Summer volunteer student learns the ropes of research

Second year optometry student, Sally Hoang (right) got a head start on her research skills this summer working with the team at Centre for Eye Health. Sally joined Dr Lisa Nivison-Smith (left) over the summer experiencing the different elements of clinical research performed by the CFEH research group including their work on age-related macular degeneration and advanced imaging. Sally will be returning in during semester break to continue learning new research skills.

Fifth year Optometry Students get a Head Start on their Final Year

Eight fifth year students have attempted to get a head start on their final academic year by volunteering to do their CFEH clinical rotation during the summer break. The students – Jeremy Chiang, Kenneth Nguyen, Matyn Darbani, Daniel Poon, Andrew Kim, Annee Yogarajah, Alma La and Larissa Tran – were the first to complete the new six-week rotation implemented for 2016

Strong showing of CFEH researchers for upcoming international vision conference

CFEH researchers are excited with the news of having 3 abstracts accepted for oral presentations and another 2 abstracts accepted for poster presentations at this year’s ARVO conference in Seattle, Washington.

ARVO 2016 is the annual conference of the Association of Ophthalmology and Vision Research and is the largest international conference in the field of vision and eye research in the world, attracting over 10,000 attendees from over 75 different countries. Abstracts to be presented by CFEH researchers will cover research on two major eye diseases affecting Australians – age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma.

PhD candidate and CFEH Senior Staff Optometrist, Angelica Ly will be presenting findings regarding practice patterns of Australian and New Zealand optometrists for AMD. Senior research associate Dr Lisa Nivison-Smith and PhD candidate and CFEH Senior Staff Optometrist, Agnes Choi will also be presenting research relating to AMD and changes which occur in advanced imaging and visual field testing. Centre Director, Professor Michael Kalloniatis and PhD candidate and CFEH Senior Staff Optometrist, Jack Phu will be presenting research on new ways to interpret and perform the 30-2 visual test. All research is expected to generate interest at the conference and promote the clinical research conducted at the Centre for Eye Health.

The full citation for each abstract is below. Online links to the abstracts will be posted after ARVO 2016 which is to be held from May 1st – 5th.

Choi A., Nivison-Smith L., Khuu SK., Kalloniatis M. (2015) Spatial summation across the 10-2 visual field in normal and age-related macular degeneration.

Ly A., Nivison-Smith L., Zangerl B., Kalloniatis M. (2015) Practice patterns in age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Kalloniatis M., Marc RE., Khuu SK., Phu J., Zangerl B., Nivison-Smith L., Jones BW., Pfeiffer RL. (2015) Pattern recognition reveals different visual signature patterns when using spatially equated test sizes compared to standard Goldmann III alone

Nivison-Smith L., Zangerl B., Wang H., Assaad N., Kalloniatis M. (2015) Retinal layer Thickness Changes Associated with the Natural History of Drusen in AMD.

Phu J., Khuu SK., Kalloniatis M. (2015) Asymmetries in sensitivity and spatial summation in the Hill of Vision

Director of CFEH an ambassador for the B.I.G Breakfast as part of World Glaucoma Week

CFEH director, Professor Michael Kalloniatis, has become an ambassador for the B.I.G (Beat Invisible Glaucoma) Breakfast initiative by Glaucoma Australia to raise funds and awareness of the disease during World Glaucoma Week, March 6 – 12.

The initiative is specifically encouraging people to” start a conversation” about glaucoma and how it can run in families. CFEH has also teamed up with also Glaucoma Australia through their Glaucoma Management Clinic (GMC), directing patients recently diagnosed with glaucoma to Glaucoma Australia for additional information and support.

Further details of the B.I.G Breakfast can be found on the Glaucoma Australia website at

New article highlights the current optometric challenges regarding glaucoma

Chief optometrist Michael Yapp and Senior CFEH research associate Dr Barbara Zangerl has recently written an article for optometrists detailing the challenges associated with detecting, diagnosing and managing glaucoma in the Australian eye-care system.

