School of Medicine


Our People

Associate Professor Jennifer Craig


Associate Professor Jennifer Craig

Associate Professor Jennifer Craig is a therapeutically qualified optometrist and peer educator with a global reputation in dry eye research, an H-index over 30, and over 125 peer-reviewed publications. She leads the Ocular Surface Research Group, performing basic scientific, therapeutic, and epidemiologic investigations, and undertaking clinical trials, both independently and in collaboration with international academic and industry partners.

Xue AL, Wang MTM, Ormonde SE, Craig JP. Randomised double-masked placebo-controlled trial of the cumulative treatment efficacy profile of intense pulsed light therapy for meibomian gland dysfunction. The Ocular Surface 2020; 18(2): 286-297.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtos.2020.01.003

Craig JP, Cruzat A, Cheung IMY, Watters GA, Wang MTM. Randomized masked trial of the clinical efficacy of MGO Manuka Honey microemulsion eye cream for the treatment of blepharitis. The Ocular Surface 2020; 18(1): 170-177.
https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjophth-2016-000066

Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer


Professor Helen Danesh-Meyer

Helen Danesh-Meyer is the Sir William and Lady Stevenson Professor of Ophthalmology. She is Head of Academic Glaucoma and Neuro-ophthalmology and the Director of the Optic Nerve Research Laboratory.  She has published approximately 200 scientific papers. Her research team has trained over 25 clinician-scientists, most of whom are now ophthalmologists. Her area of research includes glaucoma, neuroprotection, connexin hemichannel mediated CNS injury, giant cell arteritis and eye movement abnormalities in concussion and glaucoma. Professor Danesh-Meyer is also the Chair of the charitable trust Glaucoma NZ, Chair of RANZCO Women in Ophthalmology Advisory Board, the only Australian/NZ who is on the American Journal of Ophthalmology Editorial Board and the International Consultant to the Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC) for the American Academy of Ophthalmology for Neuro-ophthalmology.

Danesh-Meyer HV, Yoon JJ, Lawlor M, Savino PJ. Visual loss and recovery in chiasmal compression. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research 2019; 73: 100765.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.preteyeres.2019.06.001

Jain NS, Kersten HM, Watson SL, Danesh-Meyer HV. Gender differences in Australasian ophthalmologists’ experiences of the workplace. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2019; 47(6): 706-712.
https://doi.org/10.1111/ceo.13487

Professor Colin Green


Professor Colin Green

Professor Green holds the W & B Hadden Chair in Ophthalmology. His research team has graduated over 60 post-graduate students, and currently focuses on chronic inflammatory diseases involving the connexin hemichannel mediated innate immune system, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. He has co-founded three biotechnology companies, published over 195 manuscripts and is named on over 260 patents. Visit the Connexin Group page.

Mat Nor MN, Rupenthal ID, Green CR, Acosta ML. Connexin hemichannel block using orally delivered tonabersat improves outcomes in animal models of retinal disease. Neurotherapeutics 2020; 17: 371-387.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-019-00786-5

Tonkin RS, Bowles C, Perera CJ, Keating BA, Makker PGS, Duffy SS, Lees JG, Tran C,  Don AS, Fath T, Liu L, O'Carroll SJ, Nicholson LFB, Green CR, Gorrie C, Moalem-Taylor G. Attenuation of mechanical pain hypersensitivity by treatment with Peptide5, a connexin-43 mimetic peptide, involves inhibition of NLRP3inflammasome in nerve-injured mice. Experimental Neurology 2018; 300: 1–12.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2017.10.016

 

Dr Akilesh Gokul


Dr Akilesh Gokul

Akilesh is an emerging researcher in the field of anterior eye disease. He is a therapeutic optometrist and clinician-scientist dividing his time between clinical practice, teaching and clinical research. Akilesh’s research and clinical interest are; anterior segment imaging of the cornea in health and disease, keratoconus, contact lenses management in keratoconus and post corneal transplantation, corneal collagen cross-linking for progressive keratoconus and corneal transplantation outcomes.

