Award Lecturers: Special Achievement Award

Robert MacLaren, University of Oxford, UK


Robert MacLaren is Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Oxford Eye Hospital, Honorary Professor of Ophthalmology at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Honorary Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital and an NIHR Senior Investigator. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Fellow and former King James IV Professor of Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Bodley Fellow of Merton College Oxford and Civilian Consultant Advisor to the Royal Navy. He has been a recipient of the ARVO Camras Award for Translational Research, the RP Fighting Blindness Scientist of the Year Award, the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Keeler Medal and the Macular Society Clinical Service of the Year award.

Together with the University of Oxford in 2014, he co-founded Nightstar Therapeutics in order to expand retinal gene therapy towards worldwide approval for patients with retinal diseases. After listing on NASDAQ in 2017, Nightstar Therapeutics was acquired by Biogen in 2019, making it one of the most successful British biotechnology company buyouts of all time. To date, he has helped raise over a billion dollars of funding for retinal gene therapy. 


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