Professor Robert MacLaren, Professor of Ophthalmology

Robert MacLaren DPhil FRCS FRCOphth FACS FMedSci, is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Oxford Eye Hospital and an Honorary Consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. He is also Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Merton College, where he teaches undergraduate medical students. His main research area is to develop new treatments for retinal disease, primarily using gene therapy, but also with electronic retinal implants in collaboration with the German engineering firm, Retina Implant AG. Within the University he heads a team of 16 scientists in the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology where the main focus of his work is to develop gene therapy using adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors and gene editing (CRISPR). He also trains clinical research fellows and surgeons from all over the world. He is the scientific founder of Nightstar Therapeutics, an international retinal gene therapy company that is now running clinical trials in 11 countries. In 2016 he performed the world’s first robotic eye operation in Oxford in collaboration with the Dutch engineering firm Preceyes BV and further trials of the robot supported by the ERGO team are currently ongoing.