Ziaei M, Gokul A, Vellara HR, Lu LM, Patel DV, McGhee CN. Measurement of in vivo biomechanical changes attributable to epithelial removal in keratoconus using a noncontact tonometer. Cornea 2020.
https://doi.org/10.1097/ico.0000000000002344

Ziaei M, Gokul A, Vellara HR, Patel DV, McGhee CN. Prospective two-year study of changes in corneal density following transepithelial pulsed, epithelium-off continuous and epithelium-off pulsed, corneal crosslinking for keratoconus. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye 2020; pii: S1367-0484(20)30047-3.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clae.2020.03.004

Dr Sarah Hull


Dr Jay Meyer

Dr Hull is a senior lecturer who's principal area of research interest is retinal genetics, specifically the molecular investigation and detailed phenotyping of non-syndromic and syndromic disease. During her PhD, 73 patients from 52 families were characterised in detail with 30 novel mutations discovered in 13 genes. As a paediatric/strabismus specialist she has broader relevant research interests including strabismus and retinopathy of prematurity.

Hull S, Kiray G, Chiang J, Vincent AL. Molecular and phenotypic investigation of a New Zealand cohort of childhood-onset retinal dystrophy. Am J Med Genet C. 2020 Sep;184(3):708-717.
https://doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.c.31836

Hull S, Arno G, Ostergaard P, et al. Clinical and Molecular Characterization of Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy Associated With Microcephaly. Am J Ophthalmol. 2019 Nov;207:87-98.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2019.05.001

Dr Jay Meyer


Dr Jay Meyer

Dr Meyer is a senior lecturer and an ophthalmology consultant with subspecialty training in corneal diseases and glaucoma.  His research interests include: evaluation of surgical techniques and outcomes; evaluation of corneal imaging techniques and instrumentation; corneal infections and ocular microbiology; effects of systemic diseases and medications on ocular disease; international eye care.

Aldaas K, Ismail OM, Hakim J, Van Buren ED, Lin F-C, Hardin JS, Meyer JJ. Association of dry eye disease with dyslipidemia and statin use. American Journal of Ophthalmology 2020; S0002-9394(20)30236-1.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2020.05.007

Ismail OM, Poole ZB, Bierly SL, Van Buren ED, Lin FC, Meyer JJ, Davis RM. Association between dry eye disease and migraine headaches in a large population-based study. JAMA Ophthalmology 2019; 137(5): 532-6.
https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2019.0170

Dr Stuti Misra


Dr Stuti Misra

Dr Stuti Misra is an optometrist-scientist working as a Senior Lecturer in the department of ophthalmology. Dr Misra’s research interests include anterior segment imaging, ocular surface diseases, and corneal innervation in systemic diseases. She is a recipient of several prestigious awards including Fulbright New Zealand Travel Award and Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award.

Wallace HB, McKelvie J, Green C, Misra SL. Corneal curvature: the influence of corneal accommodation and biomechanics on corneal shape. Translational Vision Science and Technology 2019; 8(4): 5.
https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.4.5

Li S, Misra SL, Wallace H, McKelvie J. Effect of phacoemulsification incision size on incision repair and remodeling: Optical coherence tomography assessment. Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2018; 44(11): 1336-1343.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrs.2018.07.025

Dr Lola Mugisho


Dr Lola Mugisho

Dr Mugisho is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Buchanan Ocular Therapeutics Unit (BOTU). Her research focuses on the development and characterisation of connexin-based therapeutics for the treatment of chronic eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. She also has an interest in the development of novel disease models and drug delivery systems. Lola’s project investigates the efficacy of two Cx43 hemichannel modulators in the treatment of retinal vascular inflammatory complications associated with diabetes using both in vivo and in vitro models. The investigated treatments include intraperitoneally injected Peptide5 and Tonabersat, a novel orally available Cx43 therapeutic that has already shown efficacy in an animal model of age-related macular degeneration.

