Melanie Campbell

Melanie Campbell
Location: PHY 353
Phone: 519 888-4567 ext. 46273


Dr. Campbell leads a highly multidisciplinary research group where they study ocular development, eye disease, and linear and non-linear optics of the eye. They investigate the fundamental refractive properties of the eye's components to improve diagnosis and therapy for various ocular conditions.

Research Interests

  • Imaging for Type 1 Diabetes
  • Alzheimer Diagnosis
  • Imaging of the Rear of the Eye
  • Optical Properties of the Eye
  • Changes in the Eye's Optical Properties
  • Two Photon Therapies
  • Clinical Imaging
  • Technology and Optics
  • Disease Detection and Modeling
  • Optical Systems

Scholarly Research

Analysis of the blur of the optical image on the retina and factors influencing this blur. Maintenance of image quality with growth and accommodation. Presbyopia. Changes in optical quality of the eye following refractive surgery (PRK). Influence of optical blur on ophthalmic instrument performance. Improved optical diagnostic and therapeutic ophthalmic instrumentation. Of particular interest is the gradient of refractive index within the crystalline lens of the eye and efforts have concentrated both on measuring this distribution and on modeling the resulting optical quality of the lens and eye. Maintenance of optical image quality during growth and accommodative changes is being investigated. A sophisticated optical design program (Code V) is used to predict optical image quality on the surface of the retina corresponding to different locations in the visual field, and to investigate the influence of the pupil and of optical component tilt and decentration. The blur on the retina of the human eye is being measured using psychophysical methods and an improved objective Hartmann-Shack technique. Monochromatic aberrations (spherical aberration and coma) and longitudinal and transverse chromatic aberrations are measured using novel techniques. The influence of pupil size and position and accommodative state on image quality is being investigated. Conditions for optimal image quality for the viewing of structures in the eye are being investigated and instrumentation developed both to indicate the optimum and to improve image quality. Future measurements will investigate the optical quality of the crystalline lens with age and as the ciliary muscle contracts to focus at near and resulting changes in the eye's optical image quality. Assessment of the type and amount of aberration present will allow the separation of the contributions of the optical elements and the pupil to optical quality. This will simplify the analysis of changes in optical quality with changes in pupil size, accommodative state and age. The first anatomically-based lens and eye models which accurately predict measured optical performance are currently being developed. An improved technique for measuring the optical quality of the eye will be used to assess the comparative performance of uncorrected eyes and eyes corrected with spectacles, contact lenses and surgery. The influence of the optical quality of the eye on ophthalmic instrumentation is being explored and methods of improving the resolution of the eye-instrument combinations continue to be developed (including the use of adaptive optics). A new high resolution confocal scanning laser microscope/ophthalmoscope has been constructed and is being used to explore changes in the structures at the rear of the eye in the healthy eye and early in disease progression.


  • 1989 Postdoctorate in Mathematics and Statistics, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1989 Postdoctorate in Physiology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • 1982 PhD Applied Maths and Physiology, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • 1977 MSc Physics, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • 1975 BSc Chemistry and Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


  • 2015, Women of Distinction Award, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
  • 2014, Canadian Association of Physicists L'institut National d'Optique Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Applied
  • Photonics, Canadian Association of Physicists
  • 2008-2011, University Research Chair, University of Waterloo
  • 2008, Professional Physicist, Canadian Association of Physicists
  • 2007, Outstanding Performance Award, University of Waterloo
  • 2004, Rank Prize in Optoelectronics, Rank Prize Association

