Dr Raju Prasad Sapkota

Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Vision & Eye Research Unit, Postgraduate Medical Institute

Faculty:Faculty of Medical Science

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Vision and eye research

Dr Sapkota is an overseas optometrist with research interests in visual functions of patients with diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. His other research interest include the use of vision-based tests in detection of early cognitive decline linked to dementia.

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Email: raju.sapkota@anglia.ac.uk

Background

Following his two-and-a-half years' service as an optometrist at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Nepal, Dr Sapkota came to the UK to pursue higher education. He obtained his Master's degree in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science from the University of Manchester in 2006, and a PhD from the Department of Optometry & Ophthalmic Dispensing, Anglia Ruskin University, in 2010. Since then Dr Sapkota has been working as a post-doctoral research fellow in Vision and Eye Research Unit, Faculty of Medical Science, at Anglia Ruskin University.

Dr Sapkota is involved in a number of research projects.
(i). Evaluating whether visual short-term memory binding tests can be used as marker of early cognitive decline in patients at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease
(ii). Examining how non-clinical parameters (knowledge, awareness, life-style, self-help) and clinical parameters (blood sugar, blood pressure, HbA1c levels) relate to severity of diabetic retinopathy in South Asian patients
(iii). Evaluating the efficacy of paper-based user-friendly tests of visual functions to be used by patients with ocular disease for self-monitoring their condition at home
(iv). Identifying self-help and improved awareness to reduce eye complications due to diabetes among South Asians in the United Kingdom.
Dr Sapkota has published findings in popular peer-reviewed scientific journals. He has presented papers and posters at several national and international conferences, and has obtained a number of research related grants, awards and prizes.

Research interests

  • Visual short-term memory and early Alzheimer’s disease
  • Theoretical modelling of visuo-spatial short-term memory
  • Eye complications of diabetes
  • Visual functions in patients with different eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract
  • Binocular summation

Areas of research supervision

  • Summer studentship 2010: Effect of age on visual short-term memory
  • Summer studentship 2011: Gaze serialization and visual short-term memory
  • Nuffield summer Research placement 2013: change detection for object switch and substitution changes
  • Summer studentship 2014: Age differences in gaze-contingent visuo-spatial short-term memory
  • Summer studentship 2015: Visual short-term memory binding
  • Summer studentship 2016: Evaluation of memory binding performance as an indicator for early cognitive decline
  • Nuffield summer Research placement 2016: Effect of object complexity on memory spatial locations
  • Mentor for Dr Georgina Nakafero, 2016. Project Title- SHARED: Self-Help and improved Awareness to Reduce Eye complications due to Diabetes among south Asians in the United Kingdom

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy (2007-2010) from Anglia Ruskin University, UK
  • Masters in Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision science (2005-2006) from The University of Manchester, UK
  • Bachelor in Optometry (1998-2002) from the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
  • Intermediate in Science (1993-1995) from Amrit Science College, Nepal
  • High school education from Gandaki Boarding School, Nepal

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member Applied Vision Association (2008-2010)
  • Member-Vision Science Society (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)
  • Join Dementia Research, UK
  • Member-British Congress of Optometry and Visual Science

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Faculty (Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education) summer studentship, Anglia Ruskin University, 2014
Patrick Geoghegan Health & Wellbeing Academy fund (with Professor S Pardhan), 2014
Cambridge Research System travel award to present at a conference at University of East Anglia, 2014
HR postdoc support fund to attend a training event at London, 2014
Nuffield Summer Research Student Placement, 2013
Anglia Ruskin University, RDCS, The UK Research Development fund, 2012
The 'Guarantors of Brain' travel grant, 2012
Faculty (Science & Technology) summer studentship, Anglia Ruskin University, 2011
Winner of the best paper presentation at the research student conference, Anglia Ruskin University, 2010
Experimental Psychology Society's Grindly Grant, 2009
Applied Vision association travel grant, 2008

Summer studentships supervised to date: four

Selected recent publications

Journal papers

Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., & Van Der Linde, I. (2013). Manual tapping enhances visual short-term memory performance where visual and motor coordinates correspond, British Journal of Psychology, 104, pp249-264
apkota, R., Pardhan, S., & van der Linde, I. (2011a). The impact of extra-foveal information on visual short-term memory for object-position. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 23, pp574-585
Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., & van der Linde, I. (2011b). Object-position binding in visual short-term memory for sequentially presented unfamiliar stimuli. Perception, 40, pp538-548

Thesis/dissertation

Sapkota, R. (2006). Binocular summation for luminance and contrast modulated targets, MSc dissertation, The University of Manchester, Manchester
Sapkota, R. (2010). Human visual short-term memory for unfamiliar stimuli: visual, spatial and motor binding, PhD Thesis, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Recent presentations and conferences

Shahina, P., van der Linde, I., & Sapkota, R. (2014). How does ageing affect visual short-term memory for identifying objects in their spatial locations? Association of Research in Vision & Ophthalmology, May 3-7, Orlando, Florida

Sapkota, R., van der Linde, I., & Pardhan, S. (2013). Age difference in visual short-term memory for object recall and location recognition. British Congress for Optometry and Vision Science, September 9-10, Glasgow, Scotland, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 34, p105

Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., & van der Linde, I. (2013). Change detection in visual short-term memory: The relative impact of pairwise swaps and object substitutions. Vision Sciences Society, May 10-15, Naples, FL. Journal of Vision, 13, p324

Van Der Linde, I., Pardhan, S., & Sapkota, R. (2013). Spatiotemporal priming facilitates visual short-term memory only in a forward direction. Vision Sciences Society, May 10-15, Naples, FL. Journal of Vision, 13, p328

Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., & van der Linde, I. (2012). A load-specific influence of stimulus category on short-term memory for object and position. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, May 11-16, Naples, FL. Journal of Vision, 12, p292

Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., & van der Linde, I. (2011). Priming effects in visual short-term memory for object position: Evidence for name-addressable object files? 34th European Conference on Visual Perception, August 28 - September 1, Toulouse, France. Perception, 40, pp82-83

Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., & van der Linde, I. (2010). Feature binding across visual and manual domains: Evidence from a VSTM study. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, May 7-12, Naples, FL. Journal of Vision, 10, p766

Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., & van der Linde, I. (2010). Object-position binding in visual short-term memory for serially presented unfamiliar stimuli. AVA X mas Meeting. December 18, 2009, Perception, 39, p271

Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., & van der Linde, I. (2009). Extra-foveal processing in visual short-term memory: Facilitatory or inhibitory? AVA Xmas Meeting, December 19, 2008, Bristol, UK. Perception, 38, p467

Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., & van der Linde, I. (2009). Dual impact of extra-foveal processing in human visual short-term memory. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, May 8-13, Naples, FL. Journal of Vision, 9, p596

Sapkota, R., Pardhan, S., Tavassoli, A., & van der Linde, I. (2008). Visual short-term memory for unfamiliar visual stimuli. British Congress for Optometry and Vision Science, September 4-5 2007, Ulster, NI. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 28, p99