About Dr Tim Isaacs



Durham University
Bachelor of Arts
Honours Upper Second Class
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Bachelor of Medicine
Bachelor of Surgery


Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, UK
Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists

Academic Awards and Scholarships


Distinction for Undergraduate Thesis: Visual responses of the inferior olive of the rat
Margaret Ranken Prize in Clinical Ophthalmology
Gibb Scholarship in Pathology
Duke-Elder Undergraduate Prize Examination in Ophthalmology (UK National): 4th
Special Study Research Prize: Electrophysiological testing in diabetic retinopathy


Australian and New Zealand Society of Retina Specialists (ANZSRS)
International Society of Ocular Oncology (ISOO)
Oxford Ophthalmological Congress
American Academy of Ophthalmologists (AAO)
American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS)
European Society of Retina Specialists (EURETINA)
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS)

Current Hospital Appointments

Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Royal Perth Hospital
Accredited Ophthalmologist, St John of God Hospital, Subiaco
Accredited Ophthalmologist, Perth Eye Hospital

Special Interests

My particular areas of interest in ophthalmology include:

  • Cataract surgery
  • Implantation of multifocal and toric intraocular lenses
  • Injection treatments for diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration
  • Laser treatment for diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinal detachment repair
  • Vitrectomy surgery
  • Macular hole repair
  • Epiretinal membrane removal
  • Vitreous haemorrhage surgery
  • Laser surgery for retinal tears
  • Sutured intraocular lenses in traumatic cataract
  • Laser treatment of eye tumours
  • Photodynamic therapy for amelanotic uveal melanoma
  • Radioactive plaque brachytherapy for uveal melanoma
  • Laser vitreolysis for floaters

Medical Education and Research

Throughout my career I have travelled widely to research new and improved methods of treatment, and regularly attend national and international ophthalmic conferences where I have presented in the areas of retinal surgery and ocular oncology.  Through my clinical appointment at Royal Perth Hospital I am actively involved in the teaching and training of visiting fellows, medical students and junior doctors.
In 2014 I visited the renowned Ocular Oncology Unit in Liverpool, UK where I was able to study the treatment of choroidal melanoma, allowing me to introduce a prognostic biopsy service to Western Australia for patients with uveal melanoma.  In collaboration with researches at Edith Cowan University I am currently engaged in a research project aiming to identify those patients at highest risk of metastatic disease, which may alleviate the need to perform a biopsy of the eye tumour.

My involvement in eye research spans many years as both a principal investigator and co-investigator and includes

  • intravitreal injection of the anti-VEGF drug Avastin for patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy
  • clinical trials of different therapeutic drugs for wet macular degeneration, including Ranibizumab (Lucentis) and Aflibercept (Eylea)
  • an intravitreal dexamethasone implant for retinal vein occlusion
  • a multicentre Australian and New Zealand study of photodynamic therapy for amelanotic uveal melanoma.
  • Genetic Analysis of Blood Markers for Prognosis in Patients with Uveal Melanoma. This ongoing study has been awarded a 2018 grant by the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia (ORIA), in conjunction with the School of Medical Sciences, Edith Cowan University, to develop methods which utilise cancer-derived DNA and cells found in blood to identify high risk genetic characteristics. Ultimately, we aim to develop a blood test that will identify those high risk patients who will benefit from early preventative treatment.
I have been fortunate to have worked in remote areas of Western Australia providing eye care to the Kimberley, Pilbara, Fitzroy Crossing and central desert areas of Australia.  I volunteer my services for the charity Sight for All, educating trainee retinal specialists across southeast Asia, and have visited Laos on multiple occasions to provide surgical training.


Away from work I enjoy a variety of outdoor sports including snow skiing, kiteboarding, cycling, hiking and running. Most of my non-working hours are devoted to raising my four daughters.

National and International Conference Presentations

Isaacs TW, Beasley A, Gray ES et al. Clinical Application of Circulating Tumor Cells and Circulating Tumor DNA in Uveal Melanoma. International Society of Ocular Oncology Biennial Meeting, Los Angeles, California March 2019.

Isaacs TW. Uveal Melanoma update. Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) Conference, Sydney November 2019.

