Professor Philip Ian Murray MBBS, DO(RCS), PhD, FRCP, FRCS, FRCOphth

Philip Murray

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professor of Ophthalmology

Contact details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Phil Murray is Professor of Ophthalmology. He previously was Clinical Lead, Graduate School, College of Medical and Dental Sciences and a member of the University Senate.

His main clinical and research interests are in the field of intraocular inflammation (uveitis), in particular immune mechanisms in the ocular microenvironment.

Phil has published over 200 research papers plus numerous book chapters on uveitis. He has also co-authored four textbooks.

He has received grants from The Medical Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, The National Institute for Health Research and Fight for Sight and is frequently invited to speak at and Chair National and International conferences on uveitis. He is reviewer for numerous grant giving bodies and Section Editor and reviewer for several journals.

For 12 years he served as Honorary Secretary of the prestigious International Uveitis Study Group (a select group of about 150 international uveitis experts) and was the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Duke-Elder Lecturer in 2013.

Phil has previous sat on numerous national committees (Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Royal College of Physicians), an adviser to several patient groups and charities and Chairman of the charity the Roper-Hall Eye Foundation.


  • FRCP – The Royal College of Physicians 2005
  • FRCOphth – The Royal College of Ophthalmologists 1993
  • PhD – University of Amsterdam 1990
  • FRCS - The Royal College of Surgeons of England 1985
  • DO(RCS) – Royal College of Surgeons of England 1982
  • MRCS LRCP - (Conjoint) 1978
  • MBBS - St. George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London 1978


Phil Murray qualified in Medicine at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1978. After House Jobs and a Senior House Officer post in Neurosurgery, he started his ophthalmology career in Croydon then Southampton. Following this he undertook laboratory research into intraocular inflammation (uveitis) at the Institute of Ophthalmology, London. Most of his ophthalmological training was then undertaken at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. In 1988 he spent one year as Guest Researcher at the Department of Ophthalmo-Immunology in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In January 1990 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Ophthalmology at the University of Birmingham, and after a short period as Reader he took up the position of Professor of Ophthalmology in 1997. He obtained his PhD in 1990 on ‘Immunological Aspects of Intraocular Inflammation’. His main interests revolve around why the eye cannot control inflammation in patients with uveitis and research is aimed at answering the following questions:

  • Why does intraocular tolerance fail in uveitis?
  • What immune mechanisms initiate and drive the inflammatory response?
  • What can one do about it?

Having a large patient base, including cohorts of patients with rare diseases, serves as the ideal source for translational research. He also undertakes commercial Pharmaceutical trials on novel therapies for uveitis and was closely involved in obtaining funding from National Commissioning for a National Centre of Excellence for Behçet’s Syndrome at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (BMEC), one of only 3 centres in England. This has lead to the development of multidisciplinary clinics and a close involvement with Rheumatology.

His clinical base is at BMEC, City Hospital, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust and undertakes 3 Regional/Supraregional referral Uveitis clinics per week. He is passionate about the teaching and training of junior doctors and in the past was the Clinical Lead for the Graduate School of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, with overall responsibility for clinicians undertaking MD and PhD degrees. He is a member of the Clinical Academic Training Operations Group at the Medical School.

He has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals on uveitis, numerous book chapters and co-authored 4 textbooks including the best-selling ‘Oxford Handbook of Ophthalmology’. He has a strong interest in undergraduate teaching, and this is reflected in being the MBChB ophthalmology lead.

He is an adviser to three patient groups/charities and helped set up a local Patient Involvement Group in Uveitis (PINGU) that meets 3-4 time/year. He is the organiser of the acclaimed Oculus Part 2 FRCOphth revision course.

He is a Life Member of Brentford FC Supporters Club and plays baritone sax in Out Of The Blue Big Band and The Soul Providers.


Medicine and Surgery MBChB:

  • Member Year 4 Management Group
  • Lead for undergraduate ophthalmology teaching
  • 2nd Year - large group lectures
  • 3rd Year - large group lectures, OSCE reviewer
  • 4th Year - small group teaching, clinical skills teaching, clinical teaching, SSMs, Elective Home Supervisor, Conference Poster judge, standard set MCQs, OSCE reviewer and examiner, Senior Academy Teacher, produce eLearning materials for Canvas
  • 5th Year – SSMs, OSCE reviewer
  • Personal Academic Tutor – PAT53 group

Postgraduate supervision

  • PhD Supervisor – clinicians, basic scientists
  • MD Supervisor – clinicians
  • Academic Supervisor – Academic Trainees (NIHR Clinical Lecturer, University Clinical Lecturer, NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow)
  • Educational Supervisor – West Midlands’ Ophthalmology Trainees
  • Clinical Supervisor – West Midlands’ Ophthalmology Trainees

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Professor Philip Murray directly, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.


Uveitis comprises a group of potentially blinding diseases of mainly the young and working aged population. Some cases are caused by an infection, in others it is part of a systemic disease but in many patients we never find a cause. When vision is threatened systemic treatment in the form of corticosteroids, immunosuppressants and biological agents are required.

