Ophthalmology, led this study supervised by Professor Irene Gottlob, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Leicester. Dr Rufai delivered a presentation reporting the study findings at the BIPOSA Annual Meeting in Hull on 22 September. He was awarded the BIPOSA prize for best presentation and received £500 prize money.

Dr Rufai said: “It was most humbling to receive this prize for presenting our exciting OCT study at BIPOSA. I owe thanks to my fantastic supervisors Professor Irene Gottlob and Dr Frank Proudlock, my brilliant colleagues Dr Mervyn Thomas, Dr Helena Lee and Mr Ravi Purohit, and of course to our wonderful research patients. This is a new and exciting area for research and we hope our work paves the way in improving management for patients with infantile nystagmus.”

Professor Gottlob added: “Receiving the Roger Trimble Medal and giving the keynote lecture named after him is a great honour, in particular as my name has been added to an impressive list of prestigious previous recipients who are world-renowned. It was very rewarding to meet and see a very large number of my previous Leicester trainees attending and presenting at this meeting, who are now established consultant paediatric ophthalmologists all over the country.  I am grateful to Mr Usman Mahmood, the main organiser of the meeting, who introduced my lecture with a heart-warming talk, emphasising my role in training, motivating and guiding the research of many series of paediatric ophthalmologists - including himself.”



For further information, please contact Samantha Kerr, University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit


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