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Professor Madhavan Rajan

Visiting Professor

Vision and Eye Research Institute

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care
School of Medicine
Areas of Expertise:
Vision and eye research
Research Supervision:

Madhavan Rajan is a clinical academic and ophthalmic surgeon based in Cambridge with expertise in management of corneal and cataract disorders. His research interests include advanced intraocular lenses, corneal transplant techniques, femtosecond laser technology, and cell therapy cure for corneal blindness.


Madhavan qualified in 1994 and underwent specialist ophthalmic training in London. He has 20 years’ experience in ophthalmology. His interest in cataract, cornea and refractive surgery led to a research fellowship in laser refractive surgery at St Thomas’ Hospital, London culminating in a MD degree at the University of London. Subsequently, he spent two years as corneal, refractive and external eye diseases fellow at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

In 2007, Madhavan was appointed consultant ophthalmic surgeon. He is also Clinical Lead of the Cornea and Cataract Service at Addenbrooke’ Hospital, Cambridge, and principal supervisor for the corneal fellowship programme.

Madhavan was appointed as Professor of Ophthalmic and Visual Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University in 2010. At the Vision and Eye Research Institute (formerly the Vision and Eye Research Unit – VERU), he leads a corneal research team with basic science researchers and PhD studentships focused on corneal transplant research, corneal therapeutics, corneal stem cells and advanced intraocular lenses and has several publications in peer reviewed literature. Professor Rajan and his team had developed a novel endothelial keratoplasty technique termed Microthin DSAEK with improved patient outcomes, that won a NHS Health Enterprise Innovation Award and recently introduced femtosecond laser assisted eye surgery to patients in Cambridgeshire.

Research interests
  • Isolation and ex vivo culture of corneal endothelial cell precursors
  • In vitro human corneal model to investigate novel treatment strategies
  • Development of corneal drug delivery device
  • Temporal characteristics of endothelial graft thickness and visual recovery in DSAEK vs DMEK
  • Developing strategies to optimise visual outcome in corneal transplantation
  • Advanced IOL technology – Multifocal and Toric IOLs
  • Femtosecond laser assisted eye surgery
Areas of research supervision

Madhavan is principal supervisor for two corneal and cataract fellows at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He also undertakes an educational supervisory role for specialist ophthalmic trainees in the East of England and a PhD studentship at Anglia Ruskin University.

Completion of PhD studentship: Evaluation Of Corneal Endothelial Cell Transplantation Using An In Vitro Human Corneal Model, December 2017.

  • DMEK corneal wet lab course – December 2017
  • Cambridge Cornea and Cataract Symposium – Chairman
  • Regional Optometrist Cataract Accreditation programme – Chairman
  • Accredited teacher – medical students at the University of Cambridge and ophthalmology postgraduates
  • FRCOphth, London
  • MD, University of London
  • MRCOphth, London
  • FRCS Glasg. (Ophthalmology)
  • FRCS Ed (Ophthalmology)
  • MS (Ophthalmology)
  • MBBS
Memberships, editorial boards
  • General Medical Council
  • he Royal College of Ophthalmologists, London
  • Ireland Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Society
  • European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons
  • UK Bowman corneal club member
  • British Refractive Surgeons Society

Peer review for several ophthalmic journals.

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange
  • Cambridge Eye Trust grant: femtosecond laser (first NHS provision of laser assisted ocular surgery in the UK)
  • Fight for Sight grant: a randomised clinical trial on Corneal endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK vs DMEK)
  • Anglia Ruskin PhD studentship: feasibility studies on corneal endothelial cell therapy in an in vitro human corneal model
  • IRIS grant: MD thesis on developing an In vitro human corneal model for laser refractive surgery
Selected recent publications

Rolev K, OʼDonovan DG, Coussons P, King L, Rajan MS. Feasibility Study of Human Corneal Endothelial Cell Transplantation Using an In Vitro Human Corneal Model. Cornea. 2018 Jun;37(6):778-784. doi: 10.1097 PubMed PMID: 29521691.

Bowes OMB, Shah P, Rana M, Farrell S, Rajan MS. Quality indicators in a community optometrist led cataract shared care scheme. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2018 Feb 5. doi: 10.1111/opo.12444. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29405327.

Weber IP, Rana M, Thomas PBM, Dimov IB, Franze K, Rajan MS. Effect of vital dyes on human corneal endothelium and elasticity of Descemet's membrane. PLoS One. 2017 Sep 13;12(9):e0184375. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184375. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28902856; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5597301.

Rolev K, O'Donovan DG, Georgiou C, Rajan MS, Chittka A. Identification of Prdm genes in human corneal endothelium. Exp Eye Res. 2017 Jun;159:114-122. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2017.02.009. Epub 2017 Feb 20. PubMed PMID: 28228349; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5451076.

Bassily R, Lencova A, Rajan MS. Bilateral rupture of the posterior capsule and intraocular lens dislocation from excessive eye rubbing. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2016 Feb;42(2):329-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2016.01.018. PubMed PMID: 27026458.

Roberts HW, Mukherjee A, Aichner H, Rajan MS. Visual Outcomes and Graft Thickness in Microthin DSAEK--One-Year Results. Cornea. 2015 Nov;34(11):1345-50. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000596. PubMed PMID: 26312621.

Voyatzis G, Roberts HW, Keenan J, Rajan MS. Cambridgeshire cataract shared care model: community optometrist-delivered postoperative discharge scheme. Br J Ophthalmol. 2014 Jun;98(6):760-4. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2013-304636. Epub 2014 Feb 10. PubMed PMID: 24515987.

Rajan MS. Surgical strategies to improve visual outcomes in corneal transplantation. Eye (London). 2014 Feb;28(2):196-201. doi: 10.1038/eye.2013.279. Epub 2014 Jan 3. Review. PubMed PMID: 24384964; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3930281.

Thomas PB, Mukherjee AN, O'Donovan D, Rajan MS. Preconditioned donor corneal thickness for microthin endothelial keratoplasty. Cornea. 2013 Jul;32(7):e173-8. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3182912fd2. PubMed PMID: 23665648.

Recent presentations and conferences

Regional, national and international conference attendances and presentations.

Media experience

BBC and local radio presentations on eye health and new technologies in 2017.