Ian M. MacDonald MSc, MD CM is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Alberta and past Chair of the Department for 20 years. Prior to becoming Chair in Edmonton, in 1992, he was a Career Scientist of the Ontario Ministry of Health at the University of Ottawa. From 2007-2008, he was Branch Chief of Ophthalmic Genetics and Visual Function at the National Eye Institute of the NIH. Dr. MacDonald completed residency training in Family Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, Ophthalmology residency training at the University of Ottawa and Clinical Genetics fellowship training at the University of Ottawa, Queen's University, Kingston and the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. He is an Editor Emeritus of the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Ophthalmology for Genetics.Dr.
MacDonald's areas of interest are inherited ocular disorders, in particular, maculopathies and choroideremia. In 2009, in recognition of his work in Canada to foster the development of academic Ophthalmology, he was elected as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.
I hold weekly ocular genetics clinics that engage residents (Ophthalmology and Medical Genetics and others) in direct patient contact. A structured clinic that includes a genetic counselor allows the student to appreciate the management of patients and families with heritable ocular traits, including investigation (imaging, electrophysiology, etc.), interpretation of results (including clinical genetic testing) and genetic counseling.
In the laboratory, graduate students generally take on projects of their interest but all related in some way to ocular genetics. Depending on the interest of students, I organise a graduate level course (3 credits) in ocular genetics with the assistance of some colleagues in Alberta Vision Net. The course has run for a number of years and includes, didactic sessions supplemented by discussion of current literature and provides a comprehensive overview of the subject.
My laboratory is devoted to translational research on heritable ocular disorders. As part of pre-clinical research studies, we are focused on the characterization of the genetic basis of retinal disorders through molecular genetic techniques. Further, the laboratory is engaged in pre-clinical and clinical studies of ocular gene therapy.
choroideremia, Goldmann visual field, Natural history, Ocular genetics, perimetry, retinitis pigmentosa, VEP
Lab Team: Lisa Trottier, lab secretary; Rita Whitford, research co-ordinator; Alina Radziwon, technician; Lance Doucette, Research Associate; Fay Zhai, post-doctoral fellow; Matthew Benson, MSc student; Geoff Casey, MSc student; Nicole Noel, PhD student
Alberta Ocular Gene Therapy Team: Matthew Tennant (vitreo-retinal surgeon), Riz Somani (vitreo-retinal surgeon)
Dimopoulos IS, Hoang SC, Radziwon A, Binczyk NM, Seabra MC, MacLaren RE,
Somani R, Tennant MTS, MacDonald IM. Two-Year Results After AAV2-Mediated Gene
Therapy for Choroideremia: The Alberta Experience. Am J Ophthalmol. 2018
Sep;193:130-142. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2018.06.011. Epub 2018 Jun 27. PubMed PMID:
As a clinical geneticist and ophthalmologist, I am interested in the broad range of human disorders that affect vision. As the future will see an increasing number of trials for heritable ocular disorders, I am sincerely interested in developing the capacity for our healthcare system and research infrastructure to respond to the interests of patients and families to access these trials. Work in this area requires not only an array of dedicated clinical test equipment but also the staff to run the tests and analyze the data.
Scholarly ActivitiesOur research team conducted the first Canadian trial of ocular gene therapy, starting in June 2015 with results published in 2018. The trial was the culmination of over 30 years of research on an X-linked retinopathy called choroideremia funded by CIHR, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, the Foundation Fighting Blindess (now Fighting Blindness Canada) and the Choroideremia Research Foundation Canada Inc.
- McGill University
Master of Science
- McGill University
Bachelor of Science
- McGill University