Prinicipal Investigator

Translational research on retinal disorders

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M. Dominik Fischer

First nameM. Dominik
Present position and titleGroup leader, Professor of Ophthalmology, Prof. Dr. med, D.Phil

Business address

Institute for Ophthalmic Research
Centre for Ophthalmology,
University of Tübingen
Elfriede-Aulhorn-Strasse 7
D-72076 Tübingen,

Phone: +49 (0)7071 29-87894
E-mail: dominik.fischer[at]

Academic Education

Year Degree University Field of study
2012-2015 DPhil, Clinical Neurosciences University of Oxford Retinal gene and stem cell therapy
2005-2007 Medical Doctorate (summa cum laude) University of Witten/Herdecke Anatomy  & Physiology
2000-2007 Staatsexamen University of Witten/Herdecke Medicine

Professional Experience

Period Institution Position Discipline
Since 2017 Centre for Ophthalmology Tübingen, Germany Oberarzt (Consultant / Attending) medical & surgical retina
Since 2015 Centre for Ophthalmology Tübingen, Germany Group leader Retinal gene therapy
2013 - 2014 Somerville College, University Oxford, UK Tutorial Fellow Neurophysiology
2012 - 2015 Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, University Oxford, UK MRC Clinical Research Fellow Clinical Neurosciences
2012 - 2015 Oxford Eye Hospital, Oxford University Hospital NHS Trust Honorary Senior Specialist Registrar Ophthalmology
2007 - 2012 Centre for Ophthalmology Tübingen, Germany Specialist trainee in Ophthalmology Ophthalmology
2001 - 2003 Department of Physiology, University of Pennsylvania Visiting Scholar Physiology / Neuroscience

Additional information

Organization of Academic Events

Date Description
2017 101st BWAV Meeting (Innovation in neuen Gefilden, Tübingen)
2016 Electronics and Biology — Restoration of Vision in Hereditary Retinal Degenerations (DOG annual meeting, Berlin)
2015 Gene Therapy Symposium (Centre for Ophthalmology, Tübingen)
2015 YouRetina symposium (EURETINA annual meeting, Nice)
2014 Cone function minisymposium (Centre for Ophthalmology, Tübingen)

Academic Awards

Date Description
2017 Retina Award (Retina Förderpreis), German Ophthalmological Society
2017 Research Award, Deutsches Förderprogramm für Augenheilkunde von Bayer
2016 Henning-Zügel Foundation Award for basic and translational science
2015 Professorship, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
2015 Inaugural Ophthalmologica Lecturer, EURETINA Executive Committee
2015 - 2017 European Leadership Development Program, European Society of Ophthalmology
2014 Doctoral Training Award, Medical Research Council & University of Oxford
2013 & 2014 Graduate Research Grant Award, Merton College, University of Oxford
2012 Leonardo Da Vinci Grant Award, European Commission
2012 MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship, UK Medical Research Council
2012 Glaucoma Research Award, Initiative Auge e.V.
2010 Career Development Award, Karin and Ewald Hochbaum Foundation
2008 NIH Young Investigator Award, NEI & Foundation Fighting Blindness
2001 - 2007 Academic Scholarship, Friedrich Naumann Foundation
2006 Intercultural Research Award, Peter und Ruth Wirts Stiftung
2002 Department of Physiology Research Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania
2002 Best research poster award; European Medical Student Conference
2001 - 2003 e-fellow scholarship; Accenture et al.
2001 Research travel grant, Witten/Herdecke University Society
2001 Research Scholarship, Pennsylvania Muscle Institute
2001 Henry R. Viet Fellow, Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America
2000 Research travel grant, Smith-Kline Beecham

