Awards for eye research at Leicester

Award-winning eye research from our University 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, 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.