Giuliana Silvestri is Clinical Reader and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Her programme of research has focused on genetic predisposition and causative genetic mutations in ophthalmic diseases with emphasis on age-related macular degeneration and inherited retinal disorders. Her group has gathered well-characterised patient DNA repositories for both AMD and inherited retinal degeneration and contributed to local and international genotyping programmes and has developed collaborations with leading groups in the USA.
The groups’ work on genetic predisposition in AMD has contributed to the scientific background for a commercial assay for genetic risk testing in AMD. This work on AMD predisposition is clinically relevant as early predictive testing may allow preventative strategies thereby limiting visual loss. Dr Silvestri is the Clinical Lead of the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Group for Vision which continues to grow and has a portfolio of both commercial studies and investigator-led studies.
Dr Silvestri has just finished longstanding terms as Training Programme Director for Northern Ireland and as Head of Student Support for the Medical School. She hopes that her recent appointment as Clinical Director for Ophthalmic Services at the Belfast Health & Social Care Trust will allow her to reshape services and further integrate clinical and laboratory research leading to genetically-based individualised patient treatment management for individuals with inherited retinal disorders.