Huge congrats to Juan, Jia Jia and Luke for conferring of their degrees this month!
Jia Jia (first and second photos from the left) investigated the effects of aging and glaucoma on visual contrast processes in her PhD. She found that glaucoma alters the visual system’s ability to adapt, while aging does not. Her study gives unique insight into the underlying neural mechanisms in glaucoma, aiding the development of potential clinical tests. Jia Jia has since joined the Centre of Eye Research Australia as a research fellow in the Macular Unit. Her work involves investigating early markers for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using a combination of genetic analysis, structural and functional measures. She is also part of the team investigating the effectiveness of laser intervention in early AMD.
Juan (centre) graduated with a Master of Science in Vision Science. His research project focussed on the influence of some morphological parameters of the ganglion cells in the mapping between structure and function in glaucoma. Juan found that the macular thickness and radius varied between different subjects and also within subjects but along different meridians. By taking into account these two parameters, Juan found that the individually customised visual field maps were better at identifying macular defects in glaucoma patients.
Luke (fourth and fifth photos from the left) was conferred with a PhD in Science. He invented a novel approach for detecting visual field loss in people with glaucoma, one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness worldwide. His approach showed improved accuracy and precision over previous methods without increasing testing time, and will likely lead to the development of new visual field testing machines. Luke has now embarked on an astounding trip to University of California in Berkeley, USA to take on a job as a post-doctoral researcher. He will be working with Carl Zeiss, one of the world’s leading medical technology manufacturers, to help develop and implement new visual field testing algorithms.
Congratulations again to Juan, Dr. Lek and Dr. Chong for your great achievements and best wishes to your future endeavours!