Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

David Steel

Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer


I am a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreo-retinal surgeon at  Sunderland Eye infirmary  and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University.

I qualified in Medicine at Newcastle and completed my ophthalmology training in the North East and South West of England. I undertook sub speciality training in retinal surgery at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne and was appointed as Consultant at the Eye Infirmary in 1999.

I am the clinical lead for the South of Tyne diabetic retinopathy screening programming and  lead for medical and surgical retina at the Eye Infirmary. I set up and lead the clinical trials unit at Sunderland with over 20 currently recruiting clinical trials. I  recently participated in the Ocata therapeutics (formerly ACT) led  phase 1 trial investigating the use of  ES derived RPE cells in patients with Stargardts macular dystrophy.

I work with Professor Linda Lako at the IGM and Dr Evelyne Sernagor at the ION and participate in our  developing retinal research group  with 5 post doctoral research associates and 4 PhD students.

Associate Editor:  Eye (Lond)  ( https://www.nature.com/eye/)

Editorial Board: Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology  (https://link.springer.com/journal/417)

Editorial Board: Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases (http://journals.sagepub.com/home/vrd)


My research include

Restoring vision in patients with blinding outer retinal disease - in particular 

Optimising the derivation and isolation of photoreceptor precursors  and RPE cells from hESC and iPSC for transplantation 

Modelling outer retinal disease with IPSC to understand disease mechanisms and evaluate novel therapeutic agents

Optimising surgical delivery of cellular treatments for outer retinal disease

Novel regenerative retinal therapies 

Clinical vitreo-retinal disease including

Retinal detachment

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy

Surgical strategies to treat patients with submacular haemorrhages associated with AMD 

Vitrectomy technology

The surgical management of the internal limiting membrane in disease states

My recent publications can be viewed at:




Stage 3 Biomedical sciences course  



Departmental monday evening and  retinal meetings

Regional wed PM postgraduate teaching 

Invited lectures to other Ophthalmology Departments 

Surgical Skills Trainer RCOphth

RCOphth Examiner