Mahtab's Research

I’m investigating how the ability to see develops in infants and children. As part of this, I want to find a better way of detecting eye disease so we understand how children’s visual sensitivity develops as they grow up.

What I’m doing
I am looking at how a congenital lack of cone cells (which enable colour vision and acuity) impact on visual skills. I’m making comparisons between those born with and without functioning cones and those who lose them later in life. I want to understand how the eye and brain interact, to see which visual skills are most susceptible to early vision loss. 

How charitable funding helps me
Moorfields Eye Charity’s funding means I can focus one hundred percent on my research. It gives me access to specialist labs and equipment. For example, a crucial part of my work is scanning with an MRI scanner, which costs as much as £500 an hour.

What next?
I’m working alongside other researchers and clinicians to pioneer child-friendly MRI and eye-tracking techniques in child patient groups. My research is leading to an exciting gene-therapy trial, where we’ll see how being born with a congenital disease of the eye, such as total colour blindness, affects brain function and how potential treatments may change that.


Mahtab Farahbakhsh