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Profile of Ian MacDonald,MD, CM, FCCMG, FRCSC, FCAHS


Clinic Office:
Royal Alexandra Hospital
Rm. 2305 ATC, 10240 Kingsway Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5H 3V9

Tel: 780-735-5932
Fax: 780-735-4969

Research Office:
7-030 Katz
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1

Tel: 780-492-6843
Fax: 780-492-6934


Ian M. MacDonald MSc, MD CM is a Professor 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 served a two year term as Branch Chief of Ophthalmic Genetics 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 has been the President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Ophthalmologists and President of the Association of Canadian University Professors of Ophthalmology. He is an Editor Emeritus of the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology and currently serves on the Editorial Board of Survey of Ophthalmology and 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.

Current Research Interests

My laboratory is devoted to translational research on heritable ocular disorders. As part of preclinical research studies, we are focused on the characterization of the genetic basis of retinal disorders through molecular genetic techniques. Further, we are engaged in a clinical trial of ocular gene therapy for a specific sex-linked retinopathy, called choroideremia.

Positions Available

Our laboratory seeks highly motivated students wanting to obtain an MSc degree, postdoctoral fellows with experience in gene therapy, and clinical research fellows with an interest in ocular genetics or clinical electrophysiology.


Genotyping and phenotyping of patients with heritable ocular disorders, especially macular dystrophies

Molecular Genetics and Gene therapy for choroideremia

Selected Publications

  • Freund PR, Sergeev YV, MacDonald IM. Analysis of a large choroideremia dataset does not suggest a preference for inclusion of certain genotypes in future trials of gene therapy. Molecular Genet Genomic Med 2016 (Open access) doi: 10.1002/mgg3.208 pp. 1-14.
  • IS Dimopoulos, S Chan, RE MacLaren and IM MacDonald. Pathogenic mechanisms and the prospect of gene therapy for choroideremia. Expert Opinion on Orphan Drugs. 2015; 3:787-798
  • Benjaminy S, Kowal S, MacDonald IM, Bubela T. Communicating the promise of ocular gene therapy. Am J Ophthalmol 2015; 160:408-415.
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