Birdshot Day 2018, SESSION 2

Interviews with Jennifer Thorne and Marina Mesquida

BUS was fortunate to have Professor Andrew Dick to undertake these interviews.

We were delighted and honoured to welcome Professor Jennifer Thorne to the 2018 Birdshot Day.  She and several of her birdshot patients had made the journey to the UK from Baltimore in the USA specially to take part. Professor Dick asks Jennifer Thorne about her work:  what led her to specialising in birdshot uveitis and other inflammatory eye diseases.

Dr Marina Mesquida, a former research student of Professor Andrew Dick, travelled from Switzerland to attend the Birdshot Day. Here she is being quizzed by Andrew Dick about her move from the world of birdshot research in a hospital setting to a very different environment in one of the larger pharmaceutical companies based in Switzerland



Brief notes on the participants:

Professor Andrew Dick BSc(Hons), MBBS, MD, FRCP(Ed), FRCS(Ed & Lond), FRCOphth, FMedSci, FRSB, FARVOwho is Duke Elder Chair and Director of University College London, Institute of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Brain Sciences. He is Head and Chair of Ophthalmology, University of Bristol, and the lead clinician for the Regional Ocular Inflammatory Service, South West England. He also serves on Faculty and is Theme Lead for Inflammation and Immunotherapeutics, Biomedical Research Centre – Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL.


Professor Jennifer E Thorne, MD, PhD is Chief, Division of Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Cross Family Professor of Ophthalmology and Epidemiology at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, US. She is a board-certified ophthalmologist and an expert in the evaluation and management of patients with uveitis and other related immune-mediated disorders. Dr Thorne participates in numerous research projects on the clinical and treatment outcomes of uveitis, including white spot syndromes such as birdshot chorioretinitis and paediatric uveitis. She is national protocol chair of the MUST-sponsored POINT study on uveitic macular oedema; principal investigator of a study in the effectiveness of the dexamethasone implant in the treatment of uveitis. Her research, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other agencies, is focused on understanding which treatments for uveitis offer the best balance of effectiveness and safety to preserve patients’ vision and quality of life in a cost-effective manner.

Marina Mesquida MD MSc PhD is an ophthalmologist clinician scientist. She obtained her degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Lleida, Spain, then completed her residency in ophthalmology at the Hospital Clinic Barcelona, where she graduated with numerous research awards. After undertaking a Master’s degree (MSc) in autoimmune diseases, she studied for a PhD in ocular immunology and inflammation at the University of Barcelona, followed by postdoctoral training at the University of Bristol, UK. She served as a consultant ophthalmologist specialising in medical retina and uveitis at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona for 10 years, where she was also appointed head of the Ophthalmology Clinical Research Unit at the Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica.Marina has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and 20 book chapters, with her major scientific interests being the role of interleukin 6 in the pathogenesis of macular oedema and immunological dysregulation in retinal diseases. In 2017 she received the Early Career Clinician Scientist Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Foundation. She currently serves as Translational Medicine Leader in Ophthalmology as part of the Roche Pharma Research and Early Development team in Basel, Switzerland, where she develops new treatments for retinal diseases, a job which combines her enthusiasm and passion for science with a strong commitment to patients.