Professor Shahina Pardhan

Director, Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU), School of Medicine

Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU)

Faculty:Faculty of Medical Science

Location: Cambridge

Professor Shahina Pardhan is a world leading expert in vision and eye research. She has published extensively on the impact of low vision on gait and on hearing; diabetic retinopathy; visual short-term memory.


Shahina Pardhan qualified with First Class Honours in Optometry from the University of Bradford in 1984 when she was also awarded the Yorkshire Optical Society’s ‘Best Student Prize’. Having received a scholarship from the College of Optometrists and the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of the United Kingdom as a foreign student of outstanding merit, she was awarded a doctorate in 1989.

In 2001 she joined Anglia Polytechnic University as the first female professor of Optometry in the UK. She leads the world-leading Vision and Eye Research Unit in the new School of Medicine. Shahina led the successful Research Excellence Framework 2014 for Allied Health Professions which resulted in 100% of VERU’s profile being rated as world class, internationally excellent and excellent (84% rated as world class/internationally excellent). The Impact and reach of VERU’s research activities was rated as 100% world class and internationally excellent. She has published over 100 papers and has been awarded grants of over £3.2 million.

Shahina is a recipient of the Asian Jewel Award - Health Care and Education category (2005), the Asian Women of Achievement Award - Professions category (2001), the first Ismaili Award for Excellence in the Postgraduate category (1992).

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • Hindi
  • Swahili

Research interests

Functional disability in patients with visual impairment:
  • Human motor function in patients with visual function loss
  • Auditory cues in patients with visual impairment
Visual function in patients with myopia, ocular diseases and early cognitive impairment:
  • Measurement of visual function in normal ageing, and in patients with eye diseases
  • Visual function in myopic subjects
  • Factors influencing diabetic retinopathy:
    • Change in ocular surface characteristics in patients with ocular diseases


    • BSc Optometry (First Class) University of Bradford

    Memberships, editorial boards

    • General Optical Council
    • College of Optometrists
    • Association of Optometrists
    • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

    Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

    Recipient of grants over £3.2 Million from various sources including:

    European Union Horizon2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme; European Union Marie Curie British Council; NIHR International Glaucoma Association; College of Optometrists; Fight for Sight; NHS Cambridgeshire; NIHR Flexibility and Sustainability; Meniere’s Society; NHS West Essex; Cambridge University NHS Trust; CLRN-Papworth NHS Trust; Allergan; Knowledge Partnership; Commonwealth of Australia Co-operative Research Centre (Vision CRC); Welcome Foundation Trust.

    Selected recent publications

    Timmis M, Allsop J, Baranian M, Baker J, Basevitch I, Latham K, Pardhan S, van Paridon K. Visual search behaviour in individuals with Retinitis Pigmentosa during level walking and obstacle crossing. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science – in press.

    Genevieve W, Aggio D, Stubbs B, Pardhan S, Gardner B, Smith L. Physical Activity Levels in Children with Sensory problems: Cross-sectional Analyses from the Millennium Cohort Study Disability and Health Journal. Disability and Health Journal- in press.

    Pardhan S, Scharfe A, Bourne M, Timmis M. (2017). A Comparison of Reach-to-Grasp and Transport-to-Place Performance in Participants with Age-related Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Vol.58, 1560-1569. doi:10.1167/iovs.16-20273

    Kolarik AJ, Scarfe AC, Moore BCJ, Pardhan S. (2017). Blindness enhances auditory obstacle circumvention: Assessing echolocation, sensory substitution, and visual-based navigation. PLOSONE12(4):e0175750.

    Kolarik AJ, Raman R, Moore BCJ, Cirstea S, Gopalakrishnan S, Pardhan S. (2017). Partial visual loss affects self-reports of hearing abilities measured using a modified version of the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Questionnaire. Frontiers in Psychology. 8:561. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00561

    Sapkota RP, van der Linde I, Lamichhane N, Upadhyaya T, Pardhan S. (2017) Patients with mild cognitive impairment show lower visual short-term memory performance for feature binding tasks. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders: Extra. 7 (1). ISSN 1664-5464.

    Latham K, Baranian M, Timmis M, Pardhan S. (2017). Relative Difficulties of Daily Living Tasks with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Optometry and Vision Science. 94(3):317-328. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001046

    Liu H, Gon, Y, Chen Z, Pardhan S, Mootanah R, Xia L, Zheng D. (2017). Towards understanding the etiology of high myopic strabismus using mechanical analysis and finite element modeling. International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics. ISSN 1755-0661 (Accepted)

    Smith L, Timmis M, Pardhan S, Latham K, Johnstone J, Hamer M. (2017). Physical inactivity in relation to self-rated eyesight: Cross-sectional analysis from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. British Journal of Ophthalmology doi: 10.1136/bmjophth-2016-000046

    Bourne R, Zhekov I, Pardhan S. (2016). Temporal ocular coherence tomography-measured changes in anterior chamber angle and diurnal intraocular pressure after laser iridoplasty: IMPACT study. British Journal of Ophthalmology Published Online doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2016-308720

    Recent presentations and conferences

    Allsop J, Scarfe A, Timmis M, Bourne R, Pardhan S (2017). Balance confidence is associated with objective step-ascent movement kinematics in participants with age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Association for Vision and Ophthalmology. Baltimore USA. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 26, 58: 1332: 301.

    Tabernero J, Robinson J, Artal P, Pardhan S. (2017). Objective assessments of Tear Film quality before and after exposure to controlled environmental stress in young and older subjects. Baltimore USA. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 26, 58: 1130: 550.

    Robson J, Raman R, Durgasri J, Sapkota RP, Pardhan S. (2017). Contrast sensitivity measured with illiterate single-use printed paper charts to assess the severity of diabetic retinopathy Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 26, 58: 4698:650.

    Zhiqing C, Sapkota RP, Dingchang Z, Pardhan S. (2017). The need for improved diabetic eye health awareness and early retinopathy screening: An observational study from a specialist eye clinic in Hangzhou, China. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 26, 58: 79:159.

    Sapkota RP, Upadhyaya T, Gurung G, Biswas A, Durgasri J, Raman R, Pardhan S. (2017). Clinical and non-clinical factors predicting retinopathy severity in patients attending three different diabetic eye clinics in India and Nepal. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 26, 58: 70: 150.

    Pardhan S, Latham K, Tabrett D, Timmis M (2016). A comparison of self-report and objective assessments of everyday tasks in participants with age-related macular degeneration. Association for Vision and Ophthalmology. Seattle. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 26, 57: 1974:280