The Power List 2020 – Power List
Pearse A Keane MD, FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Moorfields Eye Hospital, Associate Professor, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
If you had three wishes, what would they be?
My first wish would be lead a project that starts with an idea, moves to a research paper, and then ultimately leads to something that benefits patients with retinal disease around the world. My second wish would be to spend the rest of my career working on cool projects projects with cool people, especially at the boundaries between disciplines and between academia and industry. My third wish would be to achieve all this while getting to spend quality time and with my wonderful wife and two amazing daughters!
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
The advice I would give to budding clinical academics is that life is too short to work on projects that you don’t find interesting or with people you don’t like. Work on cool projects with cool people and its very likely you’ll be at your most productive.
What was the most serendipitous OR funniest moment of your career?
The most serendipitous moment of my career was bumping into an Irish ophthalmologist, Tom Flynn, at ARVO in 2008. At that point, I was considering where I should pursue my long-term career aspirations - back home in Ireland or in the USA? Tom told me that a new organisation had been formed in the UK, called the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and that they would be funding a post at Moorfields that would be 50% clinical and 50% research. This sounded like my dream job and so, with the support of amazing leaders such as Sir Peng Khaw, I found myself at Moorfields as an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in 2010. And I’ve been at Moorfields ever since!