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Dr Ben Mead

Dr Ben Mead


+44(0)29 2087 0502
3.04, Optometry and Vision Sciences, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4HQ


In my laboratory we develop new therapies to better treat traumatic and degenerative eye diseases, including glaucoma. Our research focuses on the use of stem cells and their secreted compounds to prevent cellular loss in the retina and preserve vision. Of particular interest to me are exosomes, small extracellular vesicles that are secreted from cells and appear to possess remarkable therapeutic potential. Our work also seeks to better model eye disease, either with more robust animal models or through the utilization of human retinal culture systems.

We collaborate closely with the National Eye Institute, NIH, USA. I am happy to communicate with individuals seeking to learn more about my work along with any potential collaborators or prospective students.


I did my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham (2008-2011) followed by a Masters in Biomedical Research (2011-2012) and a PhD in Traumatic and Degenerative Eye Disease (2012-2015), which was via the Alternative Format (PhD-by-publication).

Following my PhD I moved overseas and took up a Visiting Fellowship as well as later, a Marie Curie EU Fellowship in the US at the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (2015-2019). I then returned to the University of Birmingham for a short duration before taking up a lectureship at Cardiff University, School of Optometry.










I have taught human neuroscience at the National Institutes of Health along with neuroscience and pharmacology at the University of Birmingham.

At Cardiff University I currently teach about the neurophysiology of vision.

Research Interests

  • Extracellular vesicle/exosome therapies as a treatment for traumatic and degeneration eye disease
  • Mesenchymal stem cell treatment for glaucoma
  • Molecular mechanisms of glaucoma and the development of more robust animal models
  • Central nervous system axon regeneration and the optic nerve as a model for CNS injury
  • Human embryonic stem cell-derived retina as an animal-free model for eye disease

Major Collaborations

  • Dr Zubair Ahmed, University of Birmingham, UK – Regeneration of the optic nerve
  • Dr Ben Scheven, University of Birmingham, Dental School, UK – Therapeutic application of dental stem cells for neural repair
  • Dr Stanislav Tomarev, National Institutes of Health, USA – Stem cell therapy in glaucoma
  • Dr Anand Swaroop, National Institutes of Health, USA – RNAseq of purified RGC
  • Dr Jennifer Jones, National Institutes of Health, USA – Exosomes and NanoSight
  • Dr Yuzhe Niu, National Institutes of Health, USA – Neural crest cell culture
  • Dr Richard Libby, University of Rochester, NY, USA – DBA/2J glaucoma mouse model
  • Prof Donald Zack, John Hopkins University, USA –Human iPSC/RGC culture
  • Prof Paul Kaufman, New York University, USA – Primate models of glaucoma
  • Prof Steven Bernstein, University of Maryland, USA – Optic nerve head