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Robert MacLaren

Robert MacLaren is Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Oxford Eye Hospital, Honorary Professor of Ophthalmology at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Honorary Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital, Honorary Consultant Ophthalmologist at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, Faculty Member and Founding Theme Leader of the Moorfields-UCL Institute of Ophthalmology Biomedical Research Centre. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Fellow and former King James IV Professor of Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinbugh, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Bodley Fellow of Merton College Oxford.

Scientifc Interest

Our clinical and laboratory research is dedicated to finding new treatments for blindness, particularly in patients with incurable retinal diseases. In addition to developing gene therapy with new adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors in the laboratory, we are currently leading a gene therapy trial to treat choroideraemia. We are also developing treatments for other macular and retinal degenerations. We have a clinical research program in artifical vision with bio-genetic and electronic devices. In the clinic we are testing new imaging methods for retinal diseases and in the operating theatre we are developing new eye surgery techniques for age-related macular degeneration, cataract and macular hole surgery.

Sources of Funding

  • The Health Foundation
  • The Medical Research Council UK
  • The Royal Blind
  • The Scottish National Institute for the War Blinded
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • The Special Trustees of Moorfields Eye Hospital
  • The Wellcome Trust
  • Fight for Sight
  • The Lanvern Foundation
  • The Oxford Stem Cell Institute
  • The National Institute for Health Research
Robert MacLaren
Robert MacLaren

Research Group

MacLaren Research Group

[more information]


University of Oxford

Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology

Level 6 West Wing
John Radcliffe Hospital
Headley Way
United Kingdom

Phone: 01865 234796



Key Publications

  1. Smith, Henry B, Sabrosa, Nelson A, Patton, Niall, and MacLaren, Robert E.
    Combined phacoemulsification and removal of gas following macular hole surgery.
    J Cataract Refract Surg 37.2 (Feb 2011): 229-34.
  2. Lee, E, and MacLaren, R E.
    Sources of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) for replacement therapy.
    Br J Ophthalmol 95.4 (Apr 2011): 445-9.
  3. West, Emma L, Pearson, Rachael A, Barker, Susie E, Luhmann, Ulrich F O, Maclaren, Robert E, Barber, Amanda C, Duran, Yanai, Smith, Alexander J, Sowden, Jane C, and Ali, Robin R.
    Long-term survival of photoreceptors transplanted into the adult murine neural retina requires immune modulation.
    Stem Cells 28.11 (Nov 2010): 1997-2007.
  4. Comyn, Oliver, Lee, Edward, and MacLaren, Robert E.
    Induced pluripotent stem cell therapies for retinal disease.
    Curr Opin Neurol 23.1 (Feb 2010): 4-9.
  5. Tolmachova, T, Wavre-Shapton, ST, Barnard, AR, MacLaren, RE, and Futter, CE.
    Retinal pigment epithelium defects accelerate photoreceptor degeneration in cell type-specific knockout mouse models of choroideremia.
    Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 51.10 (2010): 4913-20.
  6. Pearson, RA, Barber, AC, West, EL, MacLaren, RE, Duran, Y, Bainbridge, JW, Sowden, JC, and Ali, RR.
    Targeted disruption of outer limiting membrane junctional proteins (Crb1 and ZO-1) increases integration of transplanted photoreceptor precursors into the adult wild-type and degenerating retina.
    Cell Transplant 19.4 (2010): 487-503.
  7. Sohn, EH, Chen, FK, Rubin, GS, Moore, AT, Webster, AR, and MacLaren, RE.
    Macular function assessed by microperimetry in patients with enhanced S-cone syndrome.
    Ophthalmology 117.6 (2010): 1199-1206.
  8. Sabrosa, Nelson A, Smith, Henry B, and Maclaren, Robert E.
    Scleral punch method with topical mitomycin C for safe revision of failed deep sclerectomy in nanophthalmic uveal effusion syndrome.
    Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 247.7 (Jul 2009): 999-1001.
  9. Luhmann, Ulrich F O, Robbie, Scott, Munro, Peter M G, Barker, Susie E, Duran, Yanai, Luong, Vy, Fitzke, Frederick W, Bainbridge, James W B, Ali, Robin R, and MacLaren, Robert E.
    The drusenlike phenotype in aging Ccl2-knockout mice is caused by an accelerated accumulation of swollen autofluorescent subretinal macrophages.
    Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 50.12 (Dec 2009): 5934-43.
  10. MacLaren, Robert E.
    An analysis of retinal gene therapy clinical trials.
    Curr Opin Mol Ther 11.5 (Oct 2009): 540-6.
  11. West, E L, Pearson, R A, MacLaren, R E, Sowden, J C, and Ali, R R.
    Cell transplantation strategies for retinal repair.
    Prog Brain Res 175 (2009): 3-21.
  12. Chen, Fred K, Uppal, Gurmit S, MacLaren, Robert E, Coffey, Peter J, Rubin, Gary S, Tufail, Adnan, Aylward, G William, and Da Cruz, Lyndon.
    Long-term visual and microperimetry outcomes following autologous retinal pigment epithelium choroid graft for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.
    Clin Experiment Ophthalmol 37.3 (Apr 2009): 275-85.

Research Groups