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Gift of Sight Clinical Research Award

The Gift of Sight Clinical Research Award programme was set up in honour of the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS) in 2018. This was established to support and encourage vision science research into blinding eye diseases.

Promoted by the University of Southampton Vision Sciences Research group, this prize is awarded for the best clinical research abstract submitted to Gift of Sight in the year of the award. 

Clinicians, research orthoptists and academic researchers are invited to present their research with the prize facilitating attendance at a prestigious international research meeting.

How to apply

2023 Winner of the Gift of Sight Clinical Award - Dr Cara Campbell

Cara campbell receiving award from Jay Self We're pleased to announce that the winner of the Gift of Sight Clinical Award 2023 is Cara Campbell, for her presentation: "Building back better: Improved patient pathway for new glaucoma patient referrals in hospital eye services". Congratulations Cara, very well deserved.The award was presented at the Wessex Regional Ophthalmology Day on 31 January 2024. 

Research Purpose:

After the initial global pandemic ‘lockdown’ in July 2020, the Salisbury Hospital Glaucoma Service had over 1200 patients with delayed appointments, with little capacity to see new patients and no option to increase staff. We restructured our patient referral pathway by changing from face-to-face doctor-based clinic appointments to a multi-disciplinary, mixed-mode clinic approach. This included imaging-based screening clinics done by technicians, and results review/treatment plan formulation by a doctor within 4 weeks. Nurse-led phone clinics were used to explain and initiate treatment plans. Treatment effect was then evaluated in face-to-face clinics by a doctor. The aims of this audit were to evaluate if the new patient pathway reduced referral time and sped up initiation of treatment, and whether this approach was acceptable to patients.

Read the full abstract here: Gift of Sight Award 2023 Winner Cara Campbell



2021 Award Winner - Dr Christopher Schulz

Christopher Shulz - smiling young man looking at the cameraThe Gift of Sight Clinical Research Award 2021 was presented to Christopher Schulz for his research entitled 'Automated video assessment of the ocular adnexa using artificial intelligence'. 

Research purpose

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision could pave the way for automated video assessment of those sight-threatening ophthalmic and neurological disorders with facial manifestations. The current study aimed to develop and test an AI algorithm to automate the assessment of eyelid position (MRD1 and MRD2), blink lagophthalmos (bLag) and average ocular surface area exposure (OSAE) from video. 

Read the full abstract of the research here: Gift of Sight Clinical Research Award Winner 2021 - Winning Abstract


2020 Award Winner - Dr Rebecca Kaye

Rebecca Kaye - smiling at cameraIn 2020, the Gift of Sight Clinical Research Award was presented to Rebecca Kaye for her research entitled 'Choroidal Vascularity in Chronic Central Serous Chorioretinopathy'. 

Research Purpose: 

Patients with central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) are reported to have dilated, hyper-permeable choroidal vessels with leakage into the interstitial/stromal space. The vascular component of choroidal tissue can be assessed using the choroidal vascularity index (CVI), a ratio of the luminal component of the choroid to the cross-sectional choroidal area.

The aim of this study was to test for differences in the CVI in the eyes of patients with chronic CSCR, fellow eyes and healthy controls.

Read the full abstract of the research here: Gift of Sight Clinical Research Award Winner 2020 - Winning Abstract


2019 Award Winner - Dan Osborne 

Daniel Osborne smiling at the cameraThe very first Gift of Sight Clinical Research Award was presented in 2019 to research orthoptist Daniel Osborne for his project entitled 'Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography of children with Down syndrome'. 

Research purpose: 

Down syndrome is known to be associated with numerous ophthalmic manifestations including corneal ectasia, iris stromal hyperplasia, cataracts and retinovascular anomalies.  Foveal hypoplasia has been reported in 1-10% of children with Down Syndrome (Stephen et al. 2007, Kranj 2012). Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) is the most accurate non-invasive in-vivo modality for assessing the structure of the retina, and to the best of our knowledge no study has previously reported SD-OCT findings in children with Down syndrome.

The primary outcome for this study was to assess the feasibility of obtaining optic nerve and macular SD-OCT data from this population.  Our secondary outcome was to evaluate the retinal structure of patients with Down syndrome for any differences in comparison to previously established age-specific normative data.

Read the full abstract of the research here: Gift of Sight Clinical Research Award Winner 2019 - Winning Abstract