Research Projects - CFEH Research Team

CFEH is currently running several research projects in four main research areas – glaucoma, agerelated macular degeneration and collaborative eye care. Details of these areas are below. We are currently considering:

  1. PhD projects 
  2. MPhil projects 
  3. Honours projects 
  4. Independent learning projects (medicine) 
  5. Final year optometry student projects 

If you would like to discuss specific projects, please contact Dr Lisa Nivison-Smith or Professor Michael Kalloniaitis  
 
Glaucoma focused research projects 
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the developed world, resulting from the death of retinal ganglion cells. Clinical assessment of this disease requires observation of both structural changes in a patient’s retina and repeatable functional deficits in a patients visual field results. However as structural and functional changes often don’t concur, detection and diagnosis of glaucoma is difficult and may be the reason for up to 50% of glaucoma patients remaining undiagnosed.  

Our research looks for patterns and factors which can be used to improve clinical diagnosis and progression of glaucoma. Our current research projects include: 

  • Developing new structure and function tests for glaucoma
  • Developing new methods to correlate structure and function results in glaucoma  
  • Assessing the effects of various clinical parameters to better predict glaucoma  

 
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) focused research projects 
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of central vision loss. Although therapeutics are available for neovascular (wet) AMD, there is no effective treatment for the more common, non-neovascular (dry) AMD. Considering AMD is projected to affect 288 million people by 2040, early detection is a key preventative strategy.  

Our research looks at improving detection and diagnosis of the early stages of disease to prevent vision loss. Our current research projects includes 

  • Detecting new markers for AMD using advanced imaging  
  • Developing new functional tests for AMD
  • Using computer analysis and AI to automatically assess AMD and predict progression 

Collaborative care focused research projects 
Many eye diseases require the input of multiple healthcare providers. However current health systems are inefficient resulting in patients not receiving quality and timely care. This potentially results in unnecessary vision loss for patients.  

Our research looks at models of collaborative care and how to best assess and implement them. We focus on a number of systemic related eye diseases and conditions including diabetic retinopathy and low vision. Our current research projects includes  

  • Assessing collaborative eye care models that help reduce burden on public hospitals
  • Assessing methods to ensure patients with low risk eye disease all the way to severe disease and vision loss receive appropriate care
  • Finding tools to better engage with patients and healthcare providers such as virtual reality