Mugisho OO, Rupenthal ID, Paquet-Durand F, Acosta ML, Green CR. Targeting connexin hemichannels to control the inflammasome: the correlation between connexin43 and NLRP3 expression in chronic eye disease. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 2019;23(10): 855‐863.
https://doi.org/10.1080/14728222.2019.1673368

Mugisho OO, Robilliard LD, Nicholson LFB, Graham ES, O'Carroll SJ. Bradykinin receptor-1 activation induces inflammation and increases the permeability of human brain microvascular endothelial cells. Cell Biology International 2019; 10.1002/cbin.11232.
https://doi.org/10.1002/cbin.11232

Dr Alex Müntz


Dr Alex Müntz

Dr Alex Müntz is a clinical research optometrist and research fellow in the Ocular Surface Laboratory. His work aims to improve existing and develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for dry eye disease, as well as to contribute to the literature on the prevalence and impact of dry eye disease.

Müntz A, Subbaraman LN, Craig JP, Jones L. Cytomorphological assessment of the lid margin in relation to symptoms, contact lens wear and lid wiper epitheliopathy: Cytomorphological assessment of the lid margin. The Ocular Surface 2020; 18: 214–220.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtos.2019.12.001

Müntz A, Purslow C, Wolffsohn JS, Craig JP. Improved Demodex diagnosis in the clinical setting using a novel in situ technique. Contact Lens Anterior Eye 2019; S1367-0484(19)30183-3.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clae.2019.11.009

Dr Sue Ormonde


Dr Sue Ormonde

Dr Sue Ormonde is a senior lecturer and a corneal, anterior segment, and refractive surgery specialist at Greenlane Clinical Centre, Auckland District Health Board, and at Auckland Eye. Her research interests include corneal transplantation, infectious keratitis, dry eye disease, refractive surgery and surgical training.

Xue AL, Wang MTM, Ormonde SE, Craig JP. Randomised double-masked placebo-controlled trial of the cumulative treatment efficacy profile of intense pulsed light therapy for meibomian gland dysfunction. The Ocular Surface 2020; 18(2): 286-297.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtos.2020.01.003

Crawford AZ, Krishnan T, Ormonde SE, Patel DV, McGhee CN. Corneal Transplantation in New Zealand 2000 to 2009. Cornea 2018; 37(3): 290-295.
https://doi.org/10.1097/ico.0000000000001481

Professor Dipika Patel


Professor Dipika Patel

Our group is internationally recognised for research on in vivo confocal microscopy of the living human cornea. My research portfolio also includes other forms of anterior segment imaging, microbial keratitis, cataract physiology, investigating potential therapeutic applications for corneal stem cells, and collagen scaffolds for tissue regeneration.

McKelvie J, Alshiakhi M, Ziaei M, Patel DV, McGhee CNJ. The rising tide of Acanthamoeba keratitis in Auckland, New Zealand: a 7-year review of presentation, diagnosis and outcomes (2009-2016)‎. Clinical And Experimental Ophthalmology 2018; 46: 600-607.
https://doi.org/10.1111/ceo.13166
 
Ziaei M, Patel DV, McGhee CNJ. Umbilical cord stem cells in the treatment of corneal disease. Survey of Ophthalmology 2017; 62: 803-815.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.survophthal.2017.02.002

Dr Hussain Patel


Dr Hussain Patel

The majority of my current and past research has primarily been related to glaucoma and associated areas. I have also published on cataract surgery as well as in topics related to cornea and eye banking.

Patel HY, Buys YM, Trope GE. Analysis of Nailfold capillary bed haemorrhages in glaucoma patients with optic disc haemorrhages. Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology 2015; 50(2): 155-158.
https://doi.org/10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.249

Mathan JJ, Patel DV, McGhee CNJ, Patel HY. Analysis of glaucoma subtypes and corresponding demographics in a New Zealand population. Biomed Hub 2016; 1(3): 1‐8.
https://doi.org/10.1159/000453313

Hon. Associate Professor Philip Polkinghorne


Dr Philip Polkinghorne

Dr Polkinghorne is a Retinal Surgeon at Greenlane Clinical Centre. His research interests include retinal diseases such as diabetes and macular degeneration. He is a principal investigator for a number of drug trials and is actively involved in research of intra-ocular infections.

