Ensuring the next generation of clinical experts in the area of inherited retinal degenerations, each year, Fighting Blindness award the opportunity for ophthalmologists in training to undertake research Fellowships at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Research Foundation.
Through time spent at these best in practice clinics, the Clinical Fellows gain a wealth of experience and exposure to genetic forms of retinal disease, both from a clinical and research perspective.
As part of Target 5000, the Clinical Fellows facilitate with patient enrolment, genotypic and phenotypic characterisation of patients and contribute to the creation of a national registry for inherited retinopathies. The Clinical Fellows also focus on developing a patient-centric, clinical care pathway for people, ensuring personalised and relevant supports (genetic counsellors, psychotherapists and low-vision specialists) and information are made available to patients with IRDs.
Dr Niamh Wynne (far right), Fighting Blindness funded Clinical Fellow at RVEEH Research Foundation. Dr Wynne was awarded the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI) Ophthalmology Research Award in 2018 for her work under the Target 5000 programme.
As the clinical research fellow on the Target 5000 project, work that has been made possible by the support of Fighting Blindness, has been the most rewarding pursuit of my life to date both professionally and personally. Starting out in January 2017 for what was meant to be a 12 month stint I had no idea just how exciting this work could be. Now I can’t imagine not being part of continued efforts to improve the lives of those living with IRDs and visual impairments. Meeting with patients living with sight loss is humbling and hugely inspiring. I look forward to continuing to work with and advocate for patients with IRDs and sight loss throughout my career. – Dr Niamh Wynne, Target 5000 Clinical Fellow at RVEEH Research Foundation 2017-2019