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Dr Tom Edwards

Tom Edwards is a Melbourne-based vitreoretinal surgeon. He also leads a research team investigating retinal gene therapy at the University of Melbourne affiliated Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) based at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital. His clinical interests encompass diseases of the vitreous and retina, including management of retinal detachment, epiretinal membrane, macular hole, vitreous haemorrhage, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and inherited retinal degenerations.

Tom completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge (UK) before undertaking his postgraduate training as an ophthalmologist at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. While at Cambridge Tom rowed in three Oxford Cambridge Boat Races and was President of the Cambridge University Boat Club. He has also represented Australia in rowing. After completing his specialist training, Tom was awarded a Nuffield Medical Fellowship by the Australian Academy of Sciences to undertake a clinical academic vitreoretinal fellowship in the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford (UK). Tom worked on a number of research projects lead by Professor Robert MacLaren, including an ongoing world first clinical trial of gene therapy to treat choroideremia, a type of inherited retinal degeneration that leads to blindness[1]. He also ran a trial of the Alpha AMS subretinal electronic implant to treat severe vision loss caused by advanced retinitis pigmentosa[2], and a first-in-man study of robotic vitreoretinal surgery. The Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia supports Tom’s current research on retinal gene therapy.

[1] Edwards TL, Jolly J, Groppe M, et al. Visual Acuity After Retinal Gene Therapy for Choroideremia. New England Journal of Medicine 374, no. 20 (May 19, 2016): 1996–98.

[2] Edwards TL, Cottriall CL, Xue K, et al. Assessment of the Electronic Retinal Implant Alpha AMS in Restoring Vision to Blind Patients with End-Stage Retinitis Pigmentosa. Ophthalmology 2018;125:432–443.