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Leicester’s Hospitals’ Ophthalmology researchers win national prizes
Press release date13/04/2017
Dr Sohaib Rufai, Academic Clinical Fellow in Ophthalmology and Dr Alicia Poyser, ophthalmology registrar at Leicester’s Hospitals both won prizes for their oral presentations at a recent Ophthalmological Society Annual Meeting.
Press release

The joint Kettering-Midlands Ophthalmological Society Annual Meeting was held on Friday 10 March with a £100 Registrar’s prize for the best oral presentation (out of ten). The meeting was attended by 180 ophthalmologists and associated ophthalmic staff. 10 registrars were shortlisted for the oral presentations competing for the Registrar's Prize, chaired and judged by Professor Harminder Dua at the University of Nottingham and Professor Philip Murray from the University of Birmingham.

Dr Rufai who is an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in the University of Leicester Ulverscroft Eye Unit was awarded 1st prize and Dr Alicia Poyser won 3rd prize. The winning presentation was titled  ‘Can grading foveal hypoplasia in infants using handheld optical coherence tomography predict future visual acuity? A longitudinal cohort study’ and focused on the use of our hand-held OCT (optical coherence tomography) technology which Leicester was the first centre in the UK to use.

Handheld OCT allows ophthalmologists to see ultra-high resolution images of the various layers of the retina. In particular, for patients with arrested development of certain layers within the retina the handheld OCT helps us better understand the underdevelopment of their retina and guide the management of their treatment accordingly. Leicester is the first centre to use this technology in the UK.

Dr Rufai was delighted by his success: “I was humbled to win first prize and would like to thank my supervisor, Professor Irene Gottlob, along with the research team Dr Frank Proudlock, Dr Mervyn Thomas, Dr Helena Lee and Mr Ravi Purohit. I will be presenting this ongoing study in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) on 11 May 2017 in Baltimore, USA. We hope this research continues to thrive.”

Dr Poyser added: “Our case series on ‘Atypical Presentation of Giant Cell Arteritis - A potentially blinding condition’ was well received and will hopefully help, through education, to prevent visual morbidity in this cohort of patients. I am also delighted with our success and would like to thank my co-authors Dr Mostafa Ahmad, Ms Joyce Burns, Dr Kehinde Sunmboye, Dr Theo Lalias, Ms Aneesa Rahim and Dr Aarti Patel for their contributions. I would especially like to mention Ms Joyce Burns for the opportunity to be involved in this project. We have also been accepted to present this work as a poster at the upcoming Oxford Ophthalmological congress July 2017.”


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