University of Surrey academic awarded top fellowship
A researcher from the University of Surrey has been awarded one of the first ever Primer Fellowship Awards from Fight for Sight, a leading UK charity dedicated to pioneering eye research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease, in partnership with The Royal Society of Medicine.
Dr Marianne Coleman will receive a £60,000 grant to undertake research in pupil function and depth perception for people living with dementia, and investigate if changes are linked to the progression of dementia. If a connection is identified, simple tests of pupil function and depth perception could be used in the future as alternative ways of monitoring the condition.
Dr Coleman, Research Fellow and Orthoptist at the University of Surrey, said: “I am delighted to have received this award and am excited to work with Fight for Sight and the Royal Society of Medicine on this pioneering piece of research.
“Some types of sight loss are more common amongst people living with dementia, and it can be difficult for them to explain that something is not quite right with how they see things.
“The eyes are a window into our brain, so if we find these simple tests of depth perception and pupil size do link with changes in memory or how the brain looks on a scan, these non-invasive tests could be a different way of monitoring progression of dementia.” Research Fellow
Michele Acton, CEO of Fight for Sight, said: “To stop sight loss we need to engage the brightest eye health professionals in research. It has been a pleasure to work in partnership with both The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and The Royal Society of Medicine.”
Mr Christopher Bentley, President of the Ophthalmology Section at The Royal Society of Medicine, said: “'The RSM is one of the country's major providers of postgraduate medical education. I am delighted that the Ophthalmology Section is able to support a young vision scientist through our exciting new collaboration with Fight for Sight.”