Robert Koenekoop

Academic title(s): 

Principal Investigator (PI) at McGill

Robert Koenekoop
McGill University Health Centre (MUHC - Glen) - Royal Victoria Hospital
Montreal Children's Hospital


Language(s) spoken: 

Dr. Robert Koenekoop (Rob) was born in Stockholm, Sweden but went to High school and the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands. After Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biology, Vegetation Science and Population Biology, a Fulbright fellowship from Amsterdam brought him to the USA for a PhD in Molecular Biology. His wife then brought him to Quebec, Canada and Medical school studies at the University of Toronto and McGill University followed. He saw the light in the retina clinic and finished his residency in Ophthalmology at McGill and his Ocular Genetics and Peadiatric Ophthalmology Fellowships at Johns Hopkins University. For the past 25 years he has devoted his research career to discovering new retinal genes for childhood blindness due to retinal degenerations, and more recently in testing the safety and efficacy of new therapies for these same diseases, with some very important early successes. He has a broad background in human clinical trials and drug development, molecular genetics, clinical and peadiatric ophthalmology, retinal degenerations, childhood blindness research and data analyses. In the past few years, in international collaborations, he has been able to discover 15+ new genes for childhood blindness due to retinal degenerations. This work was supported by grants from NIH (NEI), CIHR, Fighting Blindness Canada, The MCH foundation, Telethon of stars, the FRSQ and Reseau de Vision. This led to the publication of 150+ peer-reviewed papers. He is now the principal investigator (PI) at McGill, the Montreal Children’s Hospital and the MUHC Center for Innovative Medicine (CIM) for human clinical trials to test new drugs, new genes, gene editing, new genetic methods and other modalities to combat blindness due to photoreceptor diseases. In his free time, he bikes 365 days per year and keeps a healthy diet.

CLINICAL PROFILE : In Canada, Dr. Koenekoop sees Peadiatric and Inherited Retinal Degeneration patients 5 days per week, at the new Glen Eye clinic (MUHC), at the new Children’s Clinic and at the new Mohawk Eye clinic. IRD patients in these clinics receive extensive workups, deep genetic testing and genetic and treatment counselling.

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