The Medical Retina Laboratory at the School of Biomedical Sciences is located in the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) at QUT and part of the Institute's Vision Improvement Domain. The Research program of the Medical Retina Laboratory is centred on the development of diagnostic and technical procedures for detecting and monitoring retinal function.

The research centres on the understanding of neuroretinal and cellular function in the human eye with a focus on ageing and age-related maculopathy (ARM). Combinations of innovative functional, morphological and psychophysical techniques are applied. Clinical investigations consider methods for early detection, and monitoring of retinal eye disease. The research techniques include 4-primary photostimulator, microperimetry, macular pigment optical densitometry, pupillography, multifocal electroretinography and optical coherence tomography.

Read details

Research leader
Research team
QUT External collaborators

National Collaborators

  • Prof Ravi Thomas (Ophthalmologist, Queensland Eye Institute)
  • Dr Amanda Greaves (Ophthalmologist, Terrace Eye Centre)

International Collaborators

  • A/Prof Dingcai Cao (University of Chicago, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, USA)
  • Prof Jan Kremers (University of Erlangen, Department of Ophthalmology, Germany)
  • Prof Anton Haas (Medical University of Graz, Austria, Department of Ophthalmology)
  • Priv.-Doz Dietmar Mattes (Medical University of Graz, Austria, Department of Ophthalmology)
  • Prof Robert Hess (McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Organisational unit
Lead unit Faculty of Health Other units
Research areas


The Medical Retina laboratory team has demonstrated pioneering achievements in the detection of visual function deficits in persons genetically at risk but with no clinical signs of age-related maculopathy (Feigl, Cao, Morris & Zele, 'Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science', 2011). The group is also the first to describe basic functional mechanisms of intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells, their circadian properties (Zele, Feigl, Smith, Markwell, 'PLoS ONE', 2011) and their clinical function in eye disease such as glaucoma (Feigl, Mattes, Thomas, Zele, 'Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science', 2011).

Current research programs

  • Vision biomarkers in age-related maculopathy (ARM) and their role in early detection
  • Interaction of genetics and environment in ARM
  • Intrinsically photosensitive ganglion cells, basic cell mechanisms and their role in retinal and optic nerve disease
  • Hypoxia and neuroretinal function
  • Independent control of local response of the human retinal photoreceptors