Excellence in Research and Innovation
The Department of Optometry and Visual Science has a thriving research community and has developed an international reputation in many areas of vision research. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the Department was awarded a top rating of 5.
Our overall objective is to gain a greater understanding of the processes involved in the acquisition, analysis, storage and retrieval of visual information and the motor response.
Applied Vision Research Centre (AVRC)
The research programme is co-ordinated under the auspices of the Applied Vision Research Centre (AVRC) and the direction of Professor John Barbur. The Centre is part of the School of Community and Health Sciences which brings together a number of strong research groups and provides an excellent base for vision-related interdisciplinary research studies.
The AVRC is housed in the Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Vision Sciences; a suite of 30 offices and 36 experimental rooms, newly-refurbished with support from the Wellcome Trust and City University London.
Research areas cover topics concerned with fundamental visual processes, ophthalmic and physiological optics, vision care and clinical practice, visual neuroscience and the development of specialised instrumentation for non-invasive objective responses with emphasis on clinical applications.
In recent years, the Centre has expanded its faculty, strengthening its research in visual development, clinical applications of visual psychophysics, vascular physiology, glaucoma, assessment and genetics of eye disease and treatment, and retinal imaging through the use of adaptive optics and light scattering techniques. The translation of knowledge derived from fundamental vision studies into eye care and clinical applications has benefited greatly from the strong links established with Moorfields Eye Hospital Trust, The Institute of Ophthalmology and the National Hospital (Queens Square). Patient-based studies that exploit the latest research techniques to understand diseases of the eye, their detection and management and their effects on patients' quality of life as well as the funding to support this work have benefited significantly from these links. The award of research contracts by RCUK, the European Community and USA agencies, the selection and nomination of AVRC members to serve on international vision committees (ARVO, CIE, ICVS, etc) and the prestigious Royal Society Research Fellowship confirm the status of the AVRC as an important international centre in clinical and applied vision research.
The current research activities have been developed on the strength of the skills and interests of our staff and fall naturally into four closely linked groups. Staff motivation is high and many research centre members are part of and contribute to ongoing research projects in more than one stream:
- Applied Vision Research Group
- Visual Neuroscience Group
- Visual Psychophysics and Perception Group
- Imaging and Instrumentation Group
The Department organises a full programme of research seminars on a range of topics related to vision.