Isaacs TW. Detection of chromosomal aberrations associated with prognosis of uveal melanoma using circulating tumour cells. Rapid fire presentation, RANZCO Perth October 2017.

Isaacs TW. Prognostic biopsy in choroidal melanoma. Ocular Oncology Symposium, RANZCO Melbourne 2016.

Isaacs TW. Acute visual loss due to choroidal infiltration in Rosai-Dorfman disease. International Society of Ocular Oncology Biennial Meeting, Paris, France June 2015.

Campbell WG, Glasson W, Isaacs TW et al. Australian & New Zealand Study Of PDT In Choroidal Amelanotic Melanoma (ANZSOPICAM) Trial. International Society of Ocular Oncology Biennial Meeting, Paris, France June 2015 (Poster presentation).

Isaacs TW, Franchina M, Mackey DA, Hewitt AW. Clinical implications of chromosomal aberrations in Choroidal Melanoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Society of Ocular Oncology, Cleveland, Ohio October 2013 (Poster presentation).

Isaacs TW, DeSousa JL, Franchina M, Mackey DA, Hewitt AW, Hayward N. Utility of exome sequencing to identify potential driving mutations in choroidal melanoma: a pilot study. International Society of Ocular Oncology, Cleveland, Ohio October 2013 (Poster presentation).


Whole genome landscapes of uveal melanoma show an ultraviolet radiation signature in iris tumours Peter A. Johansson, Kelly Brooks, Timothy Isaacs, Nicholas Hayward et al. Nature Communications, 2020-05-15, Vol.11(1), p.2408-2408

Australian and New Zealand Study of Photodynamic Therapy in Choroidal Amelanotic Melanoma. O’Day, RF; Pejnovic TM; Isaacs, T; Muecke, J; Glasson, W; Campbell, WG. Retina 2020-05-01, Vol.40 (5), p972-976

Low-Pass Whole-Genome Sequencing as a Method of Determining Copy Number Variations in Uveal Melanoma Tissue Samples. Aaron B. Beasley, Jacqueline Bentel, Richard J.N. Allcock, Tersia Vermeulen, Leslie Calapre, Timothy Isaacs, Melanie R. Ziman, Fred K. Chen, Elin S. Gray. J Mol Diagnostics 22 (3) March 2020

A Panel of Circulating MicroRNAs Detects Uveal Melanoma With High Precision Mitchell S. Stark, Elin S. Gray, Timothy Isaacs, Fred K. Chen, Michael Millward, Ashleigh McEvoy, Pauline Zaenker, Melanie Ziman, H. Peter Soyer, William J. Glasson, Sunil K. Warrier, Andrew L. Stark, Olivia J. Rolfe, Jane M. Palmer, and Nicholas K. Hayward A Trans Vis Sci Tech. 2019; 8(6):12, https://doi.org/10.1167/ tvst.8.6.12

Clinical Application of Circulating Tumor Cells and Circulating Tumor DNA in Uveal Melanoma Beasley, A., T. Isaacs, M.A. Khattak, J.B. Freeman, R. Allcock, F.K. Chen, M.R. Pereira, K. Yau, J. Bentel, T. Vermeulen, L. Calapre, M. Millward, M.R. Ziman, and E.S. Gray. Journal of Clinical Oncology – Precision Oncology 2018, 1-12. Published online May 2018. This study demonstrates the presence of detectable CTCs in the majority of patients with localised uveal melanoma. It serves as proof of principle that somatic copy number variations derived from CTCs mirrors the primary tumour, and supports the use of CTCs as a non-invasive biopsy to derived prognostic genetic information in uveal melanoma

Deep sequencing of uveal melanoma identifies a recurrent mutation in PLCB4. Johansson P, Aoude LG, Wadt K, Glasson WJ, Warrier SK, Hewitt AW, Kiilgaard JF, Heegaard S, Isaacs TW, Franchina M, Ingvar C, Vermeulen T, Whitehead KJ, Schmidt CW, Palmer JM, Symmons J, Gerdes AM, Jönsson G, Hayward NK. Oncotarget. 2016 Jan 26;7(4):4624-31.

