Research

Contribution to Science, Research
and Public Engagements

Dr. Michel has played a major role in improving the quality, depth and breadth of scientific, medical and research information patients with inherited eye disease can access by providing first class text and images for the website of Retina UK. This is the primary source of information for patients in the UK with inherited retinal dystrophies and received over 4 million hits in 2018 – suggesting a far wider audience.

His focus now is on the development and validation of clinical trial endpoints to accelerate the process of testing novel therapies.

This aforementioned body of work has improved advice on prognosis and genetic counselling, identified the underlying molecular genetic basis of multiple isolated and syndromic disorders, shed light on mechanisms of disease, identified potential novel therapeutic targets, and provided data that will be invaluable for current and future therapeutic interventions.

It is worth mentioning that he has over 300 peer-reviewed publications and 30 authored book chapters; with over 220 publications since 2010, and over 10,000 citations in total. A list of his peer-reviewed Publications can be found here.

Research Funding Organisations

Active Research

  • National Institute for Health Research (06/12-09/20; £1,968,305) Programme Grant for Applied Research: Towards an evidence-based clinical management of visual hallucinations: prevalence, prognosis, impact and pathophysiology. Co-PI.
  • National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (R01EY017607; 10/17-10/21; $312,000): Assessing photoreceptor structure and function: to J Carroll and M Michaelides.
  • Moorfields Eye Charity (2018-2020; £77,447): Oligonucleotide suppression of mis-splicing of the cone opsin genes as a potential therapeutic for X-linked cone dysfunction. Alison Hardcastle, Michel Michaelides (Co-PI), Mike Cheetham.
  • Medical Research Council (2018-2021; £488,172): Understanding the mechanisms of cone opsin mediated disease to develop new therapies. Alison Hardcastle, Michel Michaelides (Co-I), Mike Cheetham, Pete Coffey.
  • Medical Research Council (10/17-10/20; MR/P02582X/1; £571,950): Novel therapeutic approaches to rescue retinal dysfunction in patient-derived photoreceptors. Jacqueline van der Spuy, Mike Cheetham, Pete Coffey, James Bainbridge, Michel Michaelides (Co-I).
  • National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (U01 EY024969-01; 05/15-04/20; $4,400,000) Platform Technologies for Microscopic Retinal Imaging: Development & Translation: to A Dubra and J Carroll (CIs), D Brainard (PI), J Goldberg (PI), M Michaelides (PI), J Morgan (PI), J Rogers (PI) and R Rosen (PI).
  • Moorfields Eye Charity (11/17-11/20; R170015A; £146,991): Developing a photoreceptor model of AIPL1 LCA from patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells. Jacqueline van der Spuy, Michel Michaelides (Co-I), Mike Cheetham.
  • Medical Research Council (2015-2020; £2,971,592): Clinical trial of gene therapy for the treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis: to RR Ali, J Bainbridge and M Michaelides.

Prof. Michaelides’s Research in numbers

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Book Chapters

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Publications Since 2010

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Total Academic Citations

Contributions to Science

Prof. Michel has been integral to UCL Institute of Ophthalmology’s (IOO) and Moorfields Eye Hospital’s (MEH) significant on-going contribution to the understanding of inherited retinal degenerative diseases and diabetic eye disease over the last 20 years, in terms of:

Clinical characterisation, genotype-phenotype correlations, and structure-function associations

Detailed phenotyping in multiple patient groups including:

These studies have resulted in a more detailed description of the phenotype, including establishing/refining the clinical characteristics, phenotypic variability, and natural history. Illustrated by:

A longitudinal study of stargardt disease: clinical and electrophysiologic assessment, progression, and genotype correlations.

Fujinami K, Lois N, Davidson AE, Mackay DS, Hogg CR, Stone EM, Tsunoda K, Tsubota K, Bunce C, Robson AG, Moore AT, Webster AR, Holder GE, Michaelides M. Am J Ophthalmol. 2013;155(6):1075-1088.

This is the first longitudinal study of electrophysiological function in Stargardt Disease, which has had major direct impact on advice on prognosis, genetic counseling and planning for clinical trials for the commonest inherited macular dystrophy.

Advanced high-resolution quantitative retinal imaging and prospective natural history studies

The aforementioned 3 research areas in (1) have provided a better understanding of these inherited retinal diseases and also highlighted the need for my on-going area of interest, namely the prospective investigation of natural history and progression (including being the UK PI on an international multi-centre natural history study for Stargardt disease) and the application of high-resolution quantitative retinal imaging to better determine the cellular phenotype, resulting in further novel insights pertaining to disease mechanisms and moreover facilitating the preparation for therapeutic interventions by developing improved clinical trial design and metrics. Illustrated by following studied diseases:

Underlying molecular genetics both in terms of identification of novel genes and also characterising the mutation spectrum and prevalence in known genes

Notable contributions to the literature relating to the management of diabetic macular oedema and proliferative diabetic retinopathy, which have informed clinical practice