Crosby N, Polkinghorne PJ, Kim B, McGhee C, Welch S, Riley A. Mortality after endophthalmitis following contemporary phacoemulsification cataract surgery. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2018; 46(8): 903‐907.
https://doi.org/10.1111/ceo.13305

Bhikoo R, Wang N, Niederer R, Polkinghorne PJ. Factors associated with positive microbial culture in patients with endophthalmitis based on clinical presentation and multi-modal intraocular sampling. Asia Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology 2020; 9(1): 4‐8.
https://doi.org/10.1097/APO.0000000000000263

Associate Professor Ilva Rupenthal


Dr Ilva Rupenthal

Dr Rupenthal is the Director of the Buchanan Ocular Therapeutics Unit (BOTU) which aims to translate ocular therapeutic related scientific research into the clinical setting whether pharmaceutical, cell or technology based. Trained as a pharmaceutical scientist, her main research interests include the development of novel drug therapeutics and drug delivery systems.

Current research focuses on novel therapies for the treatment of sight-threatening diseases with an inflammatory component as well as targeted delivery systems offering sustained drug release.

Thakur SS, Shenoy SK, Suk JS, Hanes JS, Rupenthal ID. Validation of hyaluronic acid-agar-based hydrogels as vitreous humor mimetics for in vitro drug and particle migration evaluations. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics 2020; 148: 118-125.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2020.01.008

Mugisho OO, Rupenthal ID, Paquet-Durand F, Acosta ML, Green CR. Targeting connexin hemichannels to control the inflammasome: The correlation between connexin43 and NLRP3 expression in chronic eye disease. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets 2019; 23: 855-863.
https://doi.org/10.1080/14728222.2019.1673368

Dr Samantha Simkin


Dr Samantha Simkin

Dr Simkin is a clinician scientist. Her research focuses on childhood visual impairment with special interest in the areas of ocular screening, retinopathy of prematurity, oculocutaneous albinism and cerebral visual impairment. Dr Simkin also works in clinical practice as a paediatric optometrist.

Tan Z, Simkin SK, Lai C, Dai S. Deep Learning Algorithm for Automated Diagnosis of Retinopathy of Prematurity Plus Disease. Translational Vision Science and Technology 2019; 8(6): 23.
https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.6.23
 
Simkin SK, Misra SL, Han JV, McGhee CNJ, Dai S. The Auckland Regional Telemedicine Retinopathy of Prematurity Screening Network: A 10-Year Review. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2019; 1-9.
https://doi.org/10.1111/ceo.13593

Associate Professor Andrea Vincent


Associate Professor Andrea Vincent

Associate Professor Andrea Vincent is a clinician scientist, with sub-specialty training and expertise in Ocular Genetics and Paediatric Ophthalmology, practicing at Greenlane Eye Clinic and Retina Specialists. She established and heads the Genetic Eye Disease Investigation Unit (GEDI), with local and international collaborations. This provides both clinical expertise, and a research capability to greater understand the genetic defects causing Ocular Disease. A database of Inherited Retinal and Optic nerve disease is established and now has over 1000 Probands.

