Critical to our support and investment in the leaders of tomorrow are our PhD grant programmes which fund individuals from pre-clinical to clinical disciplines. We’re immensely proud of our PhD candidates and their impact on areas from research to health, education and policy.

Our support enables them to undertake a high-quality PhD project in their chosen area of eye health research.

Dr Nilpa Shah

We supported Dr Nilpa Shah’s PhD focusing on methods to improve the measurement of visual function in clinical settings. She completed her PhD in 2018 and it led to several peer reviewed publications.

She helped develop the Moorfields Acuity Chart which is now commercially available and has since been included in several textbooks. Nilpa was awarded the George Giles postgraduate research prize by the College of Optometrists for her PhD work.

Today, she is joint principal research optometrist within the optometry department at Moorfields and continues her research in the development of tests of visual function.

Dr Nilpa Shah

Dr Paul Sladen

Dr Paul Sladen started his PhD in 2016, focused on understanding the pathological disease mechanisms associated with Dominant Optic Atrophy using patient-derived cell lines and CRISPR/​Cas9 gene editing.

Having successfully completed his thesis, he continued to work with Professor Michael Cheetham at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology on another project.

Paul drew on his PhD training and expanded his expertise whilst using patient-derived cell lines to model Leber Congenital Amaurosis and understand the benefits of potential therapies.

Dr Cynthia Wu Wei Man

Finding time to carry out a PhD alongside clinical training can be difficult. We were delighted to be part of the funding support which enabled Dr Cynthia Wu Wei Man to carry out an exciting PhD under the supervision of Professor Sir Peng Khaw at Moorfields.

At King’s College London, she continues to advance her research in the area of glaucoma including setting up a unique UK Glaucoma BioResource.

Since completing her PhD, Cynthia has also received prestigious awards like her current MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship in 2020 and the King’s Prize Fellowship in 2019.

Hear from Professor Alison Hardcastle

Professor Alison Hardcastle discusses research at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and the scope of opportunity provided by our PhD Studentships and Early Career Researcher Fellowships to a new generation of vision researchers.

We’re delighted to support such outstanding PhD students and their vital work advancing eye health and bringing new insights which change the future for patients with sight loss. We’re excited to see where their careers take them.

Ailish Murray, Director of grants and research