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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)

In the media

  • BBC Radio Interview by 'The Naked Scientists

Samantha de Silva

MA (Cantab) BMBCh MRCP FRCOphth DPhil

Consultant Ophthalmologist

Samantha is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon specialising in medical retina disorders at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 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. Her research interests also include understanding the genetic background and disease variability in inherited retinal disorders.

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. 


- Ahmed Shalaby, DPhil student

- Saoud Al-Khuzaei, DPhil student 


Key publications

Recent publications

More publications