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Dr Sally Hayes (née Dennis)  -  Research Associate

Dr Sally Hayes
Position:Research Associate

Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 70459
Location:Room 3.22

After graduating from Aberystwyth University in 2000 with a First Class Honours in Animal (Equine) Science, I took up a 5-year MRC funded Research Assistant post within the Structural Biophysics Group at Cardiff University to investigate the relationship between corneal structure and function. In 2005 I was awarded a PhD for my research into the structural organisation of collagen in the corneas of primates and other animals and the stromal changes associated with the disease keratoconus. Since then, I have continued to follow this line of research as a post-doctorate scientist.

Research Interests

My current research is aimed at further understanding the relationship between structure and function in normal and diseased corneas.  I am particularly interested in keratoconus, a disease characterised by progressive thinning and steepening of the cornea and severe irregular astigmatism. Keratoconus is one of the leading causes of corneal transplant surgery in the UK.

Using a combination of videokeratography to assess corneal shape, and synchrotron x-ray diffraction to gain quantitative structural information about the organisation and distribution of collagen in normal and keratoconus corneas, we attempted to form a link between corneal structure and specific keratoconus shape changes and proposed a mechanism (involving lamellar slippage) that may explain how the keratoconus cornea thins and steepens. In recent years a therapeutic treatment has been developed to halt these changes. The treatment involves the use of UVA/riboflavin cross linking to stabilise the collagen and its surrounding matrix and my primary interest at present is to identify precisely how this occurs.

I am also very interested in human corneal development, in particular the structural changes that lead to the cornea becoming strong, transparent and precisely curved. Recently granted access to the MRC/Wellcome Trust-funded Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR) has provided us with a unique opportunity to examine structural changes occurring at key stages of foetal development.


Selected Publications


Hayes, S., Boote, C., Tuft, S., Quantock, A. and Meek, K. 2007.  A study of corneal thickness, shape and collagen organisation in keratoconus using videokeratography and x-ray scattering techniques.  Experimental Eye Research.  84.  423-434.

Hayes S, Boote C, Lewis J, Sheppard J, Abahussin M, Quantock AJ, Purslow C, Votruba M, Meek KM. 2007. Comparative study of fibrillar collagen arrangement in the corneas of primates and other mammals. Anatomical Record (Hoboken). 290(12):1542-50.

Hayes S, O'Brart DP, Lamdin LS, Doutch J, Samaras K, Marshall J, Meek KM. 2008. Effect of complete epithelial debridement before riboflavin-ultraviolet-A corneal collagen crosslinking therapy. Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. 34(4):657-61

Hayes S, Boote C, Kamma-Lorger CS, Rajan MS, Harris J, Dooley E, Hawksworth N, Hiller J, Terill NJ, Hafezi F, Brahma AK, Quantock AJ and Meek KM. Riboflavin/UVA collagen cross-linking-induced changes in normal and keratoconus corneal stroma. PloS One. 2011; 6(8): e22405