Dr Tom MacGillivray (BSc, MSc (by Research), PhD, PgCAP)

Senior Research Fellow & Image Analysis Core Laboratory Manager


  • I specialise in the field of image processing and analysis for clinical research
  • My team staffs the Image Analysis Core laboratory of the Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility and the Retinal Imaging facilities for the Edinburgh Imaging group
  • The laboratory provides expert support to investigators analysing data from a variety of imaging modalities including MR, CT, PET, ultrasound and retinal imaging
  • The retinal facilities feature modalities such as fundus imaging, OCT, OCT-Angiography, and scanning laser ophthalmoscopy
  • I have extensive experience facilitating research that features retinal imaging and includes studies on stroke, cardiovascular disease, MS, and dementia
  • I co-ordinates a highly successful interdisciplinary initiative called VAMPIRE (Vascular Assessment and Measurement Platform for Images of the REtina) whose aim is the development of efficient, semi-automatic analysis of different types of retinal images and ophthalmic data


Bachelor of Science, University of Edinburgh

Master of Science, University of Edinburgh: Acoustic pulse reflectometry for the measurement of tubular structures

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh: The application of laser anemometry in acoustic measurement standards

Postgraduate Diploma, University of Edinburgh: Academic Practice

Responsibilities & affiliations

Image Analysis Core Manager, Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility

Retinal Imaging Lead, Edinburgh Imaging

Co-Director of the Precision Medicine Doctoral Training Programme

Principal Investigator, Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Co-Founder, Robert O Curle Suite, Institute for Regeneration and Repair

Project Co-Director for VAMPIRE

Co-Investigator SCONe

Scientific Advisory Panel  Member for the Moorfields Eye Charity

Scientific Review Board Member for the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation

Research summary

Image analysis allow the identification of imaging-derived biomarkers to aid in diagnosis, quantify disease progress, assess treatment response and inform decision making in drug discovery. In addition it is increasingly possible to relate imaging to genetic traits in individual and population studies. My team’s expertise helps to ensure that the appropriate imaging data are acquired, interpreted and analysed correctly in order to access their full potential in clinical research.

Current research interests

Development of novel image processing algorithms for use in cutting-edge medical imaging and clinical research. Delivering multi-modal retinal scanning - fundus camera, scanning laser ophthalmoscopy, OCT, OCT-Angiography. Advance retinal analysis algorithm development - see VAMPIRE project for more details - http://vampire.computing.dundee.ac.uk/. Retinal imaging derived biomarker identification for neurodegeneration and systemic diseases. Engaging with industry to improve the acquisition and broadening the application of retinal imaging.

Knowledge exchange

Founder of a spin-out company that is translating research know-how into software products for eye healthcare.

Current project grants

Wellcome LEAP: I-test - Novel Retinal Biomarkers in Pregnancy for Early Prediction of Stillbirth. 2023 (Co-Investigator).

Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh: Phase 2 of the Scottish Collaborative Optometry-Ophthalmology Network e-research (SCONe). £341,143, 2022-2024 (Co-Investigator).

Chief Scientists Office Scotland: Stratifying Risk of Visual Loss from Glaucoma: developing a computational tool. £236,417, 2022-23 (Principal Investigator).

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: UK Biobank Repeat Imaging Study Eye Measures. £2M, 2022-27 (Co-Investigator).