Senior Research Manager

Research Management

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Thomas H. Wheeler-Schilling

First nameThomas
Present position and titleHead of Research Management, Institute for Ophthalmic Research Tuebingen, Germany
CEO of the Center for Neurosensory Systems, Tuebingen, Germany
CEO of European Vision Institute, Bruxelles, Belgium

Business address

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

Phone: +49 (0)7071 29-87644
Fax: +49 (0)7071 29-3774
E-mail: thomas.wheeler-schilling[at]

Academic Education

1994-1997 PhD (Dr.rer.nat.) in Molecular Biology, University of Tuebingen, Germany
1994 MSc (Dipl.-Biol.) in Parasitology-Tropical medicine, University of Tuebingen, Germany
1985-1993 BSC in Biology/Medicine, University of Tuebingen, Germany
1984-1985 Psychology, University of Mannheim, Germany

Professional Experience

Period Institution Position Discipline
2011-present Centre for Neurosensory Systems CEO Neurosensory
2003-present European Vision Institute, Brussels CEO Vision Research
2000-present Institute of Ophthalmic Research
Research Management Unit
Head Research Management
1997-1999 University Eye Hospital Post doctoral fellow Ophthalmology / Molecular Biology
1993-1994 LMU University of Munich Coordinator Africa Malaria Research

Management Experience


  • European Training Network transMed (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017-765441) - "Educating the next generation of scientists in translational medicine: Focus on eye diseases
  • Collaborative Project Soraprazan (H2020-SC1-2017-779317; clinical research on regenerative medicine) - "Soraprazan - a new regenerative therapy for Stargardt's disease"
  • European Training Network switchBoard (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2017-674901) - “In the Eye of the Observer: Visual Processing at the Heart of the Retina
  • European Training Network MyFUN (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015-675137) - "Myopia: Fundamental understanding needed"
  • European Training Network StarT (H2020-MSCA-ETN-2018) - "European Training Network to Diagnose, Understand and Treat Stargardt Disease, a Genetic Blinding Condition

EC 7th Framework Programme (FP7)

  • Coordinator EuroVisionNet (HEALTH-F2-2008-200641) - Visual Impairment and Degeneration: A Road-map for Vision Research within Europe
  • Managing Coordinator DRGSFORD (HEALTH-F2-2012-304963) - Preclinical development of drugs and drug delivery technology for the treatment of inherited photoreceptor degeneration
  • Managing Coordinator OpAL (PITN-GA-2010-264605)
  • Managing Coordinator Edu-Glia (PITN-GA-2009-237956) – Innovative Techniques and Models to Study Glia-Neuron Interactions
  • Administrative Management Crumbs in Sight (HEALTH-F2-2008-200234) - Restoring Müller glia cell – photoreceptor interactions with Crumbs

EC 6th Framework Programme (FP6)

  • Coordinator EVI-GenoRet (LSHG-CT-2005-512036) – Functional Genomics in the Retina in Health and Disease
  • Coordinator NeuroTrain (MEST-CT-2005-020235) – Training and Understanding Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Coordinator RETNET (MRTN-CT-2003-504003) – European Retinal Research Training Network
  • Managing Coordinator My Europia (MRTN-CT-2006-034021) – European Training in Myopia Research
  • Managing Coordinator CavNet (MRTN-CT-2006-035367) – L-type Calcium Channels in Health and Disease
  • Managing Coordinator PERACT (MEST-CT-2004-504321) –Perception and Action in Space

EC 5th Framework Programme (FP5)

  • Coordinator RETRAINET (HPRN-CT-2000-00098) - Prevention and Therapy of Blinding Retinal Neuro-Degenerations
  • Coordinator FIGHTING BLINDNESS (QLG5-CT-2001-60034) - Prevention of Blindness: The structure and function of the visual system
  • Coordinator KYNA (MCIF-2002-01562) Genetic Susceptibility to Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Managing coordinator VISION (QLGA-1999-50423) –Function and Dysfunction of the Visual System
  • Managing Coordinator AMD-READ (QLK6-CT-2002-00214) - Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Assessment and optimisation of macular function with special regard to reading and motor control
  • Managing Coordinator PHOTAGE (QLK6-CT-2002-02494) - Photoreceptor Dynamics in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Consequences for early Diagnosis and Rehabilitation
  • Administrative Management PRO-AGE-RET (QLRT-2001-00214) Neuroprotection in the Ageing Retina

