Current Research Projects
Prof Miles Stanford, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the London Centre writes about his current research projects:
“I am currently collecting DNA samples from patients with Behcet’s syndrome and uveitis. This work aims to try and discover a combination of genes that might predict the outcome of eye disease in terms of visual acuity over many years. In addition, with the introduction of the new ‘biologica’ drugs, it will be important to know whether an individual patient’s ocular inflammation is driven by an excess of pro-inflammatory chemicals (which can be targeted) or by a lack of anti-inflammatory chemicals (which could be supplemented.)
Part of the DNA collection will also contribute to international studies of the genetic basis of Behcet’s syndrome – indeed we contributed to the recent Nature genetics papers of whole genome sequencing. Further international collaborations are underway.
I hope in the near future to have a research fellow who will study further the signals that turn on and off the cells of the innate immune system (first line of defence) which is now considered to be abnormally active in patients with Behcet’s syndrome. This follows from the successful early work of my PhD student working with Professor Adrian Hayday at Guy’s Hospital, London. The first two years of this work will be carried out studying families with Behcet’s syndrome in Istanbul with Professor Gul, and will then be applied to patients from the UK in the third year.
I will shortly be starting a commercial trial of a drug called gevokizumab which targets an inflammatory molecule in the blood. It has been used with some success in patients with Behcet’s disease in Turkey and the company now wish to see how effective it is in different populations. The trial is specifically for patients with sight threatening uveitis who have had two attacks in the last two years.”