Carmel Toomes


I obtained my BSc in Anatomical Sciences at the University of Manchester in 1994.

In 1999, I completed my PhD under the supervision of Professor Mike Dixon, studying the Molecular Genetics of Blepharophimosis, Ptosis and Epicanthus Inversus Syndrome (BPES) at the University of Manchester.

My first post-doctoral position was also in Manchester under the supervision of Professor Nalin Thakker, studying oral cancer and Papillon–Lefèvre syndrome. In 2000, I moved to Leeds to take up a post-doctoral position with Professor Chris Inglehearn investigating Optic Atrophy.

In 2002 I became a Principal Investigator in the Leeds Vision Research Group, after obtaining funding from the Wellcome Trust, followed by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. At the end of this fellowship in 2013, I became a permanent member of academic staff in Leeds.


  • Post Graduate Research Tutor

Research interests

My research is in the field of molecular and cellular ophthalmology, particularly focusing on inherited diseases of the retina including Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR), Foveal Hypoplasia, Leber Congenital Amaurosis, Optic Atrophy, Cone Rod Dystrophy and Retinitis Pigmentosa.

I am a member of the European Retinal Disease Consortium, the UK Inherited Retinal Disease Consortium (UK IRDC), the Hearing and Sight GeCIP, UK-EGG Steering Group and the Medical Advisory Board for Retina UK.



  • PhD Molecular Genetics
  • BSc Anatomical Sciences

Professional memberships

  • American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG)
  • Association for Research into Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • UK Eye Genetics Group (UK EGG)
  • Genomics England Hearing and Sight GeCIP

Student education

I deliver teaching to years 1 & 2 on the MBChB, year 1 on the MChD/BChD, year 3 on the BSc biological sciences and on the MSc molecular medicine.

I also act as a personal tutor on the MBChB.

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Vision Research Group
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