Dr Rebekka Heitmar

Dr Rebekka Heitmar


Fitness to Practice Officer for the School of Life and Health Sciences

School of Life and Health Sciences
Aston University
Birmingham, B4 7ET

Email: R.Heitmar1@aston.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0) 121 204 3853

Research Group

Ophthalmic Research Group (ORG)

Research Centre

Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA) 

Centre for Research in Vision and Hearing(CRVH)


1995 – 1998    Dispensing Optician (3 year apprenticeship: AO-Geselle, Handwerkskammer Ulm, Germany)

1995 – 1998    Business for SME (Betr.Ass. HWK (IHK), IHK Stuttgart, Germany)

1998 – 1999    General Optometric Practice, Germany

1999 – 2003    Dipl.Ing.(FH) Augenoptik, Aalen University, Germany

2003 – 2005    Wissenschaftl. MA (Augenoptik), Aalen University, Germany

2005 – 2008    PhD, Aston University, Birmingham, UK

2008 – date     Lecturer, Aston University, Birmingham, UK

Optics and Medical Imaging (module code: OP1OMI); module leader 

Elective studies (module code: OP3ES)
Advanced Investigative Techniques (module code: OP4AIT)


Ocular haemodynamics

Systemic vascular disease and its impact upon the ocular circulation and visual function

Optical Imaging systems

Katrin Hirsch (Principal Supervisor) - PhD project; 2016-date

Christian French (Principal Supervisor) - PhD project; 2015-date

Pravin Vekria (Co-supervisor) - PhD project: Retinal Oximetry in Diabetes Mellitus; 2010-2015

Guy Whittaker (Co-supervisor) - MEng project: Retinal Imaging using smartphone technology; 2014

Angelos Kalitzeos (Principal Supervisor) - PhD project: Retinal Vessel Analysis: Flicker Reproducibility, methodological Standardisations and practical Limitations; 2010-2013

Andreas Ketzlar - BSc project: Retinal Oximetry in Myopia; 2012-2013


Heitmar R, Kaltitzeos AA. Reliability of retinal vessel calibre measurements using a retinal oximeter. BMC Ophthalmology. 2015 Dec 24;15(1):184.

Heitmar R, Summers RJ. The time course of changes in retinal vessel diameter in response to differing durations of flicker light provocation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2015 in press. 

Heitmar R, Kalitzeos AA, Panesar V. Comparison of Two Formulas Used to Calculate Summarized Retinal Vessel Calibers. Optom Vis Sci. 2015 Nov;92(11):1085-91. 

Heitmar R, Kalitzeos AA, Patel SR, Prabhu-Das D, Cubbidge RP Comparison of subjective and objective methods to determine the retinal arterio-venous ratio using fundus photography. J Optom. 2015 Oct-Dec;8(4):252-7. 

Heitmar R, Attardo A. The influence of simulated cataract on retinal vessel oximetry measurements. Acta Ophthalmol. 2015 Aug 21. doi: 10.1111/aos.12826. [Epub ahead of print] 

Patel SR, Hudson C, Flanagan JG, Heitmar R. The effect of simulated cataract light scatter on retinal vessel oximetry. Exp Eye Res. 2013 Nov;116:185-9. 

Heitmar R and Cubbidge RP. The impact of flash intensity on retinal vessel oxygen saturation measurements using dual wavelength oximetry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Apr 17;54(4):2807-11. 

Kalitzeos AA, Heitmar R, Lip GY. Localized retinal nerve fiber layer defects and arterial hypertension: insights into pathophysiology and perhaps an eye for detail? Am J Hypertens. 2013 Apr;26(4):454-5. 

Kalitzeos AA, Lip GY, Heitmar R. Retinal vessel tortuosity measures and their applications. Exp Eye Res. 2012 Nov 9;106C:40-46.

Heitmar R, Summers RJ. Assessing vascular function using dynamic retinal diameter measurements: A new insight on the endothelium. Thromb Haemost. 2012 Apr 26;107(6).

Heitmar R, Safeen S. Regional differences in oxygen saturation in retinal arterioles and venules. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2012 Oct;250(10):1429-34.

Patel SR, Heitmar R. Response to Chittari et al. Impact of acute hyperglycaemia on endothelial function and retinal vascular reactivity in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Diabet Med. 2012 Jan;29(1):156-7. 

