Prof. Daniel Barthelmes

Chair of ophthalmology at the University of Zurich, director of the Department of Ophthalmology, and Medical Head of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences/Head and Neck Disease, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland

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After completing specialty training in Switzerland and finishing his MD thesis on gene identification using a gene-trap approach, Daniel Barthelmes moved to Sydney, Australia where he earned a PhD in Professor Mark Gillies’ laboratory at Save Sight Institute, the University of Sydney, in vascular stem cell biology. Besides his basic research work, he also completed a clinical fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery at Westmead Hospital, Sydney.


Prof. Barthelmes was the first ophthalmologist in Switzerland to receive the highly competitive Walter and Gertrud Siegenthaler scholarship and was the first Swiss participant in the European Leadership Development Program of the European Society of Ophthalmology. He also finished an executive MBA program at the University of Zurich.


As a principal investigator in the Fight Retinal Blindness! project, jointly with Professor Mark Gillies, Prof. Barthelmes designed and helped to establish one of the world’s largest registries for anonymously tracking treatment outcomes in patients with ocular disease. The system is used Australia-wide by the leading retinal specialists, as well as in major centers around the world.


Prof. Barthelmes’s research topics for more than 12 years are age-related macular degeneration, hereditary retinal degeneration, and retinal vascular disease, and past and current research involves both clinical and basic research topics. He has also coauthored more than 130 original manuscripts, many of them in leading journals in the field.