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Invited Speakers

Mr. Martin Snead

Consultant Ophthalmic and Vitreoretinal Surgeon 
Cambridge University NHS Foundation Trust

Mr Snead graduated from London University and trained in ophthalmic surgery in London, Nottingham, Cambridge and New York before being appointed as Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon to Addenbrooke's Hospital in 1996.

He has a special interest in all aspects of retinal and vitreous surgery, particularly retinal detachment repair, ocular trauma, macular surgery, surgery for the severe late complications of proliferative diabetic retinopathy and surgery for the complications following cataract surgery.

He led a Vitreoretinal Research Group at Cambridge University investigating the molecular pathology of retinal detachment, particularly in bilateral and familial retinal detachment and the Stickler syndromes ( He is the service lead for the NHS England nationally commissioned Highly Specialised Services diagnostic service for patients and families with this disorder (

Their Vitreoretinal Service regularly receives referrals of patients requiring surgery from all over the UK and Republic of Ireland as well as further afield in Europe. He is extremely active in research having published over 100 in peer reviewed journals and 10 book chapters.

His Significant Research and Service Development contributions include:-
1. First to identify that Stickler syndrome was genetically heterogeneous (1994)
2. First to identify the gene for Type 2 Stickler syndrome (1996)
3. First to identify genetic basis for "ocular only" Stickler syndrome (2000)
4. NHS England commission national service 2011.
5. First to identify recessive variant of Stickler associated with total congenital deafness (2013)
6. First to develop and publish surgery protocol that reduces risk of retinal detachment from 80% to 8% (2014).
7. First to identify variant in Stickler gene associated with retinal detachment in general population (2016)
8. Bayer ophthalmology "gold" award for excellence in translation of research into clinical service and patient care (2016).

With his team he has also developed a novel mini-gene laboratory model to determine the pathogenicity of deep intronic variants identified by next generation whole gene sequencing affecting splicing.

This functional mini-gene analysis is also commissioned as part of the NHS England specialist service.