Craig JE, Han X, Qassim A, Hassall M, Cooke Bailey JN, Kinzy TG, Khawaja AP, An J, Marshall H, Gharahkhani P, Igo RP, Graham SL, Healey PR, Ong J-S, Zhou T, Siggs O, Law MH, Souzeau E, Ridge B, Hysi PG, Burdon KP, Mills RA, Landers J, Ruddle JB, Agar A, Galanopoulos A, White AJR, Willoughby CE, Andrew NH, Best S, Vincent AL, Goldberg I, Radford-Smith G, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, Vitart V, Hoehn R, Wojciechowski R, Jonas JB, Aung T, Pasquale LR, Cree AJ, Sivaprasad S, Vallabh NA, Viswanathan AC, Pasutto F, Haines JL, Klaver CCW, van Duijn CM, Casson RJ, Foster PJ, Khaw PT, Hammond CJ, Mackey DA, Mitchell P, Lotery AJ, Wiggs JL, Hewitt AW, MacGregor S. Multitrait analysis of glaucoma identifies new risk loci and enables polygenic prediction of disease susceptibility and progression. Nature Genetics 2020; 52(2): 160-166.
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0556-y

Khan M, Cornelis SS, Del Pozo-Valero M, Whelan L, Runhart EH, Mishra K, Bults F, AlSwaiti Y, AlTalbishi A, De Baere E, Banfi S, Banin E, Bauwens M, Ben-Yosef T, Boon CJF, van den Born LI, Defoort S, Devos A, Dockery A, Dudakova L, Fakin A, Farrar GJ, Sallum JMF, Fujinami K, Gilissen C, Glavač D, Gorin MB, Greenberg J, Hayashi T, Hettinga YM, Hoischen A, Hoyng CB, Hufendiek K, Jägle, S Kamakari, M Karali, U Kellner, CCW Klaver, B Kousal, TM Lamey, IM MacDonald, A Matynia, TL McLaren H, Mena MD, Meunier I, Miller R, Newman H, Ntozini B, Oldak M, Pieterse M, Podhajcer OL, Puech B, Ramesar R, Rüther K, Salameh M, Salles MV, Sharon D, Simonelli F, Spital G, Steehouwer M, Szaflik JP, Thompson JA, Thuillier C, Tracewska AM, van Zweeden M, Vincent AL, Zanlonghi X, Liskova P, Stöhr H, De Roach JN, Ayuso C, Roberts L, Weber BHF, Dhaenens C-M, Cremers FPM. Resolving the Dark Matter of ABCA4 for 1054 Stargardt Disease Probands Through Integrated Genomics and Transcriptomics. Genetics in Medicine 2020.
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41436-020-0787-4

Dr Jie Zhang


Dr Jie Zhang

Dr Jie Zhang is a translational vision scientist. She uses her background in biomedical sciences to devise treatments for eye diseases. Her research interests include retinal degenerative diseases and corneal diseases, with a special focus on the use of tissue engineering and stem cells for corneal stromal and endothelial regeneration.

Zhang J, Ahmad AM, Ng H, Shi J, McGhee CNJ, Patel DV. Successful culture of human transition zone cells. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2020 (In press).    
https://doi.org/10.1111/ceo.13756
            
Zhang J, Crimmins D, Faed JM, Flanagan P, McGhee CNJ, Patel DV. Characteristics of platelet lysate compared to autologous and allogeneic serum eye drops. Translational Vision Science and Technology 2020; 9 (24): 1-8.
https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.4.24

Dr Mo Ziaei


Dr Mo Ziaei

Dr Ziaei is a cornea and anterior segment surgeon and a senior lecturer at Auckland University. He is currently involved in a number of projects evaluating the efficacy of various imaging and treatment modalities for corneal disorders such as keratoconus. He has also been evaluating the various properties of the corneal epithelium in patients with ectasia.

Ziaei M, Vellara HR, Gokul A, Ali NQ, McGhee CNJ, Patel DV. Comparison of corneal biomechanical properties following penetrating keratoplasty and deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty for keratoconus. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 2020; 48(2): 174‐182.
https://doi.org/10.1111/ceo.13677

Ziaei M, Vellara H, Gokul A, Patel D, McGhee CNJ. Prospective 2-year study of accelerated pulsed transepithelial corneal crosslinking outcomes for keratoconus. Eye 2019; 33(12): 1897‐1903.
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-019-0502-3