Recognising Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) on World Prematurity Day

Prof Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka ranks in top 1% in Expertscape index as a global expert in ROP.

15 million babies are born premature each year – and babies born at a very early gestation can develop Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). ROP is the main cause of vision loss and blindness in children globally.

Professor Jennifer Wilkinson-Berka, Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences and Research Group Leader of the Retinal vascular biology and inflammation Laboratory, is a global expert in vision-threatening diseases, diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. Jennifer was recognised this week as an Expert by Expertscape’s Daily Expert rankings, placing her in the top 1% of academics publishing research in Retinopathy of Prematurity over the past 10 years.

What is ROP?

Pre-term babies can develop Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) – a condition where blood vessels grow abnormally causing damage to the light sensitive layer of the retina. This can lead to bleeding, scarring and ultimately retinal detachment which puts the baby at risk of becoming blind.

As the leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide, it's more prevalent in Latin America & South East Asia where hospitals do not have the skills and resources to deliver the care needed.

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World Prematurity Day

Held on 17 November each year, World Prematurity Day is a global movement aiming to raise awareness of the premature births and the impact it has on families including the risk of Retinopathy of Prematurity and blindness.