Rene Cheung

PhD Candidate

        Research Title: A multimodal imaging approach to retinal disease

Supervisors:  Dr Lisa Nivison-Smith, Dr Angelica Ly, Prof Michael Kalloniatis, A/Prof Gordon Doig

Email Address:



Research Abstract            

Advancements in retinal imaging technology have led to the development and commercialisation of numerous imaging modalities into clinical applications, such as optical coherence tomography (OCT), OCT angiography, and fundus autofluorescence. Previous research shows that multimodal imaging improves early detection of retinal disease, however there is a limited understanding of clinician attitudes towards retinal imaging and potential barriers to accessing these services in the patient community. The increasing number of biomarkers detectable on new retinal imaging modalities also adds to the complexity of image interpretation.

The aim of my research to understand potential barriers to using and accepting retinal imaging services among primary eye care providers and patients in community practices and investigate novel image processing techniques that may improve detection retinal disease biomarkers.

My research will include a nation-wide survey of optometrist attitudes towards retinal imaging, a patient survey on barriers to eye care services, and diagnostic accuracy studies to evaluate the performance of new retinal image processing and interpretation techniques.


Bachelor of Optometry/Bachelor of Science (2009-2013), UNSW Sydney, Australia

Master of Optometry (2016-2020) UNSW Sydney, Australia

PhD (Vision Science) (2021 - ) UNSW Sydney, Australia


Rene Cheung graduated from BOptom/BSc(Vision Science) with honours in 2013 and MOptom (with Excellence) from UNSW in 2020. She has worked in full-scope optometry practices in regional NSW for eight years with a special interest in diagnostic ocular imaging and therapeutic management of eye disease. Her experiences inspired her PhD work to explore retinal imaging implementation in eye care practices and novel approaches to improving interpretation of results. She is also keen to support young optometrists in their transition to work, having mentored several new graduates and optometry students through the UNSW Preceptorship program.


Long J, Cheung R, Duong S, Paynter R, Asper L. Viewing distance and eyestrain symptoms with prolonged viewing of smartphones. Clinical and Experimental Optometry. 2017 Mar;100(2):133-7.

Cheung R, Ly A, Katalinic P, Coroneo MT, Chang A, Kalloniatis M, Madigan MC, Nivison-Smith L. Visualisation of peripheral retinal degenerations and anomalies with ocular imaging. In Seminars in Ophthalmology 2022 Mar 8 (pp. 1-29). Taylor & Francis.


Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (2021-2024)

Australian Human Rights Institute UNSW – Small Grants Funding Scheme (2021)

HDR Development and Research Training Grant (DRTG) (2022)


ARVO Annual Meeting 2022

Memberships and Affiliations

Centre for Eye Health

Optometry Australia (2013 -)

The International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE)

UNSW Optical and Photonics Society