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Dr Kapetanovic is an MRC Clinician Scientist and a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology where she leads the retinal disease advanced therapeutics research group. Kapetanovic group focuses on developing groundbreaking therapies for inherited and acquired retinal degeneration and robotic delivery approaches to treat blindness. Kapetanovic received her undergraduate (MA in Physiological Sciences, Balliol College) and medical degrees at the University of Oxford. She was awarded the UK's first NIHR integrated clinical academic fellowship programme in ophthalmology and has since awarded Masters in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (First Class) and a PhD in Medicine (gene therapy and optogenetics) via the MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship at the University of Manchester, UK. Her PhD in optogenetic vision restoration was awarded the prestigious Russell Medal for the best UK paper in vision research and several outstanding awards including the MRC Centenary Award and Retinitis Pigmentosa Fighting Blindness Award. As a Keeler scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, she conducted a post-doctoral research into adeno-associated vector biology for ocular applications, under the mentorship of Professor Flannery. She completed the specialist training and was admitted as a fellow (FRCOphth) into the UK Royal College of Ophthalmologists and has won over 30 awards during her early career as an academic ophthalmologist. She is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon specialised in cataract and vitreoretinal surgery, and as an MRC Clinician Scientist she is currently working on developing innovative surgical techniques including robot-assisted retinal surgery for future applications in genetic therapies. 

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Hoda Shamsnajafabadi - Post Doctoral Research Assistant

Grace Borchert - DPhil Student

Benjamin Ng - DPhil Student

Previous Students:

Jędrzej Golebka - Medical Student 

Federica Staurenghi, MSc (Research) Cinical Neurosciences, Oxford University

Mana Rahimzadeh, Academic Medical Student, New College, Oxford University

James Aylward BMBCh, St Hilda's College, Oxford University

Abigail Pienaar, MA in Neurosciences, University of Manchester, 2014-2015 (Distinction)

Abigail Blackwell, MA in Neurosciences, University of Manchester, 2013-2014 (Distinction)

Dr Jasmina Cehajic Kapetanovic

M.A. Phy. Sci., B.M. B.Ch. Oxon., M.Sc. I.O.V.S., Ph.D., F.R.C.Ophth.

MRC Clinician Scientist and Consultant Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon

  • Honorary Clinician Scientist, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK
  • Honorary Clinician Scientist, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Restoring Vision with Gene Therapy and Optogenetics and Developing Robot-Assisted Retinal Surgery


Dr Kapetanovic's research focuses on vision restoration and development of therapies for inherited retinal degenerations, the leading cause of blindness in the working population, as well as therapies for a more common form of blindness, the dry age related macular degeneration (AMD). Kapetanovic has lead pioneering gene therapy trials with Robert MacLaren for choroideremia, RPGR X-linked retinitis pigmentosa and dry AMD at clinical centres at Oxford, Manchester and the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. She is also involved in the Retinal Implant programme and developing surgical techniques for retinal gene therapy including the innovative robot-assisted vector delivery. Her laboratory based research focuses on developing novel optogenetic strategies and improving the efficacy of gene delivery to the retina. She was recently awarded an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship Award to continue working at this groundbreaking research.


The 2023 German Ophthalmic Surgery Society Keynote Lecture Award on Robotic Eye Surgery.

The 2023 Thomas Willis Intermediate Career Researcher Prize Winner, Oxford University.

The 2023 Ruskell Medal for the best published paper in vision sciences (awarded to co-author Dr Cristina Martinez), The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers Research Awards, UK

The 2020 Ruskell Medal Runner Up, The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers Research Awards, UK

American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy Excellence in Research Award, 2020

American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy Meritorious Abstract Travel Award, 2020

Global Ophthalmology Awards Programme Fellowship, Bayer, 2018/2019

International Congress of Ophthalmological Societies Research Award, 2017

The Academy of Medical Sciences Research Prize, London, 2017

The 2016 Ruskell Medal, The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers Research Awards, London, 2016

Post-Doctoral Clinical Research Fellowship, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, 2015

Retinitis Pigmentosa Fighting Blindness Post Doctoral Research Award, 2015

The MRC Centenary Award, 2014

The Keeler Scholarship Award, 2014

The Confidence in Concept Award, Medical Research Council, UK, 2014

The David McLeod Research Cup, University of Manchester, 2014

The John Lee Prize, Royal College of Ophthalmologists, London, 2013

The Dickinson Trust Award, Manchester, 2013

The Research and Innovation Award, Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, Manchester, 2012

The North of England Ophthalmological Society Award, 2011

The Academy of Medical Sciences Research Prize, London, 2011

The National Institute for Health and Research, Biomedical Research Centre Award, 2011

The MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship, 2010

The Daniel Turnberg Cup Runner Up, University of Manchester 2010

The Annual Alcon Achievement Research Award, Manchester 2009 and 2008

The Andrew Tullo Research Cup, Manchester, 2008 and 2007

Integrated Academic Training Award, North Western Deanery and University of Manchester, 2007

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship, 2006

John Potter Prize in Neurology and Neurosurgery, University of Oxford, 2002

Oxford University Psychiatry Prize, University of Oxford, 2001

Distinction in Experimental Dissertation in Neuropharmacology, University of Oxford, 1999


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