Cluster Members & Research Interests in Healthy Ageing

Ageing Eye Cluster

Professor Stephen Anderson 
I am interested in macular disease and its effects on reading with peripheral vision

Lizzie Bartlam
My interest being as a low vision optician, as many of the patients are ageing/ elderly and many eye conditions are acquired due to the ageing process.

Ian Beasley
Research interests in investigation and subsequent management of visual perceptual deficits secondary to stroke, and impact of prescribing optical appliances during the incipient phase of presbyopia.

Dr Hannah Bartlett
My research interests centre on the role of nutrition in ocular disease. In particular, I am interested in age-related macular disease and dry eye syndrome, both of which tend to affect older people. I have been involved in two randomised controlled trials of nutritional supplements for age-related macular disease. I am also working with Dr Frank Eperjesi on an international study of the relationship between dietary intake and dry eye syndrome.

Dr Darren Campbell
My interest is in ophthalmic biomaterials, including materials for tissue replacement/ regeneration, contact lenses and drug delivery. I am also interested in how the tear film interacts with such biomaterials, and in the effect that ageing has on the tear film.

Ben Coldrick
I use finite element analysis to develop a complete model of ocular accommodation.

Dr Leon Davies
The principal aim of my laboratory is to understand better the onset and development of presbyopia in the human eye using a range of in vivo imaging techniques. Our work aims to provide new insights into the physiology of the accommodative response during presbyopia development, and novel modes of presbyopic correction.

Dr Mark Dunne

Dr Frank Eperjesi 

Research interests:
·   Macular pigment optical density and how this relates to long term eye health and in particular age-related macular degeneration ·   Remediation of dry eye using nutritional supplements and artificial tears
·   The efficacy of low vision rehabilitation models
·   Repeatability and reproducibility of optical devices
·   UV and long term eye health and in particular age-related macular degeneration
·   Nutrition and long term eye health and in particular ocular nutritional supplements

Dr Val Franklin
Interaction of biomedical polymers with living biological systems in particular the biochemical analysis of spoilation processes including contact lenses, intra ocular lenses and the development of biomimetic polymers for prosthetic applications e.g. keratoprosthesis and spinal disc, analysis of biological interaction between prosthetic materials and their host environment in particular ophthalmic materials and tear fluid, spoilation and cleaning effects.

Doina Gherghel
The association of systemic vascular diseases (eg, abnormal blood pressure levels, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) with development of age-related ocular diseases resulting in blindness, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration have been extensively researched; however, changes in retinal vascular structure and/or function that occur in elderly individuals in absence of systemic disease have been addressed by far fewer studies. In otherwise healthy elderly individuals, retinal vascular function may be affected due to local and/or systemic alterations of the vessels’ walls that occur as a direct result of increased oxidative stress as well as to the body’s effort to regenerate the damaged endothelium. As the general population is ageing, the need for early identification of individuals at risk for acute circulatory events is increasing and so is the importance for developing a patient-tailored intervention depending on individual vascular risk factors. Our research focuses in identifying such individual risk factors by studying vascular function at the retinal microvessels and systemic macrovessels levels.

Professor Jonathan Gibson 

Interested in quality of life in patients with visual impairment. 

Dr Rebekka Heitmar
The central focus of my research is ocular imaging and its applications in ocular and systemic disease. Current projects investigate retinal vascular metabolism, structure and dynamics in diabetes mellitus, hypertension, heart disease and age related macula degeneration. To get a deeper understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of these conditions we combine a number of different ocular and systemic imaging technologies such as dual wavelength oximetry, continuous retinal vessel diameter measurements, structural retinal measurements (tortuosity, diameters and branching patterns), nail-fold capillaroscopy, 24 hr BP and ECG monitoring, bloods analysis as well as ultrasound and scanning laser ophthalmoscopy. Besides ocular and systemic pathologies I am interested in the development, validation and standardisation of new imaging technologies so they can be used in future clinical screening. To validate and standardise protocols it is paramount to evaluate the normal aging of the eye and body as a whole to be able to differentiate pathology from normal age related changes.

Deborah Laughton
I am a postgraduate researcher on the Aston Longitudinal Assessment of Presbyopia (ALAP) study, which is a two-and-a-half year longitudinal study examining the role of lenticular and extra-lenticular structures in the progression of presbyopia, and their impact on oculomotor and visual function.

Anita Morrison-Fokken
My research is investigating falls risk factors associated with spectacle lenses for the correction of presbyopia, particularly in differentiating lens designs and implicated blur at near when undertaking walking tasks and stair negotiation.

Dr Shehzad Naroo
Dr Shehzad Naroo has many research areas related to the ageing eye such as cataract surgery, intraocular lenses, instrumentation use in ophthalmic examination that can be used pre and post-surgery to aid diagnosis of age related conditions such as dry eye or presbyopia. He has successfully supervised five PhDs (Christine Purslow, looking at dynamic ocular thermography during contact lens wear; Martin Cardall, looking at physiological effects of contact lenses during sports; Navneet Gupta, looking at quality of life in non-spectacle presbyopic correction; Philip Buckhurst, looking at modern developments in cataract surgery; and Sarah Humphries, looking at instrumentation and service quality in primary eye care practices). Currently he is main supervisor for 5 further PhD students: Kristine Dalton, 3rd year, looking at sports vision; Paramdeep Bilkhu, 2nd year, looking at dry eye and ocular allergy; Samantha McGinnigle, 1st year, looking at adverse effects of refractive surgery; Neelam Patel, 2nd year, looking at shared care pathways in primary eye care; Wan Haslina Wan Hakim, 1st year, looking at corneal hysteresis; and associate supervisor for Shabeena Hareem, 1st year, looking at visual effects in Alzheimer’s patients.

Dr Amy Sheppard
I have been involved in several previous studies investigating the beneficial effects of premium intraocular lenses (IOLs) after cataract surgery; these IOLs may be used to correct significant levels of astigmatism, or to provide an improvement in near vision ability so that patients are less dependent on reading spectacles. I am currently investigating the clinical characteristics and specific needs of domiciliary eye care patients in the UK. Many of the 1.4 million people who are confined to their homes or unable to leave home unaccompanied are elderly, and with the ageing population, the demand for domiciliary services is likely to grow.

Rebekah Stevens
My research aims to find out what those who have AMD are eating on a regular basis, and what supplementation they are consistently taking. We also want to discover what affects patient's attitudes towards diet and supplementation, and if their diet is being hampered by the condition itself.

Professor James Wolffsohn  
Understanding the ageing process of the eye's crystalline lens and anterior eye and how the resulting loss of eye focusing and reduction in tear film resilience can be overcome. In particular my focus is on ophthalmic medical devices and ophthalmic instrumentation development.