Research Refresh

We aspire to advance eye care and vision science, within Australia and internationally, through excellence in education, clinical services, and research.

Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research

Research led by the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences sits primarily within the Optimising Health and Wellbeing hub. The majority of our work is designed to improve understanding and outcomes for a range of eye and vision disorders. These also include brain diseases that manifest in the eye and the development of new technologies, diagnostics and therapeutics to overcome them.

Our researchers in the Healthy Start to Life hub focus on vision development in children. In the Disability and Inclusion hub, our researchers focus on improving outcomes and developing medical technologies for people with vision loss, visual function disorders, ocular and brain disease as well as methods to optimise delivery of patient care.

Underpinning research in these hubs is research in Implementation Science and Digital Health, including investigating new approaches to enhance optometric training and improve clinical practice.

Meet our team

The Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences’ Graduate Research and PhD programs strive to advance eye care and vision, within Australia and internationally, through excellence in research spanning bench to bedside.

Learn more about graduate research

Explore our programs of research

  • Optimising Eye Health and Vision Throughout Life

    This program of work focuses on fundamental and applied research on vision development and visual pathways, and studying how they can be altered with ageing, injury and disease. Our research includes the development of methods to enhance the detection and monitoring of eye disease, and investigating novel treatments and management options, including vision restoration. This program incorporates research into the prevention of eye disease, improving health services and access to clinical care.

  • Vision-related Medical Technologies

    This program of work focuses on investigating novel medical and ocular technologies for the detection and management of ocular disease and systemic conditions that affect the eye. Our research also includes multidisciplinary and collaborative interactions with other academic departments and industry to develop, evaluate and optimise diagnostic tests and therapeutics including novel ways to study the eye and brain. The bench-to-bedside research program spans many levels of the visual system and all stages of technology and drug development, including clinical trials and implementation studies.

  • Looking Beyond the Eye

    This program focuses on research into conditions that can affect the eye, visual pathways and the brain. Investigating the eye can provide valuable insight into a range of systemic conditions, such as vascular and cortical disease. In addition, the brain can provide valuable insight to a wide-range of perceptual disorders. Fundamental and applied research streams focus on investigating the interplay between vision, the eye and the brain, in ageing, injury and disease.

  • The Normal Visual System

    This program of research focuses on investigating the normal visual system and how it performs in different environments. We aim to further discovery in how the eye and visual pathways work. Fundamental and applied research streams focus on using the visual system to provide insight into the integrative functions of the brain such as attention, perceptual learning and decision making and the neural circuits underpinning them.

  • Improving Clinical Practice and Training

    This program of research focuses on developing, implementing and evaluating evidence-based strategies to improve and optimise eye care practice and training, patient care and service delivery. Harnessing digital and learning technologies, we develop teaching initiatives to improve optometric education and undertake rigorous evidence syntheses to support evidence-based practice.

Eye test chart with Glasses

Melbourne Eyecare Clinic

Melbourne Eyecare Clinic is a key collaborator with the Department in clinical research. The clinic provides a teaching environment for optometry students at the University of Melbourne and delivers an extensive  range of eyecare services to the public. The clinic has a comprehensive  array of state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging equipment and other specialist  tools, enhancing clinical research capabilities available at the Department.

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