Our research projects

Since 1987 the Macular Society has invested over £5.1 million in 73 different research projects. Each year we invite applications for research grants and PhD studentships which are assessed by our Research Committee.

Bridgeen Callan research group

Developing eye drops that can reach the back of the eye

Developing eye drops to reach the macula at the back of the eye. To treat macular diseases such as wet age-related macular disease.

Pearse Keane looking into a microscope

Using Artificial Intelligence to predict AMD progression

Using a new artificial intelligence programme to understand the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Research Syringe

Switching off the genes that cause Best disease

Researching using a new gene editing technique to turn off the faulty gene that causes vision loss in Best disease.


Finding a new test for early AMD

Using new technology to discover whether trouble adjusting to changes in light, is linked to early age-related macular disease (AMD) and why.

Elderly woman leaning into eye examination machine.

An implantable eye lens for macular disease

Magnifying intraocular lenses can be given to patients with macular disease. This will be the first trial to see if they help.

A blood test

Creating a blood test to detect early AMD

Research is looking into a protein found in high levels in retinal cells of age-related macular disease patients. This protein could be used for treatment or diagnosis.

Couple looking at tablet

A virtual visually impaired rehabilitation assistant

This project is looking to create a ‘chat-bot’ to help answer patients’ questions about their macular disease or living with sight loss.

DNA molecules with person holding tweezers

Improving the integration of stem cell transplants in the retina

Stem cell therapy is a promising area of research for a treatment for macular disease.

Close up hands holding petri dishes

Investigating early onset macular degeneration

Research to better understand early onset macular degeneration, and how it may provide insight into causes and treatment of age-related macular degeneration.

Female consultant, discussing results with male patient with computer images of results.

Investigating how eye doctors discuss AMD with patients

Researching and giving guidelines on how ophthalmologists discuss lifestyle changes with dry age-related macular degeneration patients.

New treatment option for wet AMD

New treatment option for wet AMD

Looking at a new protein for treating those with wet AMD who do not respond to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drugs.

Close up petri dishes

Stopping the build-up of toxic waste in dry AMD

Research looking into the removal of toxic waste in cells of the retina that could lead to dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

DNA strands

Turning off faulty genes to treat macular dystrophy

New research using antisense oligonucleotide gene therapy to treat Doyne honeycomb dystrophy, a dominant genetic macular disease.

Technology graphics

Using data science to diagnose AMD sooner and detect change over time

Using data from thousands of patients. Researchers want to better understand the factors involved in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Person reading a tablet

Using technology to aid functional vision

Creating a new application to help those with central vision loss be able to use their smartphones and tablets better, quicker and easier.

Prof MacLaren

Using gene editing to stop progression of Stargardt disease

In Stargardt disease the mutation in the ABCA4 gene leads to damage to the macula. This work aims to create healthy ABCA4 protein using gene editing.