Support for our endeavors
comes primarily from the
National Institutes of Health


Alan Shiels PhD


Associate Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Department of Genetics

Our research focuses on the molecular genetic basis of eye diseases including; cataracts, glaucoma and eye movement disorders, utilizing three complimentary approaches. Mapping studies: Genome-wide markers are being used to map and refine chromosomal loci. Mutation studies: Re-sequencing techniques are being used to identify causative mutations and to develop diagnostic genetic tests. Genotype/phenotype studies: Expression techniques are being used to characterize the underlying pathogenetic mechanisms. Results from these studies will improve understanding of eye development in health versus disease and contribute toward the design of gene-based therapeutics that may help treat or prevent common causes of vision impairment.


  • BSc, Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Polytechnic, Manchester, U.K., 1977
  • PhD, Biochemistry, Department of Child Health, St. George’s Hospital Medical School University of London, U.K., 1983


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, U.S.A., 1983-1985
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biochemistry, University College, London, U.K., 1985-1987


  • Wellcome Trust Lectureship, "Molecular Biology of Lens Cells" (competitive award), 1987-1990
  • The National Foundation for Eye Research, Cataract Research Award, 2001
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The Vision Research Community at Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University School of Medicine
660 S.Euclid Ave., St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Campus Box 8096, McMillian Building, St. Louis, Missouri 63110