Academic Teaching and Services

Date Description
Since 2016 Editorial Board Member, Ophthalmology PoC
Since 2014 Associate Editor, BMC Ophthalmology
Since 2013 Editorial Board Member, Journal of Ophthalmic Research
Since 2002 Peer Review Activity (ad hoc) for: American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Neurology, Molecular Therapy, PLoS ONE, Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, Molecular Therapy - Methods & Clinical Development, Ophthalmology, Vision Research, Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Research, Graefe's Arch Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, Ocular Immunology and Inflammation, Optometry and Vision Science, Ophthalmologica, Journal of Veterinary Ophthalmology, Molecular Vision, BMC Ophthalmology, Progress in Retinal and Eye Research;


  • Association for Research in Vision Science and Ophthalmology
  • German Society of Gene Therapy
  • German Ophthalmological Society
  • European Society of Retina Specialists
  • German Retina Society
  • European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Oxford Ophthalmological Congress

Past and Current Funding

Date Description
2015 - 2016 IZKF (University of Tuebingen): Ex vivo gene therapy in patient derived cell cultures to predict treatment efficacy
2014 – 2017 THOR (Kerstan Foundation): Clinical phase II gene therapy trial with AAV2.REP1 for the treatment of Choroideraemia
2012 - 2018 RD-CURE (Kerstan Foundation): Work-package 5 - Strategic Planning and Coordination of two independent Clinical phase I/II gene therapy trials
2012 - 2015 UK Medical Research Council: Optimising RPGR gene replacement as treatment for X-linked RP
2011 FAMT (University of Tuebingen): Spectral domain optical coherence tomography in pre-clinical development of novel treatment strategies
2010 - 2011 fortüne (University of Tuebingen): Therapeutic intervention in a mouse model for X-linked juvenile retinoschisis
2009 - 2011 HOPE: Hereditary Retinal Dystrophies - from Patients towards Therapies (BMBF): Translation of Novel Diagnostic Procedures and Evaluation of Experimental Therapies in Hereditary Retinal Disorders

