Professor Ron Douglas
From deep sea fish to stem cell research that could lead to a cure for blindness, City University London's Professor Ron Douglas is a world class academic when it comes to understanding how we see the world.
School of Health Sciences, Visual Neuroscience Research Group
Professor Douglas first developed a specific interest in marine biology and the visual systems of fish after discovering he was a good swimmer. Wanting to translate his love of water into a career, he read for a degree in biology, developing a passion for marine biology.
Professor Douglas completed his postgraduate degree on the visual systems of rainbow trout and subsequently has developed a special interest in deep-sea animals. Each year he spends considerable amounts of time on research vessels around the world in places such as California, Costa Rica, Australia, Midway, Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand and Rockall.
Focusing on the 'what, how and why' of vision in animals, Professor Douglas also has an interest in visual function and visual disease. He conducts research which shows how animal behaviour is influenced by what they see and studies the mammalian visual system.
Having joined City University London in 1984 as an expert in visual systems Professor Douglas has now authored more than 100 research papers. A recent article to which he contributed in the leading journal Nature demonstrated that stem cells could potentially be used in humans to reverse retinal damage. His findings could have important implications for the development of a cure for some forms of blindness.
Professor Douglas has also published research into the identification of a novel type of retinal photoreceptor and retinal ganglion cell disease.
He has edited several books and contributed to numerous others, including co-writing two chapters on the human eye for the recent 150th anniversary edition of Gray's Anatomy, one of the world's best-selling and most famous medical textbooks.
Professor Douglas is also an active speaker, contributing to the Public Understanding of Science and has been appointed as a teaching fellow for the Colour Group of Great Britain.
But it isn't just outside the University that Professor Douglas is sharing his research. At City he uses his in-depth knowledge of visual systems to teach visual physiology and anatomy to Optometry students.