Ocular Epidemiology Unit

Research Overview

The Ocular Epidemiology Unit performs collaborative research drawing on expertise from the fields of optometry, endocrinology, ophthalmology and epidemiology. It is only by crossing fields that we are able to develop a cohesive picture of the physiological and pathological mechanisms of vision and eye disease associated with diabetes and systemic vascular disease; how these processes develop over a lifetime; what we can do to detect and manage them; and how these impact society more broadly.

The key research themes are: public health, diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: The diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) research theme will focus on addressing the possible mechanisms linking early life, childhood and adult life exposures with changes in retinal microvascular architecture and the future risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease and diabetes and may contribute to development of appropriate early diagnosis, treatment and intervention.

Public Health: This research theme focuses on public health issues that will improve the health and quality of life of communities. The theme focuses particularly on early interventions aimed at the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and blindness from T2DM, ensuring appropriate health and eye care services are provided to those with T2DM.


  • Ms Jean Svoboda
  • Dr Monira Hussain


  • Prof Hugh Taylor, Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne
  • Prof Olli Raitakari, The Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, and the Department of Clinical Physiology And Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
  • Prof Mika Kähönen, Department of Clinical Physiology, Tampere University Hospital and the University of Tampere, Finland
  • A/Prof Jonathan Jackson, Australian College of Optometry, Melbourne
  • A/Prof Andrew Metha, Metha Retinal Imaging Lab, The University of Melbourne