The article, which features in this month’s issue of Mivision, highlights the changing landscape for optometrists in light of new standards and guidelines from Optometry Australia and evolving understanding of glaucoma through clinical research and better evidence-based practice.

The article also highlights the Glaucoma Management Clinic (GMC), a collaborative care model for glaucoma run by CFEH in collaboration with the Prince of Wales ophthalmology department and one of the new variety of patient care models and treatment options now available for glaucoma patients.
The full article is available online at the mivision website

Further details of the GMC are outlined in the research article Jamous KF et al (2015) Clinical model assisting with the collaborative care of glaucoma patients and suspects. Clin Exp Ophthal 43:308-19

Highly successful year for CFEH research team

The CFEH research team is celebrating their most productive year to date with 15 publications accepted into print including four articles authored by PhD students.
Research highlights from this year include five review articles on optic nerve head swelling¹, white dot syndromes², pigmented lesions of the retinal pigment epithelium³, Fuchs uveitis syndrome⁴, and one on the vitreous in the prestigious journal of Survey of Ophthalmology⁵. These reviews illustrated key features of these diseases using advanced imaging of cases seen at CFEH and should help clinicians in understanding and diagnosing these conditions.CFEH director, Professor Michael Kalloniatis also successfully published research on a new visual field paradigm⁶,⁷ with potential applications to improving eye disease detection in collaboration with Dr Sieu Khuu at the School of Optometry at UNSW. Collaborations of Professor Kalloniatis with the University of Melbourne and Auckland also led to publications on the inherited retinal dystrophy, Retinitis Pigmentosa⁸, and its pathogenesis in animal models⁹. The role of a potential herbal treatment in retinal disease, vinpocetine, has also been explored¹⁰.

CFEH has had a productive year regarding it ongoing glaucoma-related research with three important publications on the practice patterns of Australian and New Zealand optometrists regarding glaucoma¹¹⁻¹³. The article by Yoshioka et al¹³ has received considerable interest on a new metric (Altmetric*) currently on a score of ‘32’ which places it in the top 3% of all articles on this metric. CFEH also published research on the repeatability of a key advanced imaging measurement parameter in glaucoma detection¹⁴. New research into age-related macular degeneration was also published by the group this year and showed for the first time that “normal” parts of the retina in patients with this disease may in fact abnormal¹⁵.

2016 promises ongoing research productivity with several publications currently under preparation.
For further information, see links below to all publications by CFEH researchers for 2015.

1. Chiang J, Wong E, Whatham A, Hennessy M, Kalloniatis M, Zangerl B. (2015) The usefulness of multimodal imaging for differentiating pseudopapilloedema and true swelling of the optic nerve head: a review and case series. . Clin Exp Optom. 98(1):12-24.

2. Wong E, Nivison-Smith L, Assaad NN, Kalloniatis M. (2015b) OCT and Fundus Autofluorescence Enhances Visualization of White Dot Syndromes.Optom Vis Sci. 92(5):642-53

3. Ly A, Nivison-Smith L, Hennessy M, Kalloniatis M. (2015) Pigmented Lesions of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium. Optom Vis Sci. 92(8):844-57.

4. Phu J, Trinh WH, Chau-Vo JS, Nivison-Smith L, Kalloniatis M (2015) Atypical Features of Fuchs Uveitis Syndrome. Optom Vis Sci. 92(11):e394-403

5. Milston R, Madigan MC, Sebag J. (2015) Vitreous Floaters: Etiology, Diagnostics, and Management. Sur Ophthalmol.

6. Khuu and Kalloniatis (2015a) Standard Automated Perimetry: Determining Spatial Summation and Its Effect on Contrast Sensitivity Across the Visual Field. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 56(6):3565-76.

7. Khuu and Kalloniatis (2015b). Spatial summation across the central visual field: implications for visual field testing. J Vis. 12;15(1):15.1.6.