The eye is an immunologically privileged site. Recent developments are beginning to suggest specific molecular mechanisms for this process. Nevertheless, uveitis is a clear challenge to this tolerant paradigm. Research is aimed at trying to answer why the mechanisms of immune privilege in the eye are circumvented or overwhelmed leading to inflammation inside the eye (uveitis). What factors are then driving the inflammatory response? If these mechanisms can be elucidated then specific targeted novel treatments can be developed.

Our large cohort of uveitis patients, including having a National Centre for Behçet’s Disease, allows for translational-based studies. The ability to take blood and aqueous humour samples, and to compare them with healthy individuals, has led us to have a greater understanding of the cells and cytokines inside the inflamed eye.

Our work has been supported by grant funding from the Medical Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, the National Institute for Health Research and Fight for Sight.


We are investigating the relationship between immune responses, host genotype and gut microbiome profile that may contribute to the clinical manifestations and disease course in patients with Behçet’s disease.

We are also using metabolomics in aiding the diagnosis and prognosis of different types of uveitis.

In the past our studies of uveitis addressed the roles of a number of potentially harmful immune cell subsets (T cells). This has also enabled us to identify specific patterns of cytokines inside the inflamed eye. We also shown that the microenvironment in the eye suppresses the function of a key population of immune cells (dendritic cells) involved in the initiation of immune responses, and that the microenvironment continues to suppress the function of dendritic cells despite the on-going active inflammation in individuals with uveitis.


We are actively involved in undertaking Pharmaceutical clinical trials for new therapies for uveitis. This includes looking at various biological treatments in uveitis including a clinical trial funded by the MRC and NIHR comparing two biologics in Behçet’s disease.

We are looking at novel imaging techniques including Optical Coherence Tomography as a validated methodology to accurately quantify inflammation inside the eye that could be used in the clinic and in drug trials.

Our work has recently expanded into more qualitative research as we are exploring the quality of life issues that uveitis patients who have poor central vision related to their inflammation (cystoid macular oedema) experience. This has lead to the development of a Core Outcome Set of Patient Report Outcomes that could be added to the outcomes already measured in clinical trials of new drugs.

Other activities

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

Member of

  • Research and Development Committee
  • Undergraduate Teaching Group

West Midlands Region

  • Past Member, School of Ophthalmology HEEWM (Health Education England West Midlands)
  • Past President, Midland Ophthalmological Society


Royal College of Ophthalmologists

  • Examiner for Part 2 FRCOphth

Past Member of:

  • International Medical Graduates sub-committee
  • Education Committee (in charge of Undergraduate Ophthalmology and Foundation Curriculum)
  • Examinations Committee
  • Equivalence of Training sub-committee
  • eLearning sub-committee
  • Diploma examination committee

Royal College of Physicians

  • Past Chairman and Member, Specialty Advisory Committee for Medical Ophthalmology, JRCPTB (Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board)
  • Past Training Programme Director for Medical Ophthalmology, School of Ophthalmology HEEWM (Health Education England West Midlands)


  • External Examiner, Independent Prescribing Exam, College of Optometrists
  • External Examiner, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland
  • Editorial Board Member and Reviewing Editor of Ocular Immunology and Inflammation
  • Past Member of the Academy of the Medical Royal Colleges Foundation Programme Committee
  • Past Member of Moorfields Eye Hospital Special Trustees Grant Allocation Panel
  • Past Member of Fight for Sight Grant Allocation Panel
  • Previous Secretary and Vice-President of the Section of Ophthalmology of the Royal Society of Medicine
  • Past Section Editor of British Journal of Ophthalmology, BMC Ophthalmology
  • Past Editor, Eye News
  • Previous Honorary Secretary of the International Uveitis Study Group

Adviser to Charities

  • Chairman, Roper-Hall Eye Foundation
  • Behçet UK
  • The Birdshot Uveitis Society
  • Olivia’s Vision


Recent publications


Vakros G, Scollo P, Hodson J, Murray PI, Rauz S. Anxiety and depression in inflammatory eye disease: exploring the potential impact of topical treatment frequency as a putative psychometric item. BMJ Open Ophthalmology 2021;6:e000649. doi: 10.1136/bmjophth-2020-000649

West Midlands Collaborative Ophthalmology Network for Clinical Effectiveness & Research by Trainees (WM CONCERT) & Rauz, S 2021, 'Evaluation of full-length nanopore 16S sequencing for detection of pathogens in microbial keratitis', PeerJ, vol. 9, e10778.

Working Group TSOUNS, Jabs DA, Acharya NR, Chee SP, Goldstein D, McCluskey P, Murray PI, Oden N, Palestine AG, Rosenbaum JT, Thorne JE, Trusko BE. Classification criteria for Fuchs uveitis syndrome. Am J Ophthalmol. 2021 Apr 9:S0002-9394(21)00177-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2021.03.052.

Murray PI, Sekaran A, Javidi H, Situnayake D. Interrelationships between heath utility measurements, disease activity and psychological factors in Behçet's disease. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2021 May-Jun;70:103-108. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2021.03.001.

