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Dr Denize Atan

Dr Denize Atan

Dr Denize Atan
B.M,B.Ch.(Oxon.), M.A.(Cantab.), M.R.C.P., M.R.C.Ophth., PhD, Cert Med Ed, FRCOphth

Consultant Senior Lecturer

Area of research

Neurogenetics, neuro-inflammation and neuro-ophthalmology

Bristol Eye Hospital, Lower Maudlin Street BS1 2LX
(See a map)


Learning and visual memory

Pattern separation


Neurodevelopment of the retina and brain

Neuro-inflammatory diseases of the eye and brain


Brain tumours


Denize completed her training in Clinical Medicine and Surgery at the University of Oxford (BM BCh) after first graduating from the University of Cambridge in Medical Sciences (MA Hons).  After specialising in general medicine and obtaining Membership of The Royal college of Physicians (MRCP UK), she became increasingly interested in the great variety of systemic diseases that affect the eye and vision in general.  Subsequently, she undertook further specialist training in ophthalmology in the South West region, including the Oxford Eye Hospital and Bristol Eye Hospital.

Denize completed her PhD in ocular genetics from the University of Bristol, followed by post-doctoral research funded by the Wellcome Trust at SickKids Hospital in Toronto, where she investigated the molecular genetics of retinal development.  She then completed her surgical training in ophthalmology with Membership followed by Fellowship of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists for which she received the Harcourt Medal on both occasions.  

Denize developed her clinical expertise in disorders that affect both the eye and the brain by completing a Senior Clinical Fellowship in Neuro-ophthalmology in Birmingham, one of the largest centres for neuro-ophthalmogy in the UK.  

Denize is currently President of the UK Eye Genetics Group: (with co-President Mariya Moosajee).

She works as a Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Neuro-ophthalmology at the Bristol Eye Hospital.  She is a member of the Bristol Vision Institute's management team. 

Activities / Findings

1. Impact of nutrition on vision

2. The impact of education on myopia

3. The rod bipolar transcriptome

4. Transcriptional regulators of development in the retina and brain.

5. Epilepsy and visual memory.

6. The influence of genetic variants on the severity and risk of intraocular inflammatory diseases.


Denize is the Lead for Unit 5:"Diseases of the Nervous System" in the iBSc in Clinical Sciences course at the University of Bristol.

In addition, she teaches and lectures on the following courses:

1. Ophthalmology on the MB ChB programme, University of Bristol Medical School

2. Regenerative Medicine module, Cellular and Molecular Medicine

3. MSc in Stem Cells and Regeneration

Denize regularly supervises MSc research projects in Computer Science, Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine.

She is qualified in teaching with a Certificate in Medical Education from the University of Bristol.


  • Neurogenetics
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroinflammation Vision
  • Memory.


  • Alzheimer's Glaucoma Myopia Diabetes Brain Tumours Epilepsy

Processes and functions

  • Development of visual function
  • Development of the brain
  • Inflammatory disorders of the eyes and brain
  • Genetic disorders of the eyes and brain
  • Neurodegenerative disorders of the eye and brain


  • PCR
  • RT-PCR
  • ChIP
  • RNA-seq
  • MRI
  • fMRI
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Confocal imaging
  • Behavioural testing
  • Reporter assays.

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Networks & contacts

  • Dr Neil Davies University of Bristol
  • Professor George Davey Smith University of Bristol
  • Professor Pat Kehoe University of Bristol
  • Dr Zuner Bortolotto University of Bristol
  • Professor Zafar Bashir University of Bristol
  • Professor Clea Warburton University of Bristol
  • Dr Conor Houghton University of Bristol
  • Dr Mallar Chakravarty McGill University
  • Dr Jason Lerch University of Oxford
  • Dr Kathryn Urankar North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Mr Mario Teo North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Dr Cian O'Donnell University of Bristol
  • Dr Marc Goodfellow University of Exeter
  • Dr Marinho Lopes University of Cardiff
  • Dr Jiaxiang Zhang University of Cardiff
  • Professor Adam Zeman University of Exeter
  • Professor Jeremy Guggenheim University of Cardiff
  • Dr Cathy Williams University of Bristol
  • Professor Julian Hamilton-Shield University of Bristol
  • Dr Ella Hinton University of Bristol
  • Dr Becky Foster University of Bristol
  • Professor Andrew Dick University of Bristol
  • Dr Claire Rice University of Bristol

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