My Week: Dr Dolores Conroy puts lunch on hold for Channel 5

The director of research at Fight for Sight recounts her week

Dr Dolores Conroy
Dr Dolores Conroy

Monday: Each day starts with a strong cup of coffee or two. I'm currently working on Fight for Sight's five-year research strategy, which means meetings with our chief executive and members of our research strategy advisory group. I also have a catch-up with our grants officer for an update on the grant applications that are under consideration for funding.

Tuesday: Today I have invited a Fight for Sight-funded researcher to give a presentation to the charity on her research project into the global prevalence of diabetic retinopathy.

A number of our team have very little day-to-day contact with the actual research activity the charity funds, so I organise regular in-house talks.

Wednesday: I'm off to Surrey at the end of the day to give a talk to a local Women's Institute group. Fight for Sight relies entirely on voluntary funding, and I love the opportunity to talk to local community groups and fundraisers about what we do. Sight is the sense that people most fear losing, and Fight for Sight's messages about the importance of eye health really seem to resonate with the ladies.

Thursday: Channel 5 News arrives in the office at lunchtime for an interview about our research into achromatopsia, a rare inherited eye disease that causes extreme sensitivity to light. I leave my lunch until after the interview - there's nothing like a TV camera to make you lose your appetite.

Friday: I come into the office to some exciting news: The Lancet has just published the preliminary results from the first two patients to receive stem cells to treat two degenerative eye conditions. The results, which show an improvement in vision, will give hope to many who are losing their sight through these conditions. We also have a visit from a family that is raising funds for our work. I tell them about a trial under way at the Oxford Eye Hospital as a result of research that we've funded. Seeing the direct impact our work can have on people's lives is tremendously rewarding.

Fight for Sight funds research into blindness and eye disease.

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