Teaching, Training and Mentoring

  • Undertaking appraisals and facilitate CPD, including research projects, for 4 genetic counsellors and > 20 Medical Retina and Research Fellows.
  • Co-Director of the Medical Retina Fellowship programme (2013-present) – following my leadership of a complete overhaul, 3 on-line surveys have demonstrated marked improvement in satisfaction and morale, with continued rating of our fellowship (30 fellows) as excellent from a position of it being rated as very poor – culminating in excellent candidates being attracted internationally, including from USA, Australia, Canada and NZ.
  • Under-/Post-graduate, and Ophthalmology Clinical and Research Teaching/Examining (2010-present):
    1. Three MSc Courses: Clinical Ophthalmology, Biology of Vision, and Ophthalmology (Retina)
    2. Organiser of the Ocular Imaging Module of the Clinical Ophthalmology MSc
    3. ICH-MEH Paediatric Ophthalmology Course
    4. MEH Macular Course
  • Regularly audit evaluations and achieve very high approval.
  • External Examiner (Jan 2013-present) for Manchester University, Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences MSc.
  • Internal and External Examiner for > 10 MD(Res) and PhDs.
  • MD(Res) and PhD Student Supervision-Training-Mentoring:
    • MD(Res) student (2010-2012); secondary supervisor; awarded MD(Res) 2013.
    • PhD student (2010-2013); primary supervisor; awarded PhD 2014.
    • PhD student (2012-2015); primary supervisor; awarded PhD 2015.
    • PhD student (2014-2017); primary supervisor; awarded PhD 2018.
    • PhD student (2015-2018); primary supervisor; awarded PhD 2019.
    • PhD student (2015-2018); primary supervisor; awarded PhD 2019.
    • PhD student (2016-present); primary supervisor; awarded PhD 2019.
    • PhD student (2017-present); primary supervisor; will submit PhD 2020.
    • PhD student (2017-present); primary supervisor; will submit PhD 2020.
    • PhD student (2017-present); primary supervisor; will submit PhD 2020.
    • PhD student (2016-present); secondary supervisor; will submit PhD 2020.
    • MD(Res) (2015-2017); primary supervisor; awarded MD(Res) 2019.
    • MD(Res) (2015-2017); secondary supervisor; awarded MD(Res) 2019.
    • MD(Res) (2016-present); secondary supervisor; will submit 2020.
  • Invited to Chair and Establish an Annual Seminar Series for Inherited Retinal Disease at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (2018 and 2019)

Enabling and Leadership

  1. Public Engagement (PE) – Patient Days for Age-related Macular Degeneration (2014), Retina (2015), and Stargardt Disease (2017). Faculty of Brain Sciences awarded the Communications Excellence award in PE to Retina Day (2015).
  2. Lead live webchat during MEH Rare Disease Day (2016).
  3. Invited by the NIHR Horizon Scanning Centre to provide expert input into a review on new and emerging technologies for inherited retinal diseases. This has been published by the NIHR (2014) and a manuscript published in the journal of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, EYE (2015).
  4. On-going provision of updated medical and research information for the Retina UK website since 2010 (4 million hits in 2018; suggesting a far wider audience) and helped to establish and inform the first standalone website for Stargardt Disease (2018). Also provided text and advice for the websites of Fight for Sight, the Macular Society, and the Royal Society for Blind Children (2016-2020).
  5. Participation in both the (i) Paediatric and (ii) Ophthalmology domains in the Genomics England Clinical Interpretation Partnership.
  6. Peer review for journals (Eye, British Journal of Ophthalmology, Acta Ophthalmologica, Retina, American Journal of Ophthalmology, Prog Retin Eye Res, Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology Retina, and Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science).
  7. Peer review grants for national and international awarding bodies, including The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, NIHR, Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, National Eye Research Centre, The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development Rare Diseases Programme, The Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia, Foundation Fighting Blindness (USA), and Fondazione Roma.
  8. Invited by Director of the Wellcome Trust to be a Therapeutic Expert (Ophthalmology) to assist the Independent review panel for ClinicalStudyDataRequest.com

Invited Lectures

More than 80 lectures since 2010 including:

  1. American College of Surgeons Annual Congress (2010)
  2. Royal Society of Medicine sessions on Diabetic Macular Oedema and Paediatric Ophthalmology (2011 & 2013)
  3. Keynote Lecture at the RP Fighting Blindness Annual General Meeting (2012)
  4. National Ophthalmology Congresses including Argentina, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Cyprus, Italy, Greece, Chile, Palestine, UAE, Turkey, Slovenia, and Spain (2012-20)
  5. National and International Meetings including Euretina, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, International Society for Eye Research, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Great Ormond Street Hospital, World Ophthalmology Congress, St John’s Eye Hospital, American Society of Retina Specialists (2013-20)
  6. Patient Organisations and Charities including Retina International, Fight for Sight, Macular Society, Retina UK, Foundation Fighting Blindness (USA), and Fighting Blindness Canada (2011-20).

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