Leandro L, Beare N, Bhan K, Murray PI, Andrews C, Damato E, Denniston AK, Gupta N, Kumar P, Pradeep A, Quhill F, Ross A, Stylianides A, Sharma SM; Uveitis National Clinical Study Group. Systemic corticosteroid use in UK Uveitis practice: results from the ocular inflammation steroid toxicity risk (OSTRICH) study. Eye (Lond). 2021 Feb 2. doi: 10.1038/s41433-020-01336-6.

Tallouzi MO, Mathers JM, Moore DJ, Bucknall N, Calvert MJ, Murray PI, Denniston AK; COSUMO Working Group. Development of a Core Outcome Set for Clinical Trials in Non-infectious Uveitis of the Posterior Segment. Ophthalmology. 2021 Jan 28:S0161-6420(21)00070-1. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2021.01.022.

Low L, Fuentes-Utrilla P, Hodson J, O'Neil JD, Rossiter AE, Begum G, Suleiman K, Murray PI, Wallace GR, Loman NJ, Rauz S; West Midlands Collaborative Ophthalmology Network for Clinical Effectiveness & Research by Trainees (WM CONCERT). Evaluation of full-length nanopore 16S sequencing for detection of pathogens in microbial keratitis. PeerJ. 2021 Feb 15;9:e10778. doi: 10.7717/peerj.10778. eCollection 2021.

Sekaran A, Shamdas M, Barry RJ, Denniston AK, Murray PI. Creating a Health Utility Value for Birdshot Chorioretinopathy. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2020 Sep 18:1-8. doi: 10.1080/09273948.2020.1799034.

Panthagani J, Rauz S, Murray PI. Comment on: "Controversies regarding mask usage in ophthalmic units in the United Kingdom during the COVID-19 pandemic". Eye (Lond). 2021 Jul;35(7):2056-2057. doi: 10.1038/s41433-020-0986-x.

Kolli H, Evers C, Murray PI. Nd:YAG Laser Posterior Capsulotomy in Adult Patients with Uveitis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2020 Apr 7:1-3. doi: 10.1080/09273948.2020.1738500.

Ingaralingam S, Rauz S, Murray PI, Barry RJ. Effectiveness of pharmacological agents for the treatment of non-infectious scleritis: a systematic review protocol. Syst Rev. 2020 Mar 12;9(1):54. doi: 10.1186/s13643-020-01314-9.

Javidi H, Poonit N, Patel RP, Barry RJ, Rauz S, Murray PI. Adherence to Topical Medication in Patients with Inflammatory Eye Disease. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2020 Jan 16:1-6. doi: 10.1080/09273948.2019.1699122.

Tallouzi MO, Moore DJ, Bucknall N, Murray PI, Calvert MJ, Denniston AK, Mathers JM. Outcomes important to patients with non-infectious posterior segment-involving uveitis: a qualitative study. BMJ Open Ophthalmol. 2020 Jul 21;5(1):e000481. doi: 10.1136/bmjophth-2020-000481. eCollection 2020.

Zulfiqar MH, Shamdas M, Bashir A, Douglas S, Murray PI. Longitudinal Study Investigating the Relationship between Disease Activity and Psychological Status of Patients with Behçet's Disease. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2020 May 18;28(4):613-621. doi: 10.1080/09273948.2019.1616770.

Gilmour-White JA, Picton A, Blaikie A, Denniston AK, Blanch R, Coleman J, Murray PI. Does access to a portable ophthalmoscope improve skill acquisition in direct ophthalmoscopy? A method comparison study in undergraduate medical education. BMC Med Educ. 2019 Jun 13;19(1):201. doi: 10.1186/s12909-019-1644-5.

Mochizuki M, Smith JR, Takase H, Kaburaki T, Acharya NR, Rao NA; International Workshop on Ocular Sarcoidosis Study Group. Revised criteria of International Workshop on Ocular Sarcoidosis (IWOS) for the diagnosis of ocular sarcoidosis. Br J Ophthalmol. 2019 Oct;103(10):1418-1422. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-313356.

Blanch RJ, Bishop J, Javidi H, Murray PI. Effect of time to primary repair on final visual outcome after open globe injury. Br J Ophthalmol. 2019 Oct;103(10):1491-1494. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2017-311559.

Tallouzi MO, Moore DJ, Barry RJ, Calvert M, Mathers J, Murray PI, Denniston AK. The Effectiveness of Pharmacological Agents for the Treatment of Uveitic Macular Edema (UMO): A Systematic Review. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2019;27(4):658-680. doi: 10.1080/09273948.2019.1569243.

Shamdas M, Bassilious K, Murray PI. Health-related quality of life in patients with uveitis. Br J Ophthalmol. 2019 Sep;103(9):1284-1288. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-312882.

Murray PI, Fink C, Trivedi D. In Response to: Smit D, Meyer D, Maritz J, et al. "Polymerase Chain Reaction and Goldmann-Witmer Coefficient to Examine the Role of Epstein-Barr Virus in Uveitis". Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2019;27(1):114-115. doi: 10.1080/09273948.2017.1400075.

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