Vision Optimisation Unit

Research Overview

The Vision Optimisation Unit aims to improve the vision of people with eye disease (particularly retinal disease), through:

  • medical vision restoration therapies (i.e. vision prostheses, gene therapy or stem cells)
  • low vision aids (i.e. magnifiers and electronic assistive devices)
  • sensory substitution (i.e. utilizing other senses, such as touch or sound, to give “visual” cues to people); or
  • low vision rehabilitation

Our research group includes members with varying professional backgrounds, and we have strong collaborations with external academics (domestic and international) and industry sectors. We work with leading engineers and surgeons, who are developing exciting new technologies to assist people with vision loss. The overarching goal of our group is to develop measures to show that these interventions are helpful, and to assess the vision and psychosocial improvements after treatment.

Our group also works in the field of ophthalmology education, developing online training for optometrists, ophthalmologists and general medical practitioners.

Additional projects include studies into the natural history, biomarkers, and prediction of outcomes in retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and other inherited retinal degenerations.


Ms Fleur O’Hare (Senior Research Manager)

Graduate research students

Mr Rui Jin (PhD)



The Vision Optimisation Unit currently receives funding from a number of grants, including:

  • 2021 – 2025: NHMRC Investigator Grant (EL2): Saving Sight Through Novel BioTech Innovations for Inherited Retinal Disease
  • 2019 – 2023: The University of Melbourne Driving Research Momentum Fellowship
  • 2019 – 2021: NHMRC Next Generation Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) Fellowship: Improving Patient Management Pathways in Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • 2020: CASS Foundation Medicine/Science Grant: Development of Novel Outcome Measures for Blindness-Preventing Retinal Gene Therapy
  • 2020: Melbourne Disability Institute Seed Grant: The Impact of Low Vision Assistive Technology on Mobility in People with Vision Impairment