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Professor Colin Willoughby

Consultant Ophthalmologist

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Professor Willoughby is a Professor of Ophthalmology in Ulster University and a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust where he practices in cataract surgery and glaucoma.

Professor Willoughby has trained in Liverpool and Canada and has worked as a clinical-academic in Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Liverpool, and Ulster University. He runs an active laboratory programme which uses genomic information and technologies to understand ocular biology and mechanisms, in health and disease states. The main aim of his research is to improve the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of two major worldwide blinding disorders: corneal blindness and glaucoma.

He was the Joint Editor-in-Chief of BMJ Open Ophthalmology (May 2016 – April 2019), is currently an Editorial Board Member (Glaucoma) for Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology and review publications for the leading international ophthalmic journals.

He is a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the International Society for Eye Research and lectures nationally and internationally on glaucoma, corneal diseases and genetics.

Practising At

Kingsbridge Private Hospital

Current NHS Posts 

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Professor of Ophthalmology, Ulster University.

Personal profile

Professor Willoughby keeps busy through his work, however to relax he enjoys nice meals out, Formula 1, travelling and doing gardening when he can.


BSc (Hons) Anatomy (First Class)

University of Liverpool 1988

MB ChB (Hons)

University of Liverpool 1991


University of Liverpool 2004

Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth)


Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training


Additional Training

Professional bodies (Positions held in last 3 years)

Royal College of Ophthalmologists

UK and Eire Glaucoma Society

Bowman Corneal Society

British Medical Association

European Glaucoma Society

European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS)


5 book chapter

Over 100 published articles and reviews, cited over 3900 times

Treatments and areas of interest

  • Cataract surgery (including toric and multifocal intra-ocular lenses)
  • Glaucoma and glaucoma surgery (including non-penetrating glaucoma surgery, SLT laser, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery)
  • Corneal diseases: dry eyes, allergic eye disease, inherited corneal disease, ocular surface disease

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