Research Team
Research, Development and Innovation

Ophthalmology Research Team

The Eye Hospital on the Hull Royal site was built in 2003 and is the home of the trust’s award-winning ophthalmology services. The service is recognised for the quality of its teaching and research and is a strong leader in terms of driving forward innovative ways of working.

Our experienced clinical research team is involved in eye and vision research. The core team is led by our Principal Investigators, Miss Louise Downey and Mr Mark Costen. Our team comprises of two Senior Research Nurses, Sally Cooper and Julia Twigger. Ophthalmic Support Nurse, Kate Thackeray, Clinical Trials Co-ordinator, Angela Atkinson, and Clinical Trials Assistant, Angela Harvey. Other essential members of the team are our Co-Investigators, Optometrists, Imaging Technicians, and Nurse Injectors

Current Research

A large proportion of our research involves looking at different treatments for the back of the eye, (the retina) within a randomised clinical trials format. Currently the majority of treatments involve regular injections into the back of the eye. These drugs injected block the action of a molecule known as VEGF and other related molecules. Anti-VEGF therapy has become the standard of care for a host of intraocular retinal vascular diseases. The advent of these medications since 2007 has brought about the ability to restore and maintain vision.

Many of the trials we are involved in look at different regimens and strengths of drugs, alongside next generation drugs that address the shortcomings of current treatments. With the available anti-VEGF agents, current research is continuing to improve upon optimal treatment delivery.

There is currently no treatment for the dry form of macular degeneration, however, our research department has been considered as an investigative site for studies, including phase III treatments.

We are currently screening for research studies to trial drugs delivered by a pioneering slow release portal delivery system. This will reduce burden of attendance for patients potentially requiring long-term treatment.

Our research is currently collaborating with community opticians to measure the safety and efficacy of monitoring the quiescent patient using appropriate screening imaging and photography by non-medical practitioners. This would alternatively take place within a hospital setting.

We have a good track record in running Randomised Controlled Trials, investigating new drugs before they are available for routine NHS practice. This has enabled early treatments access for our patients that would otherwise have had less effective treatment. We also have a good track record of recruiting to time and target for the studies we have undertaken since 2015.

We also work in collaboration with other Medical Specialities within HUTH to provide essential ophthalmic assessments for randomised controlled trial protocols then conduct testing new therapies e.g. for diabetes and oncology.

Our Paediatric Principal Investigator Mr. Rajnish Sekhri is actively participating in paediatric eye disease research.
The orthoptic service is involved in a number of paediatric multicentre studies primarily related to childhood vision development and childhood squints. The service has members of the team interested in the development and measurement of stereo-acuity (3d vision), the development and outcome of vision screening services and wider service development and are regular contributors to professional conferences alongside the Paediatric Ophthalmology team.

Funding from research has provided much needed equipment used by the NHS Ophthalmic service, including a Microperimeter, Reichert tonometry, and corneal cross-linking.

Our pioneering work is shared in Ophthalmic Journals internationally.

Our Mission

  • To continue to develop our research activity within Ophthalmology and embed it into everyday practice.
  • To promote current treatments, education and innovation for clinical care for ophthalmology.
  • To make research common practice, that is valued by all and available to all.
  • To value patients and their contribution to clinical research and provide safe, innovative quality care.
  • To be role models within Ophthalmology and to promote and share best practice when caring for patients with ophthalmological conditions.

Want to contact us?

We'd love to hear from you.