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Professor Andrew Dick

Immune mechanisms of autoimmune disorders of the eye

Group: Inflammatory Eye Disease Group

My group's work and that of others in ophthalmology focuses on how the retina responds to injury, inflammation and degeneration. This covers areas which include:

  1. The control of immune responses in the retina which includes for example the interaction with microglia and inhibitory signals mediated by neuronal CD200 expression
  2. Autoimmune responses within the eye and brain, by studying both T cell and macrophage responses within the tissue during experimental retinal and CNS autoimmunity
  3. Microglial and macrophage behaviour during retinal degeneration by studying experimental models of photoreceptor degeneration
  4. Retinal remodelling by studying the interaction of microglia, Muller cells and retinal progenitor cells
  5. Role of macrophages in retinal and choroidal angiogenesis
  6. Development of immunomodulatory agents for the treatment of uveitis, investigated in the experimental model of uveitis

Clinically we are undertaking significant advances in human ocular immunology through both our lead of Inflammation and immunotherapeutics of Biomedical Research Centre at Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL-Institute of Ophthalmology. This includes:

(i) proof of concept early phase trials of immunotherapeutics.

(ii) Understanding of immune responses via live in vivo imaging of leukocytes through the retinal and choroidal vasculature in man.

(iii) progressing with development of gene therapy for treatment of uveitis

 Present collaborators

  • Dr Lindsay Nicholson, Schoool of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
  • Dr Richard Lee, School of Clinical Sciences
  • Dr Denize Atan, School of Clinical Sciences
  • Dr Bob Nussenblatt, National Eye Institute, USA
  • Professor R Ali, Institute of Ophthalmology and Institute of Child Health, UCL
  • Professor John Forrester, University of Aberdeen
  • Professor Jim Bainbridge, Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL
  • Professor Mike Boulton, Indiana University School of Medicine

Research keywords

  • autoimmunity
  • macrophages
  • microglia
  • progenitor cells

Diseases related to this field of research

  • Uveitis
  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • diabetes
  • retinal detachment

Processes and functions relevant to this work

  • Autoimmunity
  • angiogenesis
  • tissue repair


  • Professor R Ali
  • Institute of Ophthalmology and Institute of Child Health
  • UCL
    Dr Jon Sedgwick
  • DNAX
  • California
  • USA
    Professor John Forrester
  • University of Aberdeen
    Dr Neil Williams
  • Department of Pathology and Microbiology
  • Bristol
    Professor David Wraith
  • Department of Pathology and Microbiology
  • Bristol
    Professor John Isaacs
  • University of Newcastle
    Professor Dave Shima
  • UCL