EYE-RISK - a European Research Project


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EYE-RISK - a European Research Project

Exploring the combined role of genetic and non-genetic factors for developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A systems level analysis of disease subgroups, risk factors, and pathways. Learn more about the European Research Project EYE-RISK

In the recently implemented EU Horizon2020 collaborative project EYE-RISK, the consortium of several high profile public and private research institutions investigated the risks and pathways of retinal degeneration caused by Age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  EYE-RISK was coordinated by Marius Ueffing of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research Tübingen and Caroline Klaver from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and comprises academic labs and partners from industry and patient advocacy of the six European countries Netherlands, UK, France, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany.

EYE-RISK - see the EYE-RISK movies on YouTube

Exploring the combined role of genetic and non-genetic factors for developing Age-Related Macular Degeneration:
A systems level analysis of disease subgroups, risk factors, and pathways
Fighting blindness in the elderly - The EYE-RISK project
How does AMD affect your life? Irma and Detlef share their story.

Using a systems medicine approach, EYE-RISK aims at identifying risk factors, molecular mechanisms and therapeutic approaches for the complex eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness in European countries. The disease is characterized by the degeneration of the central part of the retina called macula. This part is needed for central vision and is crucial for tasks such as reading, driving, recognition of faces and color vision. The frequency of AMD in the general population increases sharply after an age of 65 years up to a prevalence of 10% after an age of 80 years. The risk to develop AMD is jointly determined by age, lifestyle and also by the individual genetic background. At the current state, AMD is an incurable disease.

The EYE-RISK project utilizes epidemiological data describing clinical phenotype, molecular genetics, lifestyle, nutrition, and in-depth retinal imaging derived from existing longitudinal European epidemiological cohorts and biobanks to provide three major insights needed for long-lasting prevention and therapy of AMD:

  1. Development of robust algorithms utilizing genetic and non-genetic risk factors to identify personalized risks of developing advanced wet and dry AMD.
  2. Identification of novel biomarkers for further stratification of disease risks.
    New insights from 1) and 2) will be used to elaborate preventive medical recommendations for high-risk subgroups of AMD patients.
  3. Identification of molecular drivers / biological pathways relevant for onset and progression of advanced AMD that will be used to identify and validate new therapeutic targets.


  • Coordinator: Prof. Marius Ueffing
    Institute for Ophthalmic Research
    Centre for Ophthalmology, University of Tübingen, Germany
  • Scientific Co-Coordinator: Prof. Caroline Klaver
    Erasmus Medical Center, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Epidemiology
    Rotterdam, Netherlands


  • Partner 1 - Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (EKUT), Tübingen, Germany
  • Partner 2 - Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam (EMC), Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Partner 3 - Fundacio Centre de Regulacio Genomica (CRG), Barcelona, Spain
  • Partner 4 - Stichting Katholieke Universiteit (RUNMC), Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Partner 5 - Université de Bordeaux (UB), Bordeaux, France
  • Partner 6 - University College London (UCL), London, UK
  • Partner 7 - Fundacion Barcelona Macula Foundation Research for Vision (BMF), Barcelona, Spain
  • Partner 8 - PRO RETINA Deutschland (PROR), Bonn, Germany
  • Partner 9 - AYOXXA Biosystems GmbH (AYOX), Cologne, Germany
  • Partner 10 - F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (ROCHE), Basel, Switzerland
  • Partner 11 - Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (MEH), London, UK - Project partner until November 30th, 2016
  • Partner 12 - Fundacion Publica Andaluza Progreso y Salud (FPS), Sevilla, Spain
  • Partner 13 - Queen's University of Belfast (QUB), Belfast, UK - project partner since September 1st, 2016
  • Partner 14 - University College Dublin (NUID UCD), Dublin, UK - project partner since September 1st, 2017