Uveitis is a leading cause of blindness in people of working age in the UK. It is one of the ‘auto-immune’ family of diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis in the joints and ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease which attack the bowel, in which the body’s normal defence mechanisms turn against the body itself, just as if it were fighting an infection. This perverted response causes terrible damage and chronic inflammation in the eye, ultimately resulting in blindness. Current treatments are difficult, extended and dangerous; often requiring large doses of steroids that can produce severe and unwanted side-effects.
National Eye Research Centre is therefore proud to announce that it is funding a major new piece of research designed to find safer, more effective and more targeted interventions for uveitis. Under the auspices of Professor Andrew Dick and Dr Lindsay Nicholson (pictured left), two internationally recognised experts in the field of ocular autoimmune diseases, a PhD student will spend three years investigating the initiation and regulation of uveitis with a view to identifying the genetic components of uveitis which will lead to more personalised, and therefore safer, treatments.
Our funding campaign was launched when the James Tudor Foundation generously offered a pledge of 50% of the required funds (£39,737) provided that National Eye Research Centre would match the remaining 50%. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, which included many private individuals and several other trusts and foundations, we were rapidly able to raise the matched funding and release the James Tudor Foundation’s contribution so that the project could get underway. Dr Nicholson said, “Thanks to the generosity of National Eye Research Centre and its supporters we can now start to identify the factors which trigger uveitis and develop safer interventions in the treatment of this major cause of blindness in the working age population.”
Ruth Ingman is a patient who knows only too weel the distress a diagnosis of uveitis can bring. She was recently interviewed by National Eye Research Centre's Chief Executive, Mike Daw. Please read Ruth's story here.
You can also read Elly Adam's story here
You can still donate to our Uveitis appeal so we can fund more research projects into this debilitating eye disease.