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Robin Ali


    • Great Maze Pond, KCL Centre for Cell & Gene Therapy, 8th Floor, Tower Wing, Guy's Hospital

      SE1 9RT London

      United Kingdom

    • 14769

    Personal profile

    Biographical details

    Robin Ali is Professor of Human Molecular Genetics at King’s College London and  Director of The KCL Centre for Cell and Gene Therapy. He is also Deputy Director, NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre and Director of the KCL/BRC Advanced Therapies Accelerator. He is also Visiting Professor at Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan and Founder of MeiraGTx PLC, a Nasdaq-listed gene therapy company with offices in London and New York.


    The main focus of Robin Ali’s research is the development of gene and cell therapy for the treatment of retinal disorders. He spent most of his career at University College London, based at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and was also Director of the Wolfson Gene Therapy Unit, a UCL GMP facility for manufacturing clinical grade gene therapy vectors. Since 1996, he has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers with landmark papers and preclinical therapeutic proof-of-concept (POC) studies for many different ocular disorders. As chief investigator, he established the world’s first clinical trial of gene therapy for retinopathy. The results from this trial reporting an improvement in vision (NEJM, 2008; NEJM 2015) along with results from two other trials, established POC for gene therapy for inherited retinal degeneration. His group has also provided the first POC for effective transplantation of photoreceptors (Nature 2006; Nature, 2012) that has provided the basis for ES cell-derived photoreceptor transplantation, now a major programme in his laboratory (Nature Biotech 2013). Robin Ali and members of his team have received numerous prizes for their work on developing new treatments for retinal degeneration, including the €1M Champalimaud Vison Award (2018), Pfizer/ARVO Translational Award for Ophthalmology (2010), the Alcon Research Institute Award (2009) and in 2014, Human Gene Therapy journal’s Pioneer Award (to honour the top 12 pioneers in gene therapy). In 2007 he was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences and in 2009 elected NIHR Senior Investigator.  He is a recent past President of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and is Associate Editor of Human Gene Therapy. He has also served on the advisory boards of a number of funding bodies including the UK Medical Research Council (Neurosciences and Mental Health Board and the Regenerative Medicine Research Committee), Research to Prevent Blindness USA and Fighting Blindness Ireland, Telethon, Italy, as well as advisory boards of several pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including Alcon/Novartis.

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

    External positions

    Deputy Director, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St. Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust, London SE1 9RT, UK.

    1 Jul 2020 → …

    Visiting Professor , Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan

    2014 → …


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