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Supervised students and ophthalmologists

Imran Yusuf

MBChB(Hons), MRes, MRCP(UK), PG Dip Ed, DPhil, FRCOphth

Academic Vitreoretinal Surgical Fellow

Developing molecular therapies for untreatable retinal disorders


Imran is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford and Fellow in Vitreoretinal Surgery at the Oxford Eye Hospital. His research interests are in the development of molecular therapies for untreatable retinal disorders and their translation into clinical practice.

Imran completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford under the joint supervision of Professor Robert MacLaren and Professor Peter Charbel Issa funded by the Medical Research Council, UK. He developed a new gene therapy treatment for a currently untreatable form of inherited retinal degeneration which is being commercialised by Beacon Therapeutics, a clinical stage retinal gene therapy company founded in 2023. He contributes to pre-clinical and clinical research studies within the Clinical Ophthalmology Research Group, including supervising a number of students, in addition to contributing to the emergency retinal surgery service in Oxford and the surrounding region.

Imran completed his 7-year surgical training in Ophthalmology in the Oxford region, including the Oxford Eye Hospital, Prince Charles Eye Unit (Windsor), Royal Berkshire Hospital (Reading) and Stoke Mandeville Hospital (Aylesbury).  He graduated from Manchester Medical School in 2009 with Honours, and completed a Masters in Research degree with Distinction. He has published over 100 papers in the peer-reviewed literature, and has won over 30 prizes in his early career including the Duke Elder Prize in Ophthalmology in 2009, awarded by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists. He is a Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP).

Imran is a co-editor of the first edition of the Oxford Handbook of Medical School (Oxford University Press, 2019). He has an interest in medical education having completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Education at the Oxford Learning Institute. He has visited Kwale District Eye Centre in Kenya on 7 occasions as part of a visiting team to provide clinical skills training . He is the co-founder and part of the teaching faculty of the Oxford Eye course, and is the joint-founder and co-host of EyeJC, the ESCRS online journal club. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Merton College Graduate Scholar 2019-20.

Imran is a consultant examiner for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) and was part of the RCOphth guideline development group that made new recommendations for hydroxychloroquine retinopathy screening in the UK (2018 & 2020). He led a national epidemiological study of this disorder. He sits on the Research Committee for the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS).

Recent publications

More publications

Prizes & Research Funding

Knoop Junior Research Fellowship, St. Cross College, University of Oxford, 2022-24

UK Eye Genetics Group - Overall Research Prize winner (Best oral presentation), Annual Meeting, 2021.

Royal Society of Medicine, Ophthalmology Section, Annual Conference 2021 - Overall Research Prize winner (Best oral presentation)

Oxford-Medical Research Council - Doctoral Training Partnership (MRC-DTP) Symposium Student Research Competition Winner 2021 (best oral presentation)

Thomas Willis Prize 2021 (Fourth year DPhil, Joint) - Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences

American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Meritorious Abstract Travel Award 2021

Oxford-Medical Research Council - Doctoral Training Partnership (MRC-DTP) Symposium Student Talk Competition Winner 2019 (best oral presentation)

ORBIS Associate Ophthalmologist Funding Award 2019, European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS) (supporting a one week visit to Myanmar for adult and paediatric cataract surgery)

Merton Graduate Scholarship 2019-20, Merton College, Oxford

International travel grant, 2019 - ARVO Foundation

Medical Research Council (MRC) DPhil Funding Award 2017 - 2020 (£352,317 to develop a novel gene therapy for a form of inherited retinal degeneration)

Oxford Hospitals Small Research Grant 2016; £8,549 to undertake a national case finding study of hydroxychloroquine retinopathy in the United Kingdom. 

Oral presentation prize at the Midland Ophthalmological Symposium - Midland Ophthalmological Society, 2015

National Alcon Glaucoma Competition Winner 2015 - Alcon.

Ophthalmology Travel Bursary 2014 - Royal Society of Medicine.

Oxford Trainee Ophthalmologists Society - Best oral presentation prize, 2014

Ethicon Foundation Fund 2013 - Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Best Overall Research Prize 2013 - UK and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (UKISCRS). 

Best Overall Poster Prize - European Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (EPOS) Annual Meeting, 2013 

Sir William Lister Travel Award 2012 - Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Ophthalmology Annual Presentation Prize 2012 - Royal Society of Medicine. 

Oxford Trainee Ophthalmologists Society - Best oral presentation prize, 2012

McCartney Prize in Ophthalmic Pathology 2011 - Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Best Cataract Surgery Presentation Prize 2010 -UK and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (UKISCRS).

Nuffield Oxford Hospital Funds grant application 2010; £9,967.13 for medical equipment and software to significantly improve the quality of clinical training delivered to Oxford medical students. 

Duke Elder Examination Prize in Ophthalmology 2009 - Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Best Poster Prize 2009 - Royal Society of Medicine

Wolfson Foundation Intercalated Degree Scholarship - Royal College of Physicians. 

Essay Prize in Rheumatology 2007 - Arthritis Research Council, UK

Medical Prize and Scholarship Fund Award, 2006 Manchester Medical School (ranked 2nd place position of 515 medical students overall)