Eye and Vision Sciences

The Department of Eye and Vision Science in the Institute of Life Course and Medical Sciences is working to transform our understanding of the eye and the process of ‘seeing’.

Scientists, engineers and clinicians work from cornea to cortex, and from bench to bedside, to uncover how basic mechanisms, processes and structures relate to vision. Then we investigate how these are affected by ageing and disease. This work is having life-changing results for patients of all ages right across the globe.

The diseases we study are extensive, but focus on chronic, common and sight-threatening conditions affecting the eye and related structures. We are seeking improved methods of disease prevention and early detection, with new treatment and modes of delivery.

The cutting-edge facilities in the University of Liverpool’s new William Henry Duncan Building provide a state-of-the-art hub in which our clinical and non-clinical scientists carry out their research. Our translational research is facilitated and enhanced by our close links with St Paul’s Eye Unit and the Clinical Eye Research Centre both the Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust.


Our challenges

Ophthalmic imaging and in silico analysis for diagnosis and prognostic modelling

Utilising Machine Learning, advanced imaging techniques and pattern recognition to devlop new processes for analysing and diagnosing ophthalmic conditions.

Ophthalmic drug delivery

Developing novel, biomaterial-based ocular drug delivery systems and models (in vitro and in silico) to improve the efficacy of ophthalmic drug treatments.

Ophthalmic tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

Utilising advanced materials and processes to develop clinical diagnosis and the delivery of treatments for ocular conditions.

Ophthalmic inflammation, scarring and wound repair

Developing a greater understanding of cellular behaviour, as well as identifiying new targets and potential new mechanisms to develop treatments for a variety of ophthalmic conditions and injuries.

Ocular infection

Developing research into the eye microbiome to develop better procedures for analysing and treating ocular infection.

Vision science

Wide-reaching research into various aspects of vision including neurophysiology, visuomotor behaviour, and cognitive processing; to aid in developing a better understanding and potential treatment for a range of ophthalmic conditions.

Inherited ocular disorders

Producing high-level research to better understand and develop treatments for inherited ocular disorders that are among the leading causes for blindness.

Global ophthalmology challenges

Tackling the challenge of detection, prevention and treatment of ophthalmic disease worldwide. Establishing global partnerships to improve eye health and treatment in developing nations.

Centres of Excellence

https://www.rlbuht.nhs.uk/departments/medical-specialisms/eyes-st-pauls-eye-unit/ St PAuls Logo

St Paul's Eye Unit

Based in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, St Paul's Eye Unit provide a world renowned ophthalmic service, dealing with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases of the eye and visual system, not only to the community of Liverpool, but to regional, national and international referrals.


Liverpool Research Eye Bank

Creating and managing a repository of research materials to help improve the quality of our research by giving our team access to tissue from donors.

Case studies


Global access to a sight-saving therapy for children with arthritis-associated uveitis

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) affects approximately 10,000 UK children. JIA-associated uveitis can cause partial or complete sight loss. Until now, standard treatments have significant side effects and 50% of cases may be unresponsive.

https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/health-and-life-sciences/research/impact/metastatic-risk/ Uveal melanoma tissues under microscope

Stratification of eye cancer patients into metastatic risk using the integrated Liverpool prognosticator tool

Uveal melanoma is a rare intraocular tumour but is the most common primary eye cancer in adults. Although the eye tumour treatment is usually successful, half of patients die after developing secondary tumours in the liver.

https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/ref/our-impact/managing-eye-conditions/ image of eye scan being performed on patient

Management of serious eye conditions

Researchers at Liverpool are improving the management of these vision-threatening conditions, developing more accurate techniques to avoid misdiagnosis and allow optimal treatment.