Throughout my career, I have integrated the scientific tools of epidemiology with specific skills from clinical disciplines to carry out research at a high level that will make a difference to clinical practice. I studied diabetes-related complications as a PhD student at Monash and then carried out post-doctoral research in Europe, with strong collaborations in the United Kingdom and Finland. My current research interests focus on the epidemiology of micro- and macro-vascular complications associated with diabetes mellitus, with a focus on life course determinants.
The newly formed Ocular Epidemiology Unit that I head performs collaborative research drawing on expertise from the fields of optometry, endocrinology, ophthalmology and epidemiology. It is only by crossing fields that we are able to develop a cohesive picture of the physiological and pathological mechanisms of vision and eye disease associated with diabetes and systemic vascular disease, how these processes develop over a lifetime, what we can do to detect and manage them, and how these impact society more broadly. The unit has projects through a network of international collaborations that includes a diabetes prevention trial in India, a life course study on the impact of childhood growth patterns and latent cardiovascular risk factors on the microcirculation in adult life in Finland, and a new collaboration with St Vincent’s Hospital to study ‘in-vivo capillary-level investigations of early retinopathy in young people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus’. Our Unit is the first to analyse the retinal microvasculature, where all of life data is available and the birth cohorts have been genome wide scanned. I have received over $3.6 million in research funding as a named chief investigator on grants from three countries: Australia, the United Kingdom and Finland, including over $2.7 million in funding from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. My current H