Other Projects

  • Managing Coordinator HOPE 2 (01GM0850)  - Hereditary Retinal Disorders – From Patients toward Therapies
  • Coordinator Young Researcher Vision Camp 2010
  • Funding Member of the HELP Platform: The Ageing Society: Helping the Elderly to enjoy Long complete lives - Transdisciplinary Interest Group (TIG)
  • Managing Coordinator HOPE 1 (01GM08531) Hereditary Retinal Disorders – From Patients toward Therapies

Awards & Honors:

2012Special Recognition Award of Retina International
1984Literature Prize (Scheffelbund, Karlsruhe)

Memberships in Scientific Societies

  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • Association of German Biologists (VDBiol),
  • European Countries Biologists Association (ECBA)


  1. New Technologies in Clinical Trials in Corneal Diseases and Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency - Review from the European Vision Institute (EVI) Special Interest Focus Group Meeting.
    Schlereth SL, Hos D, Matthaei M, Hamrah P, Schmetterer L, O'Leary O, Ullmer C, Horstmann J, Bock F, Wacker K, Schröder H, Notara M, Haagdorens M, Nuijts RMMA, Dunker S, Dickman M, Fauser S, Scholl HPN, Wheeler-Schilling T, Cursiefen C. Ophthalmic Res. 2020 Jul 7.
  2. An ontological foundation for ocular phenotypes and rare eye diseases.
    Sergouniotis PI, Maxime E, Leroux D, Olry A, Thompson R, Rath A, Robinson PN, Dollfus H; ERN-EYE Ontology Study Group. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2019 Jan 9;14(1):8.
  3. Unmet research and developmental needs in ophthalmology : A consensus-based road map of the European Vision Institute for 2019-2025.
    Cursiefen C, Cordeiro F, Cunha-Vaz J, Wheeler-Schilling T, Scholl HPN; das EVI Steering Board. Ophthalmologe. 2019 Sep;116(9):838-849.
  4. Unmet Needs in Ophthalmology: A European Vision Institute-Consensus Roadmap 2019-2025.
    Cursiefen C, Cordeiro F, Cunha-Vaz J, Wheeler-Schilling T, Scholl HPN; EVI Steering Board. Ophthalmic Res. 2019;62(3):123-133. doi: 10.1159/000501374.
  5. Wheeler-Schilling, T.H, Kremers J., Zrenner, E. (eds.) (2012) A Vision for Horizon 2020 – A European Strategic Roadmap for Vision Research and Ophthalmology, Shaker-Verlag Aachen
  6. Wheeler-Schilling, T.H., (2011) European Vision Institute, International Innovation Healthcare 3 Research Media, UK, pp 42-44
  7. Diether S, Schaeffel F, Wheeler-Schilling T.H., (2009). My Europia - Structured European Education for Ambitious Young Researchers in Myopia Research. Ophthalmology Times Europe, Vol 5, 8.
  8. Wheeler-Schilling T.H., Hoffmann K., Bhattacharya S. (2007). EDUCATION: THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL FOR PROGRESSION AND EXCELLENCE IN EUROPE. Ophthalmology Times Europe 3(2), 33-37.
  9. Scholl H.P., Wheeler-Schilling T.H., Zrenner E., Holz F.G. (2006). ESTABLISHING OPHTHALMOLOGY IN THE RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. Ophthalmologe 103(2), 91-99.
  10. Zrenner E., Cunha-Vaz J., Sahel J.A., Silito A., Scholl H.P., Wheeler-Schilling T.H. (2006). THE EUROPEAN VISION INSTITUTE. OPENING UP OF NEW FRONTIERS? Ophthalmologe 103(2), 100-103.
  11. Wheeler-Schilling T.H., Zrenner E., Schiefer U. (2006). INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE PROMOTION OF YOUNG ACADEMICS IN VISION RESEARCH AT A EUROPEAN LEVEL. Ophthalmologe 103(2), 104-108.
  12. Fries J.E., Goczalik I.M., Wheeler-Schilling T.H., Kohler K. et al. (2005). IDENTIFICATION OF P2Y RECEPTOR SUBTYPES IN HUMAN MULLER GLIAL CELLS BY PHYSIOLOGY, SINGLE CELL RT-PCR, AND IMMUNOHISTOCHEMISTRY. Invest. Opthalmol Vis Sci. 46(8), 3000-3007.
