Meet the Team
Ophthalmology research supports both the medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases, including optometry and rehabilitation within the discipline of vision science. This specialty has the largest demand in NHS outpatient departments and is increasing, making research and targeted therapies a priority to address the unmet need of patients.
The five clinical specialty groups within ophthalmology are cataract, optometry, refractive and cornea (CORC), glaucoma, all aspects of paediatric ophthalmology and uveitis. The ophthalmology specialty also has strong links to the ageing, dementia and diabetes specialty therapy areas.
Research delivery manager
CRN North East and North Cumbria
Ophthalmology specialty group lead
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
Anaesthesia, perioperative medicine and pain management, critical care, trauma and emergency, ophthalmology, ears, nose and throat, musculoskeletal, surgery and oral and dental
Deepali Varma's research experience
I am a consultant ophthalmologist and medical retina specialist at Sunderland Eye Infirmary since 2008 and the director of research at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust since 2020.
I have worked collaboratively with industry and academia and have been a PI for over 30 commercial clinical trials as well as conducted and published original retinal research. I am an executive member and specialty group lead for ophthalmology for the NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria.
My tips to get involved in research are: make sure to network with regional ophthalmology researchers to explore research opportunities, complete your Good Clinical Practice training and try to attend the quarterly ophthalmology specialty group meetings by contacting Clinical Research Network North East North Cumbria admin support for ophthalmology. It is also useful to find a mentor within ophthalmology senior researchers, such as a chief or principal investigator.
How to get involved
Priority setting partnerships
Familiarise yourself with the top 10 sight loss and vision priorities, collated by the James Lind Alliance and sorted into sub-specialties.
Be Part of Research
Signpost patients to Be Part of Research and encourage your colleagues to do the same
Take a look at the NIHR journals, where you can explore previous research projects and identify which questions are still unanswered, this could help inform future research proposals.
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