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Samantha's background is in clinical ophthalmology. She studied pre-clinical medicine at the University of Cambridge with an intercalated year (Part II) in Neurosciences (1st class). Samantha subsequently studied clinical medicine at the University of Oxford and undertook postgraduate training in medicine before embarking on a career in Ophthalmology. She was awarded the Harcourt medal by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists for performance in the MRCOphth part 3 examination.

Samantha de Silva


Honorary Clinical Research Associate

  • Specialist Trainee in Ophthalmology, Oxford deanery
Research Summary

Samantha's 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. 

For this work she has been awarded the Dermot Pierse prize in Ophthalmology by the Royal Society of Medicine, the Oxford Ophthalmological congress Founder's cup and was named the Royal Society of Medicine/ Weslyan trainee of the year 2014.

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Recent Publications

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