Professional Associations

  • 2015-2018 Optical Society of America - Chair, International Council; Member, Board of Directors
  • 2014-2017, Commission on Biological Physics, Elected Member
  • 2014-2017, International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), Elected Member
  • 2014-2017, Canadian National Liaison Committee International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, Member
  • 2014-2015, CAP Lecturer, Canadian Association of Physicists
  • 2014, Conference Advisory Committee, Women In Physics Canada
  • 2013-2014, Local Organizing Committee, International Conference for Women in Physics (IUPAP)
  • 2013, 24th Annual Distinguished Clair Bobier Lecture in Vision Science, University of Waterloo
  • 2013-2014, Member, Applications of Visual Science Technical Group, ARVO
  • 2013 Canadian Association of Physicists - CAP Faculty Advisor; Canadian American Mexican 2013 Physics Grad Student Conference; Member, Local Organizing Committee; Member, Canadian Organizing Committee
  • 2012-2015, Member CIHR Collaborative Health Research Projects Grant Committee (NSERC partnered, CHRP), Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • 2012-2015, Member, International Council, Optical Society of America
  • 2012-2013, Victoria University Life Size Banner, Distinguished Graduate, Victoria University
  • 2008-2011, Trustee, Educational Trust Fund, Canadian Association of Physicists
  • 2008-2015, Member, Science Policy Committee, Canadian Association of Physicists
  • 2007-2011, Elected Topical Vice Chair and Chair Vision and Colour Division, Optical Society of America
  • 2007-2012, Program Committee, OSA Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics
  • 2006, Lifetime Fellow, Institute of Physics, United Kingdom
  • 2006-2009, Member, Scientific and Engineering Council, Optical Society of America
  • 2006-2007, Councillor, American Physical Society
  • 2006-2008, Chair, Division of Optics and Photonics, Canadian Association of Physicists
  • 2006-2009, Elected Member, Program Committee Vision Meeting, Optical Society of America
  • 2005-2006, Program Chair, Annual Meeting, Canadian Association of Physicists
  • 2004-2008 Canadian Association of Physicists - Vice President Elect, Vice President; President, Past President
  • 2004, Scientific Advisor, Pfizer
  • 2002-2006, Elected Program Committee, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • 2002, Biophotonics Conference Chair, OPTO Canada, SPIE
  • 2001-2005, Chair, Division of Optics and Photonics, Canadian Association of Physicists
  • 2000, Lifetime Fellow, Optical Society of America

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • 2014-2017 Cross Appointed to Optometry & Vision Science
  • Member, Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
  • Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology


  • PHYS 224 - Electricity and Magnetism for Life and Medical Physics
    • Taught in 2020, 2022
  • PHYS 256 - Geometrical and Physical Optics
    • Taught in 2020, 2021
  • PHYS 490 - Special topics in Physics
    • Taught in 2019
  • PHYS 491 - Special Topics in Life, Medical and Biophysics
    • Taught in 2021

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Vincent A, Wright T, Garcia-Sanchez Y, Kisilak ML, Campbell MCW, Westall C, Héon E. (2013) Phenotypic Characteristics Including In Vivo Cone Photoreceptor Mosaic in KCNV2-Related "Cone Dystrophy with Supernormal Rod Electroretinogram”. IOVS. 54(1), 898-908.
  • Campbell MCW, Bunghardt K, Kisilak ML, Irving EL. (2012) Diurnal Rhythms of Spherical Refractive Error, Optical Axial Length and Power in the Chick. IOVS, 53(10), 6245-53.
  • Kisilak ML, Bunghardt K, Hunter JJ, Irving EL, Campbell MCW (2012) Longitudinal in vivo imaging of cones in the alert chicken. Optom. Vis. Sci. 89(5), 644-51.
  • Hunter JJ, Campbell MCW, Kisilak ML, Irving EL (2009) Retinal blur in development: Comparison of eye growth models to experimental data. J. Vis. 9(6),12, 1-20.
  • Bueno JM, Cookson CJ, Kisilak ML, Campbell MCW (2009) Enhancement of confocal microscopy images using Mueller-matrix polarimetry. J. Microsc. 235(1), 84-93.


  • Campbell, M.C.W., 2010. Methods for imaging amyloid beta in the retina of the eye in association with Alzheimer’s disease. [US Provisional Patent ] Patent number 9,149,184, filed May 5, 2010 (issued, 2013).
  • Campbell, M.C.W., Bueno, J.M., 2007. Method and apparatus for improved fundus imaging through choice of light polarization. [International PCT and US Provisional Patent] Patent number 8,282,211, filed May 3, 2007 (issued, 2009); [European Regional Phase and US National Phase] Patent number 2009310083, filed December 17, 2009.
  • Bueno, J.M., Campbell, M.C.W., 2005. Method and apparatus for imaging using polarimetry and matrix based image reconstruction. [US Patent Office] Patent number 6,927,888, filed May 13, 2003, (issued, 2005); [Canadian Patent Office] Patent number 2,407,918, filed May 13, 2003 (issued, 2014).
  • Bueno, J.M., Campbell, M.C.W., 2002. Confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy using Mueller-matrix polarimetry. [US Provisional Patent].

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