New appointment focuses on vision and eye research

Published: 20 July 2009 at 14:03

New director for new Postgraduate Medical Institute research facility

Professor Shahina Pardhan has been appointed Director of a new high profile research facility at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

The Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU) is a key part of the University’s Postgraduate Medical Institute, offering leading-edge research including clinical trials and knowledge transfer partnerships.

Professor Pardhan’s new role includes creating a dynamic and collaborative environment for all vision and eye research within Anglia Ruskin by building on existing and new collaborative research links amongst the different departments and faculties within the University, providing a focus for research and development by working with NHS partners in the region and developing effective partnerships with the optical and pharmaceutical industries. 

After graduating and completing a PhD in Optometry, Professor Pardhan worked as lecturer and senior lecturer at the University of Bradford before becoming the first female Professor of Optometry at Anglia Ruskin University. Her research accomplishments have been in the area of clinical assessment of visual functions in range of normal and abnormal ocular conditions including in myopia, low vision and normal ageing.  Other achievements have included leading the successful 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) for Allied Health Professions for Anglia Ruskin, publishing numerous research papers, lecturing on the international conference circuit and winning the Asian Jewel Award – Health Care and Education Category and the Asian Women of Achievement Award.

Professor Pardhan said: 

“I am really looking forward to this exciting new venture and working with vision and eye researchers both within Anglia Ruskin and externally. We have an outstanding team here, offering world-leading expertise which is already proving attractive to organisations seeking to fulfil their research and development needs.”

VERU harnesses the world-leading expertise of a number of eminent professionals including Professor Rupert Bourne, Professor Roger Buckley, and Dr Sarah Waugh.

Professor Bourne is a Professor of Ophthalmology at Anglia Ruskin and is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Hinchingbrooke, Moorfields Eye and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals.  He is a well respected clinician and eminent researcher whose research interests include the global impact of eye disease, principally glaucoma.  He has written numerous research publications and currently coordinates an international group on the burden of global eye disease for the World Health Organisation.

Professor Buckley is Professor of Ocular Medicine at Anglia Ruskin and is one of country’s leading authorities on contact lenses. He is an acknowledged expert on allergic eye disease, corneal disease, tear deficiency and other conditions affecting the surface of the eye. His research interests include allergic eye disease, keratoconus and the prevention of cross infection.  He is an Honorary Consultant of Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and an Honorary Visiting Specialist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Dr Waugh is a Reader in the Department of Optometry and Ophthalmic Dispensing at Anglia Ruskin University. Her research expertise lies mainly in understanding the basic neural mechanisms underlying visual perception including ambyopia. She has established links with paediatric ophthalmology and electrophysiology at Addenbrooke’s Hospital as well as with University of Cambridge.

Professor Michael Thorne, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University added:

“Professor Pardhan’s appointment marks a significant development in our bid to become a world-class research facility in the field of vision and eye research. VERU has an unrivalled bank of expertise within the team and we look forward to leading the way in this field, facilitating research in collaboration with the NHS, pharmaceutical and optical industries. Together with the other research activities within our Postgraduate Medical Institute, we are providing a regional nucleus for research and development as well as other aspects of postgraduate education and training”.