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Samantha is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon specialising in medical retina disorders. After graduating from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, she completed ophthalmology training in the Oxford deanery. This was followed by two prestigious sub-specialist fellowships in medical retina, in Oxford and at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. 

Samantha was awarded a Wellcome Trust fellowship to undertake doctoral research in the Nuffield laboratory of Ophthalmology under the mentorship of Professors Robert MacLaren and Mark Hankins, to investigate optogenetic strategies to restore vision in end-stage inherited retinal degenerations. This led to high impact publications including a first author publication in PNAS and several awards. Samantha has given numerous invited lectures, and sits on the Women in Vision UK committee, promoting the role of women in ophthalmology and visual sciences, and was also profiled in an article on gene therapy careers in Nature. 


  • 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

Consultant Ophthalmologist


Samantha is based at the Oxford Eye Hospital and Nuffield laboratory of Ophthalmology. She leads research focusing on using real world clinical data and large scale biomedical databases (such as the UK Biobank) to interrogate genotype-phenotype correlations and disease mechanisms in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and inherited retinal diseases. Her work also uses clinical datasets to assess optimal treatment delivery and response in common retinal diseases such as AMD, diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusions. 


- Ahmed Shalaby, DPhil student

- Saoud Al-Khuzaei, DPhil student 

- Grace Borchert, DPhil student, Ramsay Scholar and Clarendon Scholar

In the media

  • Retina UK "Ask the Expert Webinar" 2023:
  • BBC Radio Interview by 'The Naked Scientists':


Key publications

Recent publications

More publications