  13. Fries J.E., Wheeler-Schilling T.H., Kohler K., Guenther E. (2004). DISTRIBUTION OF METABO-TROPIC P2Y RECEPTORS IN THE RAT RETINA: A SINGLE-CELL RT-PCR STUDY. Mol Brain Res. 130 (1-2), 1-6.
  14. Fries J.E., Wheeler-Schilling T.H., Guenther E., Kohler K. (2004). EXPRESSION OF P2Y1, P2Y2, P2Y4, AND P2Y6 RECEPTOR SUBTYPES IN THE RAT RETINA. Invest Opthalmol Vis Sci. 45(10), 3410-3417.
  15. Guenther E., Schmid S., Wheeler-Schilling T., Albach G. et al. (2004). DEVELOPMENTAL PLASTICITY OF NMDA RECEPTOR FUNCTION IN THE RETINA AND THE INFLUENCE OF LIGHT. FASEB J. 18 (12), 1433-1435.
  16. Pannicke, T., Weick, M., Uckermann, O., Wheeler-Schilling, T., Fries, J.E., Reichel, M.B., Mohr, C., Stahl, T., Fluess, M., Kacza, J., Seeger, J., Richt, J.A., Reichenbach, A. (2001). ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL ALTERATIONS AND UP-REGULATION OF ATP RECEPTORS IN RETINAL GLIAL MÜLLER CELLS FROM RATS INFECTED WITH THE BORNA DISEASE VIRUS. Glia 35 (3), 213-223.
  17. Wheeler-Schilling, T.H., Marquordt, K., Kohler, K., Guenther, E., Jabs, R. (2001). IDENTIFICATION OF PURINERGIC RECEPTORS IN RETINAL GANGLION CELLS. Mol Brain Res 92 (1-2), 177-180.
  18. Wheeler-Schilling, T.H., Sautter, E., Guenther, E., Kohler, K. (2001). expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) in the developing CHICKEN retina. Exp Eye Res. 72, 173-182.
  19. Tehrani, A., Wheeler-Schilling, T.H., Guenther, E. (2000) COEXPRESSION PATTERNS OF mGluR mRNAs IN RAT RETINAL GANGLION CELLS: A SINGLE-CELL RT-PCR STUDY. Invest. Opthalmol. Vis. Sci. 41(1), 314-319.
  20. Jabs, R., Guenther, E., Marquordt, K., Wheeler-Schilling, T.H. (2000) EVIDENCE FOR P2X3, P2X4, P2X5 BUT NOT FOR P2X7 CONTAINING PURINERGIC RECEPTORS IN MÜLLER CELLS OF THE RAT RETINA. Mol Brain Res. 76(2), 205-210.
  21. Wheeler-Schilling, T.H., Marquordt, K., Kohler, K., Jabs, R., Guenther, E. (2000). EXPRESSION OF PURINERGIC RECEPTORS IN BIPOLAR CELLS OF THE RAT RETINA. Mol Brain Res. 76(2), 415-418.
  22. Wheeler-Schilling TH, Kohler K, Sautter M, Guenther E. (1999) Angiotensin II receptor subtype gene expression and cellular localization in the retina and non-neuronal ocular tissues of the rat. Eur J Neurosci. Oct;11(10):3387-94
  23. Brändle U, Kohler K, Wheeler-Schilling TH. (1998) Expression of the P2X7-receptor subunit in neurons of the rat retina. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. Nov 12;62(1):106-9
  24. Brändle U, Guenther E, Irrle C, Wheeler-Schilling TH. (1998) Gene expression of the P2X receptors in the rat retina. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. Aug 31;59(2):269-72
  25. Kohler K, Wheeler-Schilling T, Jurklies B, Guenther E, Zrenner E. (1997) Angiotensin II in the rabbit retina. Vis Neurosci. 1997 Jan-Feb;14(1):63-71.


10 years Institut de la Vision, Paris - November 2019 - from left to right: J. Dowling, J. Sahel & Thomas H. Wheeler-Schilling
Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK - from left to right: T. Leveillard, S. Banfi, P. Ekstroem, S. Bhattarcharya, M. Ueffing, V. Marigo, Thomas H. Wheeler-Schilling, O. Lorentz, O. Poch, F. Cremers
10 years Institut de la Vision, Paris - November 2019 - from left to right: M. Ueffing, R. McLaren, J. Sahel, E. Zrenner, C. Fasser & Thomas H. Wheeler-Schilling
Board Meeting of the Euoprean Vision Institute, May 2019 - Cologne, Germany - from left to right: J. Cunha-Vaz, S. Fauser, H. Scholl, C. Cursiefen, Thomas H. Wheeler-Schilling