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Visual Neuroscience and Molecular Biology (PhD/MPhil)


Lab worker using pipette.

Suitable for:

Graduates in cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, neuroscience, biology, biochemistry, optometry or any relevant scientific discipline.

Programme Aims:

To offer knowledge and expertise for post doctoral/lectureship positions in cell biology, molecular biology, neuroscience, molecular genetics, and vision science. Also for research positions in industry and the Health Service, scientific informatics and science writing.

Programme Description:

Research Areas:
  • Wound healing
  • Understanding and preventing corneal dystrophies
  • Improving corneal storage for transplantation
  • Gene transfer
  • Molecular genetics of myopia
  • Role of central brain pathways in accommodative dysfunction and myopia
  • Ageing and cell dysfunction
  • Role of growth factors in neovascularisation
  • Oxidative damage and cell dysfunction
  • Stem cell biology
  • Light damage
  • Neural plasticity
  • Mechanisms and prevention of neural cell death
Special features of this research group:
  • International centre of excellence.
  • Has made a number of novel discoveries:
    • That lipofuscin is a photoinducible free radical generator that causes cell dysfunction;
    • That placenta growth factor is present in the eye and that its expression shows a positive correlation with the pathobiology of diabetic retinopathy;
    • That matrix metalloprotinases are unregulated in the development of myopia in mammals and identification of a new member of the MMP family;
    • That damage to the centrifugal visual system alters eye development and its refractive state, suggesting that the brain influences emmetropisation.
    • Developed innovative models for studying wound healing, corneal transplantation, neural tracing, ocular development and oxidative damage to the retina.
  • Supported by grants from the MRC, BBSRC, Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, Medical Charities, Health Service and the private sector.

Year of Entry: 2010

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