Professor Alastair Denniston

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Professor Alastair Denniston

Role within SRMRC

Alastair is Principal Investigator leading an Eyes and Vision Group specialising in test development and evaluation, with special expertise in devices, software and artificial intelligence.

Other positions held

  • Consultant Ophthalmologist/Research Lead for Eyes and Vision – UHB
  • Ophthalmic Lead – Centre for Patient Reported Outcome Research
  • Clinical Lead – Research and Innovation in Digital Healthcare at UHB
  • Digital Health Insights Lead – Health Data Research UK


  • FRCOphth – Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • PhD – University of Birmingham, 2010
  • MRCOphth – Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • MRCP – Royal College of Physicians
  • MA – University of Cambridge
  • MBBChir – University of Cambridge
  • BA Medical Sciences Tripos – University of Cambridge

Based at

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham/University of Birmingham


Alastair Denniston is an Honorary Professor in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences and Consultant Ophthalmologist (Uveitis and Medical Retina) at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. Alastair’s research interests are artificial intelligence and digital healthcare, with particular focus on the path to implementation. Within ophthalmology he has special expertise in ocular immunity, ocular imaging and outcome measurement in inflammatory eye disease. He was awarded an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship in 2006, and completed his PhD in Dendritic Cell Regulation in the Ocular Microenvironment in 2009. His laboratory work in immunology is directed towards understanding what causes intraocular inflammation (uveitis) and other forms of inflammatory eye disease. In the clinic with his collaborator Pearse Keane (University College London, UK), he has demonstrated the potential for newer forms of imaging such as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) to provide much-needed objective markers for intraocular inflammation (uveitis). With Pearse Keane and colleagues across the UK and US, he has established EQUATOR, an international collaboration of researchers working on ‘Extended OCT-Quantification of Uveitis Activity for Trial Outcomes and Reporting’. He is a passionate advocate of the need to develop better measures for inflammatory eye diseases which are objective and quantifiable to improve the power of clinical trials and inform day-to-day treatment decisions. This work is balanced by a prioritisation of patient reported outcomes (PROs) for ocular inflammatory disease (with his collaborator Prof Mel Calvert, Head of PROs Group University of Birmingham).

He regularly publishes research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews and book chapters, but is best known for writing the Oxford Handbook of Ophthalmology with Professor Philip Murray (Professor of Ophthalmology and Head of the Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, University of Birmingham). Alastair is keen to promote awareness of ophthalmic research and has been actively involved with the MRC Max Perutz Science Writing Prize, the Big Bang and the British Science Festival. Alastair’s motivation, whether in research or in the clinic, is to improve our care of patients with potentially blinding ocular disease.