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  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists/ Fight for Sight award (2018)
  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (2016)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford (2016)
  • Royal Society of Medicine/ Wesleyan trainee of the year (2014)
  • Oxford Ophthalmological congress Founder's cup (2014)
  • Dermot Pierse prize in Ophthalmology, Royal Society of Medicine (2014)
  • Wellcome Trust clinical research training fellowship (2010)
  • Harcourt medal (highest mark MRCOphth part 3), Royal College of Ophthalmologists (2008)
  • Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (2006)
  • Proxime Accessit (joint 2nd place final BM examination), University of Oxford (2003)
  • BMBCh, University of Oxford (2003)
  • BA (Neuroscience), 1st class, University of Cambridge (2000)
  • College Prize & Rolleston scholarship, St John's College, University of Cambridge (1998,1999, 2000)

Samantha de Silva

MA (Cantab) BMBCh MRCP FRCOphth DPhil

Honorary Clinical Research Associate

  • Consultant Ophthalmologist, Oxford Eye Hospital

Samantha's background is in clinical ophthalmology and she is currently a specialist registrar at the Oxford Eye hospital with a subspecialist interest in medical retina disorders. Her research aims to develop gene therapy for patients with end-stage retinal degenerations. These conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa affect about 1 in 3000 people with a significant proportion having extensive visual loss and blindness.

As a Wellcome Trust funded research fellow in the groups of Professor Robert MacLaren and Professor Mark Hankins, Samantha is investigating the role of optogenetics in gene therapy. This aims to make residual cells in the degenerate retina light-sensitive which could potentially restore visual function. 

She has numerous accolades for this work including several prizes, and was also profiled in an article on gene therapy careers in Nature. 


  • BBC Radio Interview by 'The Naked Scientists

Recent publications

More publications