PROF Erica Fletcher

PROF Erica Fletcher


  • Mechanisms of retinal disease (diabetic retinopathy, age related macular degeneration)
  • The structure and function of the mammalian retina and how it changes during diabetes and age related macular degeneration (retina, retinal degeneration, diabetic retinopathy)



  • Prof Erica Fletcher is a Professor of the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience and has over 15 years experience in ophthalmological research. She is a clinically trained optometrist who holds both MSc and PhD degrees, which was completed in 1996 investigating the neurochemical changes that occur in an animal model of retinal degeneration. Prof Fletcher’s postdoctoral training was undertaken with Prof. Dr. Heinz Wässle, at the Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany funded by an NHM&MRC CJ Martin Award. Prof Fletcher has been a tenured academic at The University of Melbourne since 2000. A central focus of Prof Fletcher’s work has been the translation of her work to address clinically significant questions and to aid in the development of better treatments for retinal disease. Prof Fletcher has received considerable research funding primarily from the NH&MRC and also a number of international funding agencies (e.g., Health Research Council, New Zealand, American Health Assistance Foundation), published widely in a range of high impact journals, whilst maintaining a teaching load and mentoring of research personnel. In addition Prof Fletcher serves on a number of editorial boards, provides leadership within optometry by serving on boards of management, as well as serving the research community through NHMRC grant review panels. In recognition of her excellence in vision research, Prof Fletcher was awarded the 2019 H Barry Collin Research Medal, the 2016 Glen Fry Award and the 2006 Irvin M and Beatrice Borish Award from the American Academy of Optometry. Prof Fletcher’s research interests remain primarily focussed on understanding the causes of retinal diseases.   


Member of

  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. member 1991 - 2009


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • GCOT, University of Melbourne 2001
  • PhD, University of Melbourne 1997
  • MScOptom, University of Melbourne 1992
  • BScOptom, University of Melbourne 1989

Awards and honors

  • Optometry Australia, 2019
  • American Academy of Optometry, 2016
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, 2014
  • Irvin M and Beatrice Borish Award, American Academy of Optometry, 2006
  • Dean's Award for Teaching, University of Melbourne, 2002



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • We are interested in assisting anyone interested in undertaking retinal research as part of a BSc(Hons), Masters or PhD program. We have a number of projects all designed to uncover novel mechanisms of disease leading to new treatments. projects include. All projects involve detailed structural, functional and molecular studies. -Project 1: Pharmacological and laser therapies for age related macular degeneration -Project 2: The mechanisms involved in diabetic retinopathy and macular oedema -Project 3: the role of innate immunity in retinal diseases