Project information

Glaucoma: addressing sight loss

Discovery of the genes involved in glaucoma has proved difficult, despite advances in modern technology. This research will use the latest technology to identify new genetic variations that cause glaucoma.

October 2011 - September 2014

Charity information

Fight for Sight

Fight for Sight logo
  • Need


    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, especially among the elderly. As our population grows and people live longer, more of us will experience sight loss caused by glaucoma and face the challenges that losing vision in later life can bring.


    This research will identify a list of potential genes, proteins and chemical components which can be immediately tested for clinical usefulness. It is through the identification of new genetic variations which cause glaucoma, that new treatments will be developed.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To identify new genetic variations that cause glaucoma using whole-genome sequencing technology.


    » This project will use unique sequencing data from the TwinsUK cohort who have had glaucoma measurements.

    Success will be the identification of new genetic variations which cause glaucoma, and may lead to new treatments being developed.

  • Impact


    The results from this research will boost our understanding of this eye disease. Furthermore, there will be a real impact on the treatments offered to glaucoma patients in the future.


    Although unlikely, there is a risk that the PhD student recruited to carry out this research doesn't see it through. We have mitigated the risk by ensuring that the supervisors for the project are experienced and highly regarded in their fields; the facilities available are excellent; and that the research programme is challenging but achievable.


    Funders of this project will receive regular updates on Fight for Sight's progress in preventing and treating blindness. We will send an annual progress report relating to this project, detailing milestones and performance against these.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £98,350

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      Amount Heading Description
      £63,350 Student costs Stipend, PhD fees and travel costs for student
      £35,000 Equipment costs Scientific equipment, computer and consumables
  • Background


    This project will be carried out in the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London. This is a highly productive department and the PhD student will have access to a large amount of data, resources and support from colleagues.
    The ability to access subjects from the TwinUK cohort is an incredible resource for a PhD student.


    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. High risk groups include people over 60, diabetics and people who are severely nearsighted. However, sadly everyone from newborn babies to senior citizens are at risk of developing glaucoma.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Fight for Sight is the UK's leading charity dedicated to funding world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness and eye disease. As a member of the AMRC, all of the grant applications we receive are subjected to a robust peer review process by global experts in the field to ensure that we only fund the best eye research in UK universities and hospitals.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Dr Christopher Hammond, NIHR Senior Research Fellow, King's College London

    Dr Hammond will be the primary supervisor for the PhD student on this project. He is also a consultant ophthalmologist for South London NHS trust.

    Professor Timothy Spector, Professor Of Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London

    Prof Spector will be second supervisor for the project.