Melanie C. W. Campbell is currently a professor in the department of physics, University of Waterloo and is cross appointed to the school of optometry. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical physics from the University of Toronto and a Master of Science degree in physics from the University of Waterloo. An interest in the optical properties of the eye led to a Ph.D. from the Australian National University awarded jointly by the John Curtin school for medical research and the research school of physical sciences.
After 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow in Australia, a University research fellowship from the natural sciences and engineering research council of Canada enabled Dr. Campbell to join the University of Waterloo school of optometry. She currently teaches optics in the undergraduate physics curriculum, and has taught undergraduate and graduate optometry programs. She pursues research in optics of the eye, accommodation, presbyopia, refractive surgery, perfect correction of the eye and ophthalmic diagnostic and therapeutic instruments. Her current basic research interests and publications include defining the quality of the optical image formed on the retina; studying the optical properties of the crystalline lens and eye as a function of age and accommodation and evaluating the optical quality of the eye following laser refractive surgeries. Her basic research led to improved quality of clinical images of the fundus of the eye. The Waterloo confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope that was developed by Dr. Campbell's group gave the first live images of the cones of the human eye. This research in turn has led to the assessment of the optical design of projection systems and their interaction with the visual system. Future directions include perfect adaptable optical correction of the eye and the use of the high resolution confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (CSLO) to improve the understanding and treatment of age related macular degeneration
In 1993 and in 1994, Dr. Campbell was a Canadian association of physicists lecturer and she was a member of a study section of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, 1992-1996. In 1995, she was a distinguished visiting scholar at the Borisch Center for ophthalmic research, Indiana University. In 2004 she was awarded the Prestigious United Kingdom (UK) Rank Prize in optoelectronics. She is a fellow of the optical society of America.