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Our People

Prof Susan Downes

Fellow, Ordinary Fellow

Professor of Ophthalmology, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology

MSc (Southampton), FRCOphth (Royal College of Ophthalmology), MBChB, MD (Res) (Bristol)

Professor Susan Downes has been a Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Oxford Eye Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals University Foundation Trust since 2000. She is also a Professor of Ophthalmology, and Deputy Lead for the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, University of Oxford. Susan completed her post-residency clinical and research fellowships in Medical Retina at Moorfields Eye Hospital, during which she obtained a higher degree (MD 2000) in inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) at the Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL, and Moorfields Eye Hospital. She was awarded a gold medal by the Oxford University Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust for outstanding achievement (2014). She was in the 2021 Top List of Women in European Vision Research and Ophthalmology.

Susan is the Ophthalmology Clinical Research Network lead for Thames Valley and South Midlands, representing them nationally. She set up, and is the Clinical Lead for the Eye Research Group Oxford (ERGO), and is PI and co-PI on projects with wide ranging collaborations in retinal disease, and is an examiner and supervisor for DPhils. She has significant collaborations within the University of Oxford, throughout the UK and internationally. She has over 150 publications, and gives invited national and international presentations. Together with colleagues from Clinical Genetics, the Clinical Genetics Laboratory and the University of Oxford, funded by the Biomedical Science Centre of Excellence, she was involved in evaluating next generation sequencing (NGS) in IRD leading to Oxford NHS genetic testing. Susan was a founder member and a previous chair of the steering group of the United Kingdom Eye Genetics Group (UKEGG). Susan has a strong track record in teaching and training of Allied Health Professionals, medical students, and ophthalmology trainees. She was the Ophthalmology lead for the 5th year Ophthalmology teaching programme from 2015-2022 and the Ophthalmology Foundation Lead during that time. Her main clinical and research interests include inherited retinal dystrophies, retinal drug toxicity and age-related macular degeneration. She is a visiting Ophthalmologist to the Pantheo Centre in Limassol, Cyprus.