Major funding for eye research announced

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have received a major five year funding award for eye research from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), recognising the world-leading excellence of our partnership.

The joint biomedical research centre (BRC) for ophthalmology, based at Moorfields and the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, has been awarded £19 million over five years, starting on 1 April 2017. 

This announcement follows an application to the Department of Health earlier this summer, which was assessed by an international selection panel.

Professor Sir Peng Tee Khaw, Moorfields’ director of research and development and director of the BRC, and director of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Professor Andrew Dick said:

“We are delighted to once again have been awarded a NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. This substantial investment in eye research will enable us to continue to rapidly develop and deliver life-changing treatments for our patients. With sight loss predicted to double by the year 2050, this vital funding for eye research has never been more important. This award recognises our world-leading excellence in translating basic research through to treatments and improvements for patients.”

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said:

“The UK has so often led the world in health research – from the invention of the smallpox vaccine to the discovery of penicillin and the development of DNA sequencing. Today, we are making sure the UK stays ahead of the game by laying the foundations for a new age of personalised medicine. We are supporting the great minds of the NHS to push the frontiers of medical science so that patients in this country continue to benefit from the very latest treatments and the highest standards of care.”

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact the Moorfields Eye Hospital Press Office on or call 020 7566 2628. For out of hours enquiries please call 020 7253 3411 who will contact the on call press officer.

  • Today’s announcement relates to a new application round completed during the summer of 2016. Funding announced for this round covers five years starting from 1 April 2017. 
  • The NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre for ophthalmology has been awarded a total of £19,075,000 for this period. 

NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology was established in April 2007, awarded a second five-year term by the NIHR from April 2012 and third five-year term by the NIHR from April 2017. Its purpose is to conduct 'translational research' that is designed to take advances in basic medical research from the laboratory to the clinic, enabling patients to benefit more quickly from new scientific breakthroughs. Our centre is currently one of 11 biomedical research centres that were awarded in 2012 to NHS/university partnerships with an outstanding international reputation for medical research and expertise, and experience of translating that research into the clinical setting. For further information, please visit

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the world’s leading eye hospitals, providing expertise in clinical care, research and education. We have provided excellence in eye care for more than 200 years and we continue to be at the forefront of new breakthroughs and developments. We are an integral part of one of the UK’s first academic health science centres, UCL Partners, and now we are part of one of the first science health networks. We were one of the first organisations to become an NHS foundation trust in 2004. For further information, please visit

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is one of a number of specialised research centres within UCL (University College London) and is, together with Moorfields Eye Hospital, one of the leading centres for eye research worldwide. The combination of the Institute’s research resource with the resources of Moorfields Eye Hospital, which has the largest ophthalmic patient population in the Western World, opens the way for advances at the forefront of vision research. For further information, please visit

About the NIHR
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website ( 

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