Research Projects

Please click for our latest projects for Vision Science Honours, MOptom research projects and undergraduate vacation projects. Note some of these projects involve collaboration with the RNL research group and research groups at the University of Melbourne and University of Auckland.

Improving detection and diagnosis of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the developed world. It results in the death of retinal ganglion cells and leads to progressive vision loss. Detection and diagnosis of this disease however is difficult due to the need to observe structural changes in a patient’s retina as well as repeatable functional deficits in a patients visual field results.

We are interested in investigating predictive factors in glaucoma progression as well as the effectiveness of educating clinicians. Our group comprises of a multi-disciplinary team including optometrists and vision scientists.  This group was formed as part of a five year project funded by a $1.1M research grant from the by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC). We use clinical information gathered on state-of-the-art ocular/visual system diagnostic equipment present at the CFEH, we look at patterns and factors which can be used to improve clinical diagnosis and progression of glaucoma. This work will lead to more cohesive patient management, with an improvement in the quality of life for patients and a reduction of the economic burden of eye disease nationally.

Improving understanding of age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment and results in central vision loss and significant implications on a patient’s quality of life. Although therapeutics are available for neovascular (wet) AMD, there is no completely effective treatment for the more common, non-neovascular (dry) AMD and thus early detection remains a key preventative strategy.

We are interested in understanding the early stages of AMD and improving detection and diagnosis. Using the advanced imaging modalities available at CFEH, we are trying to understand the natural history of early AMD and develop methods to improve early detection through multi-spectral analysis. We are also interested in determining the utility of functional testing for AMD and modifications which can be made to improve these tests. This work is highly significant considering AMD is projected to affect 288 million people by 2040.