Moorfields Eye Charity

Understanding our eyes

One in five people will experience some form of sight loss in their lifetime. Understanding is key to improving eye care, but the eye is complex, with many types of cells working together. Until recently, researchers could only track a few cells and interactions at a time. Now, a technique called multiplex immunohistochemistry makes it possible for researchers to detect nearly every cell and interaction in the eye.

Our last mile grant of £41,000 will help Moorfields Eye Charity buy a Thunder microscope so that researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London can implement this technique. The microscope will accelerate progress across a wide range of eye research.

  • Moorfields Eye Hospital has over 800,000 patient visits a year.
  • Over half of the UK’s specialist eye doctors are trained at Moorfields.
  • UCL boasts the strongest clinical medicine research of any British university.

Going further faster

Moorfields Eye Charity, Moorfields Eye Hospital and the Institute of Ophthalmology are working together to build a world-class integrated centre for advancing eye health. The Thunder microscope will be used in projects across a variety of fields of research in ophthalmology including research into eye inflammation and the brain. Students, clinicians and even patients will benefit from the research which will be shared through an Institute of Ophthalmologywebsite, social media, patient, and research charities.

The process using the Thunder microscope is automated, so speeds up research. An experiment that would have taken researchers 10 hours of hands-on work over three days can be carried out with just 40 minutes of setup. The automated system then conducts the experiment overnight. As a result, the teams at Moorfields and Institute ofOphthalmology will be able to carry out more investigations, making progress faster in essential eye research.


“The Thunder Microscope will help us see more of the eye than ever before. I really believe it could change everything here for our research at Moorfields.”

Dr Colin Chu, principal investigator, and honorary consultant ophthalmologist at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital.

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