Podcast: What is the UKIRDC and why does it exist?

Kate Arkell, Research Development Manager at Retina UK hosts this edition alongside Dr Madina Kara, Director of Research and Innovation at Fight for Sight. They are joined by Prof Graeme Black and Prof Alison Hardcastle. Graeme is Professor of Genetics and Ophthalmology at Manchester Uni, and a consultant ophthalmologist at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. He is the original lead investigator of the UKIRDC. Alison is Professor of Molecular Genetics and Deputy Director of Research within the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London. Alison is current lead investigator of the UKIRDC.

They discuss the UK Inherited Retinal Dystrophy Consortium, or UKIRDC, which has sometimes been referred to as the RP Genome Project. This is a major research project, which started in 2014, and has been funded by Retina UK with support from Fight For Sight. With a significant proportion of inherited retinal conditions being caused by unidentified genetic faults, and many families unable to get clear results from genetic tests in clinic, the project set out to solve previously undiagnosable cases and discover more of the genes and mutations that are associated with sight loss.