A large genome-wide association study of age-related macular degeneration highlights contributions of rare and common variants. Fritsche LG, Heid IM, Igl W, Bailey JNC, Isaacs TW et al. Nature Genetics 48, 134-143 2016.

Assessment of polygenic effects links primary open-angle glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration Gabriel Cuellar-Partida, Jamie E. Craig, Kathryn P. Burdon, Jie Jin Wang, Brendan J. Vote, Emmanuelle Souzeau, Ian L. McAllister, Timothy Isaacs, Stewart Lake, David A. Mackey, Ian J. Constable, Paul Mitchell, Alex W. Hewitt, and Stuart MacGregor. Scientific Reports. 2016; 6: 26885

Isaacs TW, Vermeulen TL, Spagnolo D, Amanuel B. “Choroidal Involvement in Rosai-Dorfman Syndrome May be Depicted and Followed Using Enhanced Depth Imaging Optical Coherence Tomography (EDI-OCT). Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology: Volume 253, Issue 10 (2015), Page 1821-1822.

Chew AL, Spilsbury K, Isaacs TW. Survival from Uveal Melanoma in Western Australia 1981-2005. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 43(5) December 2014.

Rosai–Dorfman disease presenting as choroidal melanoma: a case report and review of the literature. Vermeulen TL, Isaacs TW, Spagnolo D, Amanuel B. Graefes Aech Clin Exp Ophthalmol (2013) 251: 295-299

Biallelic Mutations in PLA2G5, Encoding Group V Phospholipase A(2), Cause Benign Fleck Retina. Sergouniotis PI, Davidson AE, Mackay DS, Lenassi E, Li Z, Robson AG, Yang X, Kam JH, Isaacs TW, Holder GE, Jeffery G, Beck JA, Moore AT, Plagnol V, Webster AR. Am J Hum Genet. 2011;89:782-91.

Comparison of visual acuity outcomes between ranibizumab and bevacizumab treatment in neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Feng XF, Constable IJ, McAllister IL, Isaacs TW. International Journal of Ophthalmology. 2011:4:85-88

Rapid resolution of severe new disc vessels in proliferative diabetic retinopathy following a single intravitreal injection of bevacizumab (Avastin). Isaacs TW, Barry C. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2006; 34: 802-803.

Management and Outcomes of Postoperative Endophthalmitis since the Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study: The Endophthalmitis Population Study of Western Australia (EPSWA)’s Fifth Report. Ng JQ, Morlet N, Pearman JW, Constable IJ, McAllister IL, Kennedy CJ, Isaacs TW, Semmens JB Ophthalmology July 2005 (Vol. 112, Issue 7, Pages 1199.e1-1199.e)

Seasonal variation in trachoma and bush flies in north-western Australian Aboriginal communities. da Cruz L, Dadour IR, McAllister IL, Jackson A, Isaacs TW. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2002 30, 80-83

Early resolution of pre-macular haemorrhage following Nd:YAG laser photodisruption of internal limiting membrane. Isaacs TW, Barry C, McAllister IL. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology 1997

Favourable outcome following unusual penetrating eye injury. Isaacs TW, Barry C, Raiter J, Barrett G Australian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology 1997

Postmortem identification by means of a recovered intraocular lens. Isaacs TW, Margolius KA, Chester GH. American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology 1996

Familial idiopathic juxtafoveolar retinal telangiectasis. Isaacs TW, McAllister IL. Eye 1996 Volume 10 Part 3

Benign flecked retina. Isaacs TW, McAllister IL, Wade MS. British Journal of Ophthalmology 1996;80:267-8.

Adenocarcinoma metastatic to the choroid: diagnosis by trans-scleral biopsy. Isaacs TW, McAllister IL. Eye 1995; 9:643-646.

Reversible visual failure due to exudative retinal detachments in a patient with uncontrolled systemic hypertension. Isaacs TW, Acheson JF Journal of The Royal Society of Medicine September 1994; 87: 557-558

Visual responses of the inferior olive of the rat. Harris LR, Isaacs TW Journal of Physiology 1982; 329: 23-24.