Pearse A. Keane
The Power List 2019 – Emerging Leaders
Pearse A. Keane
NIHR Clinician Scientist, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Consultant ophthalmologist, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
What drives you in your day-to-day activities?
Being an academic ophthalmologist is a dream job. When not looking after patients, I get to spend my time thinking of ideas, working on ways to bring them to life, and then writing about the results! Over the medium- to long-term, I’m driven by the desire to make breakthroughs that will bring real benefits to patients. On a day-to-day basis, I’m motivated by working on exciting projects with interesting people.
What are your goals for the future?
I firmly believe that ophthalmology will be first medical specialty to be completely reinvented using artificial intelligence. I would like to play at least a small part in making this happen!
What is your most exciting current project?
I’ve got too many exciting projects to choose from! Perhaps the most exciting of all is the “AlzEye” project, led by one of my team, Siegfried Wagner. In AlzEye we are linking over 2 million retinal OCT scans and paired fundus photographs, from more than 250,000 patients over 40 years of age, with a central NHS database called Hospital Episode Statistics (HES). This will allow us to see which of these scans were done in patients that went on to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, as well as a range of cardiovascular diseases.
What’s the best part of being an ophthalmologist?
I love the rapid pace of change in ophthalmology, particularly the way that it leads in many cutting-edge new medical technologies, from stem cells to gene therapy, to artificial intelligence.