Heitmar R, Cubbidge RP, Lip GY, Gherghel D, Blann AD. Altered blood vessel responses in the eye and finger in coronary artery disease. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 3;52(9):6199-205. 

Patel SR, Bellary S, Qin L, Gill PS, Taheri S, Heitmar R, Gibson JM, Gherghel D. Abnormal retinal vascular function and lipid levels in a sample of healthy UK South Asians. Br J Ophthalmol. 2011;95(11):1573-6. 

Gherghel D, Hosking SL, Cunliffe IA, Heitmar R. Transient cardiac ischaemia and abnormal variations in systemic blood pressure in unselected primary open angle glaucoma patients. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2010;30(2):175-81

Heitmar R, Blann AD, Cubbidge RP, Lip GYH, Gherghel D. Author Response: Can Vascular Function Be Assessed by the Interpretation of Retinal Vascular Diameter Changes? 2011, Vol.52, 636-638.

Heitmar R, Blann AD, Cubbidge RP, Lip GY, Gherghel D. Continuous retinal vessel diameter measurements: the future in retinal vessel assessment? Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51(11):5833-9. 

Heitmar R. Total arterial compliance: the future of cardiovascular risk assessment? J Hum Hypertens. 2010 Apr;24(4):227-9.

Heitmar R, Gherghel D, Armstrong R, Cubbidge RP and Hosking S. The effect of voluntary fasting and dehydration on flicker-induced retinal vascular dilation in a healthy individual: a case report Journal of Medical Case Reports: 13 May 2008.

2015    EVER (Nice, France), Retinal Vessel Oxygen Saturation and its implications in myopia [Heitmar R]

2014    EVER (Nice, France), Retinal vessel oxygen saturation in diabetic patients with and without cardiovascular disease and its association with renal function [Heitmar R & Blann AD]

2014    ARVO (Orlando, XX) Influence Of Selected Retinal Vessel Length On Dynamic Vessel Analyzer Output [Kalitzeos AA & Heitmar R]

2013    EVER (Nice, France), Retinal arteriolar diameter response to flicker light provocation - A useful marker for risk stratification in cardiovascular disease? [Heitmar R & Summers RJ]

2013    ARVO (Seattle, Washington) Ethnic differences or imaging problems: Dual wavelength retinal vessel oximetry in Caucasians and South Asians [Heitmar R]

2012    EVER (Nice, France)

  • Retinal vessel reactivity after cigarette smoking [Cubbidge RP, Summer RJ, Heitmar R]
  • Inter-ocular agreement of peripapillary oxygen saturation in retinal vessels [Cubbidge RP, Vekria P, Kalitzeos AA, Heitmar R]
  • The influence of age on retinal vessel oxygenation [Heitmar R & Cubbidge RP]
  • How much Flicker is enough [Heitmar R & Summers]
  • Retinal vascular reactivity over extended vessel segments [Kalitzeos AA, Summers RJ, Heitmar R]
  • The effects of exercise on peripapillary retinal oxygenation [Vekria P, Cubbidge RP, Heitmar R]

2012    ARVO (Ft.Lauderdale, Florida) To Evaluate The Influence Of The Duration Of Flicker Light Provocation On Retinal Vessel Dilation [Heitmar R & Summers RJ]

2012    ISIE (Ft.Lauderdale, Florida) Impact Of Flash Intensity On Retinal Vessel Oxygen Saturation Measurements [Heitmar R & Cubbidge RP]

2012    ISER (Berlin, Germany) Reproducibility of oxygen saturation parameters near the optic nerve head (ONH) and inter eye correlations in a healthy multi-ethnic cohort [Heitmar R & Clarke J]

2012    BCLA (Birmingham, UK0 Oxygen saturation measurements in the limbal vasculature before and after soft contact lens wear [Heitmar R, Wright S, Mousavi M, Wolffsohn J]

2010    ARVO (Ft.Lauderdale, Florida) Fast Fourier Transform of Retinal Blood Vessel Structure as a Methodology for Detection of Structural Change in Smokers and Individuals With Coronary Artery Disease [Heitmar R, Cubbidge RP, Gherghel D, Lip GYH]

2009    ARVO (Ft.Lauderdale, Florida) Retinal and Peripheral Micro-vascular Reactivity in Patients Suffering From Coronary Artery Disease [Heitmar R, Gherghel D, Cubbidge RP, Lip GY]

2006    EVER (Vilamoura, Portugal)