Vision research

Impacting vision from cell to society

Students in the vision science graduate program at the University of Waterloo's School of Optometry and Vision Science specialize in one of the following areas:

Note: Research specializations will not go into effect until Fall 2024. Find a previous outline of faculty specializations here.

Dying cells lit up with light
Microscope diagram

Fundamental biosciences

Examining the processes that form the basis of vision.

  • Ocular research (physiology, anatomy, mechanisms of disease)
  • Technology development (drug delivery systems / materials research, optical devices and instruments)
  • Systems engineering (new imaging instruments, AI, innovations in visual function and disease detection)

Faculty conducting research in fundamental biosciences.

Students working in the virtual lab
Eye diagram with a horizontal line through it

Applied studies

Applying scientific discoveries made in the lab to the development of trials and studies.

  • Human clinical studies (myopia control, optical devices, amblyopia, med-tech)
  • Vision rehabilitation (low vision, amblyopia, traumatic brain injury / concussion)
  • Imaging mechanisms in human ocular disease (space-associated neuro syndrome, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma)
  • Knowledge translation, data science

Faculty conducting research in applied studies.

Children look at a dinosaur exhibit
Diagram of a cell with a human at the centre

Societal impact

Transforming scientific results into new treatments and approaches to care, improving the health of the population.

  • Education / knowledge mobilisation (public, optometric, interprofessional)
  • Quality of life (clinical care, service provision)
  • Equitable access to care (government policy, public health systems)
  • Tele-optometry / imaging / AI

Faculty conducting research in societal impact.

Further resources

In addition to this page, several of the faculty and research groups have their own websites: Research and lab groups.

This listing only includes the full-time School of Optometry and Vision Science faculty. Find cross-appointed and adjunct faculty listings here.

Venn diagram of the School's research pillars