8. Kalloniatis M, Nivison-Smith L, Chua J, Acosta ML, Fletcher EL. (2015) Using the rd1 mouse to understand functional and anatomical retinal remodelling and treatment implications in retinitis pigmentosa: A review.Exp Eye Res. S0014-4835(15)30057-9 .

9. Greferath U, Anderson EE, Jobling AI, Vessey KA, Martinez G, de Iongh RU, Kalloniatis M, Fletcher EL. (2015) Inner retinal change in a novel rd1-FTL mouse model of retinal degeneration. Front Cell Neurosci. 29;9:293.

10. Nivison-Smith L, O’Brien BJ, Truong M, Guo CX, Kalloniatis M, Acosta ML. (2015) Vinpocetine modulates metabolic activity and function during retinal ischemia. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 1;308(9):C737-49

11. Jamous KF, Kalloniatis M, Hennessy MP, Agar A, Hayen A, Zangerl B. (2015) Clinical model assisting with the collaborative care of glaucoma patients and suspects. Clin Experiment Ophthalmol. 43(4):308-19

12. Zangerl B, Hayen A, Mitchell P, Jamous KF, Stapleton F, Kalloniatis M. (2015) Therapeutic endorsement enhances compliance with national glaucoma guidelines in Australian and New Zealand optometrists. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 35(2):212-24.

13. Yoshioka N, Wong E, Kalloniatis M, Yapp M, Hennessy MP, Agar A, Healey PR, Hayen A, Zangerl B. (2015) Influence of education and diagnostic modes on glaucoma assessment by optometrists. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 35(6):682;jsessionid=5DF91969FB9E9339A53B2C28014156B9.f03t03

14. Wong E, Yoshioka N, Kalloniatis M, Zangerl B. (2015) Cirrus HD-OCT short-term repeatability of clinical retinal nerve fiber layer measurements. Optom Vis Sci.92(1):83-8.

15. Rogala J, Zangerl B, Assaad N, Fletcher EL, Kalloniatis M, Nivison-Smith L. (2015) In vivo quantification of retinal changes associated with drusen in age-related macular degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 10;56(3):1689-700.


Centre Director Awarded UNSW Leadership Prize

Michael Kalloniatis awarded prize for Excellence in senior leadership at UNSW staff awards

Director of the Centre for Eye Health, Professor Michael Kalloniatis has been honoured at this year’s 9th annual UNSW staff excellence awards by receiving the award in Excellence in Senior Leadership.
Michael was amongst 12 nominees for the awards and has received the award due to his actions as director of the Centre for Eye Health.

Specifically, Michael was praised for implementing radical and innovative changes to not only maintain the Centre’s existence but allow for its expansion beyond that ever conceived by its original designers, transforming it into an exceptional example of UNSW’s commitment to the community and the optometry profession.

The nomination was a combined effort between staff at the Centre for Eye Health, School of Optometry and Vision Science, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT and Optometry Australia. Michael received the award from Vice chancellor Prof Ian Jacobs.

Researchers to feature in upcoming special issue of Experimental Eye Research

Professor Michael Kalloniatis and Dr Lisa Nivison-Smith have recently published a review on Retinitis Pigmentosa, an inherited retinal condition known to cause irreversible blindness in an upcoming special issue of the journal Experimental Eye Research.
The researchers describe the findings found in the rd1 mouse, a well-established animal model for Retinitis Pigmentosa. They highlight anatomical and functional changes which occur within different retinal cells throughout the early and late stages of the disease, known as retinal re-modelling. Using an example of a patient with Retinitis Pigmentosa seen at the Centre for Eye Health, they highlight the implications of this re-modelling on treating and restoring vision in these patients.
The article will officially be part of a special issue on “Retinal re-modelling” by the journal when it is released in a few months. Currently, the is now available ahead of print as Kalloniatis M, Nivison-Smith L, Chua J, Acosta ML, Fletcher EL. (2015) Using the rd1 mouse to understand functional and anatomical retinal re-modelling and treatment implications in retinitis pigmentosa: A review. Experimental Eye Research