Selected Publications

  1. Reichel FF, Dauletbekov DL, Klein R, Peters T, Ochakovski GA, Seitz IP, Wilhelm B, Ueffing M, Biel M, Wissinger B, Michalakis S, Bartz Schmidt KU, Fischer MD (2017) AAV8 can induce innate and adaptive immune response in the primate eye. Mol Ther accepted for publication.
  2. Ochakovski GA, Peters T, Michalakis S, Wilhelm B, Bartz-Schmidt KU, Fischer MD (2017) Subretinal injection for gene therapy does not cause clinically significant outer nuclear layer thinning in normal primate foveae. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci accepted for publication.
  3. Lisowska J, Lisowski L, Kelbsch C, Maeda F, Richter P, Kohl S, Zobor D, Strasser T, Stingl K, Zrenner E, Peters T, Wilhelm H, Fischer MD, Wilhelm B, Consortium R-C (2017) Development of a Chromatic Pupillography Protocol for the First Gene Therapy Trial in Patients With CNGA3-Linked Achromatopsia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 58: 1274-1282.
  4. Hariri AH, Velaga SB, Girach A, Ip MS, Le PV, Lam BL, Fischer MD, Sankila EM, Pennesi ME, Holz FG, MacLaren RE, Birch DG, Hoyng CB, MacDonald IM, Black GC, Tsang SH, Bressler NM, Larsen M, Gorin MB, Webster AR, Sadda SR, Natural History of the Progression of Choroideremia Study G (2017) Measurement and Reproducibility of Preserved Ellipsoid Zone Area and Preserved Retinal Pigment Epithelium Area in Eyes With Choroideremia. Am J Ophthalmol 179: 110-117.
  5. Fischer MD, McClements ME, Martinez-Fernandez de la Camara C, Bellingrath JS, Dauletbekov D, Ramsden SC, Hickey DG, Barnard AR, MacLaren RE (2017) Codon optimized RPGR leads to improved stability and rescue with AAV8 gene therapy in two mouse models of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa. Mol Ther. May 24. pii: S1525-0016(17)30223-X.
  6. Ochakovski GA, Bartz-Schmidt KU, Fischer MD (2017) Retinal Gene Therapy: Surgical Vector Delivery in the Translation to Clinical Trials. Front Neurosci. Apr 3;11:174.
  7. Seitz IP, Achberger K, Liebau S, Fischer MD (2016) [Stem Cells for Retina Replacement]. Klin Monbl Augenheilkd 233(12):1350-1356.
  8. Fischer MD, Hickey DG, Singh MS, MacLaren RE (2016) Evaluation of an Optimized Injection System for Retinal Gene Therapy in Human Patients. Human gene therapy Part B Methods 27: 150-158.
  9. Fischer MD (2016) On Retinal Gene Therapy. Ophthalmologica 236: 1-7 DOI 10.1159/000445782.
  10. Bellingrath JS, Fischer MD (2015) Gene therapy as treatment concept for hereditary retinal disorders. Ophthalmologe in print.
  11. Balmer J, Stanzel BV, Fischer MD (2015) Stem cell therapy for retinal diseases. Ophthalmologe in print.
  12. Seitz IP, Zhour A, Kohl S, Llanova P, Peters T, Wilhelm B, Zrenner E, Ueffing M, Bartz Schmidt KU, Fischer MD (2015) Multimodal assessment of choroideremia patients defines pre-treatment characteristics. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol in print.
  13. Fischer MD, Goldmann T, Wallrapp C, Muhlfriedel R, Beck SC, Stern-Schneider G, Ueffing M, Wolfrum U, Seeliger MW (2013) Successful Subretinal Delivery and Monitoring of MicroBeads in Mice. PLoS One 8: e55173.
  14. Zhour A, Bolz S, Grimm C, Willmann G, Schatz A, Weber BH, Zrenner E, Fischer MD (2012) In vivo imaging reveals novel aspects of retinal disease progression in Rs1h(-/Y) mice but no therapeutic effect of carbonic anhydrase inhibition. Vet Ophthalmol 15 Suppl 2: 123-133.
  15. Shao Y, Keliris GA, Papanikolaou A, Fischer MD, Zobor D, Jagle H, Logothetis NK, Smirnakis SM (2013) Visual cortex organisation in a macaque monkey with macular degeneration. Eur J Neurosci 38: 3456-3464.
  16. Fischer MD, Zobor D, Keliris GA, Yibin S, W. SM, Haverkamp S, Jägle H, Logothetis NK, Smirnakis SM (2012) Detailed functional and structural characterization of a macular lesion in a rhesus macaque. Doc Ophthalmol 125: 179-194.
  17. Paquet-Durand F, Beck S, Michalakis S, Goldmann T, Huber G, Muhlfriedel R, Trifunovic D, Fischer MD, Fahl E, Duetsch G, Becirovic E, Wolfrum U, van Veen T, Biel M, Tanimoto N, Seeliger MW (2011) A key role for cyclic nucleotide gated (CNG) channels in cGMP-related retinitis pigmentosa. Hum Mol Genet 20: 941-947.
  18. Michalakis S, Muhlfriedel R, Tanimoto N, Krishnamoorthy V, Koch S, Fischer MD, Becirovic E, Bai L, Huber G, Beck SC, Fahl E, Buning H, Paquet-Durand F, Zong X, Gollisch T, Biel M, Seeliger MW (2010) Restoration of cone vision in the CNGA3-/- mouse model of congenital complete lack of cone photoreceptor function. Mol Ther 18: 2057-2063.
  19. Fischer MD, Huber G, Beck SC, Tanimoto N, Muehlfriedel R, Fahl E, Grimm C, Wenzel A, Reme CE, van de Pavert SA, Wijnholds J, Pacal M, Bremner R, Seeliger MW (2009) Noninvasive, in vivo assessment of mouse retinal structure using optical coherence tomography. PLoS One 4: e7507.
  20. Fischer MD, Fleischhauer JC, Gillies MC, Sutter FK, Helbig H, Barthelmes D (2008) A new method to monitor visual field defects caused by photoreceptor degeneration by quantitative optical coherence tomography. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 49: 3617-3621.