The Ulverscroft Foundation funds University Departments of Ophthalmology where teaching and research is carried out, and Ophthalmologists to Chair and head the Departments.
When the Ulverscroft Foundation was formed, ophthalmic research had been carried out in a small number of university medical schools in the United Kingdom.
It was recognised that if more research centres were funded, with specialised areas of expertise, then more eye diseases could be studied and the findings used to help people with eye diseases. Ground breaking research into eye diseases and treatment is carried out in universities and the techniques and treatments learned are used world-wide.
The Ulverscroft Foundation is currently committed to supporting four major research projects:
The Ulverscroft Vision Research Group (UVRG) was launched in 2008 with a major endowment from the Ulverscroft Foundation matched by funds from the Institute of Child Health UCL. The objective is to establish a leading centre for research into eye disease and visual function in children whilst also providing a national focus for academic training in clinical paediatric ophthalmology and visual sciences research. This ambition is being realised through the successful creation of a novel inter-disciplinary research infrastructure with dedicated research posts and a unique seminar programme to maximise collaborations between scientists and clinicians. In tandem, the UVRG has been building capacity in academic paediatric ophthalmology and visual sciences through a rolling programme of PhD studentships and clinical doctoral research training fellowships focussed on inter-disciplinary research in paediatric ophthalmology and visual sciences. An outward facing strategy, recognising the national leadership role of the UVRG, has been at the core of all activities.
The UVRG has been led from its inception by Professor Jugnoo Rahi (pictured above) who practices as a paediatric ophthalmologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital (with which the Foundation has a long-established relationship) and works at both the Institutes of Child Health and Ophthalmology UCL, as the UK’s first Professor of Ophthalmic Epidemiology.
Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Ulverscroft Chair in Global Eye Heath: five years support for the Transitional Research for Equitable Eyecare or TREE programme at Queens University Belfast, led by Professor Nathan Congdon.
The collaboration between the University of Leicester and the Ulverscroft Foundation spans over five decades culminating in the renaming of the University of Leicester eye department to the “Ulverscroft Eye Unit” in 2015. This collaboration has been extremely fruitful leading to many important scientific breakthroughs including the discovery of new genes causing eye disease and improving the diagnosis of children’s eye diseases through the use of optical coherence tomography, an area in which Leicester is a world leader. Recent research has included pioneering studies into both life- and sight-threatening disorders such as retinoblastoma, retinopathy of prematurity, craniosynostosis and paediatric glaucoma.
The Ulverscroft Eye Unit are a blend of clinical and basic researchers combining more established investigators with the next generation of emerging researchers.
We are pleased to announce The Ulverscroft Fellowship at the Department of Eye and Vision Science, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool. Our funding over three years, 2019 to 2021, will support Dr Lucy Bosworth’s research into ‘Innovative Biomaterials to Provide New Ophthalmic Treatments for restoration of Glaucoma Patients’ Vision’.