Ophthalmology research in Bristol is committed to providing a first class environment in which health care, education, clinical and laboratory research can be conducted simultaneously. Research is focussed on improvements in future health care that rely heavily on the implementation of basic science advances and the transfer of laboratory acquired knowledge to the clinic.

Bristol’s core laboratory-based research groups have the expertise to broaden investigations into ocular inflammatory diseases, retinal neovascularisation and angiogenesis, corneal transplant rejection, retinal stem cells, inherited genetic disorders and understanding the maintenance of health of the ocular surface and cornea. These diverse themes draw on common state-of-the-art facilities (including the UK’s largest corneal and ocular tissue bank) and benefit from wide scientific collaboration, not only within the University of Bristol, but also nationally and internationally.

Bristol also has parallel applied health-care research programmes for the development of improved health service delivery pathways, the assessment of vision-related quality of life, determining the evidence base for ocular therapies, as well as studying visual development in children.

The benefits of all these endeavours are then delivered to the patient through Bristol Eye Hospital’s Clinical Research Unit, which runs a range of investigator-driven and commercial studies. This enables vision research and the NHS service to be fully integrated at the patient interface, giving patients access to cutting-edge therapies as soon as they become available, and also ensuring that new innovations are critically evaluated in the clinic.

The quality of healthcare we deliver is dependent on the discovery and application of scientific innovation as articulated in the Government’s strategy “Best Research for Best Health” (see link to NIHR website) and making research core business of the NHS. Under the leadership of Prof Andrew Dick, Bristol aims to develop a profile of Academic Ophthalmology by promoting clinical scientific advances, enhancing the quality of training and career development for both clinical and clinical academic staff, with the ultimate aim of improving the standard of care for our patients.