Student opportunities

Satellite Imaging Technology to Detect the Early Signs of Glaucoma and Alzheimer’s Disease in the Retina

This research position is open to expressions of interest from PhD students.

Supervisors:  A/Prof Peter van Wijngaarden and Dr Xavier Hadoux
Suitable for: PhD


We aim to be the first group in the world to bring hyperspectral imaging, based on NASA satellite technology, to the clinic to improve the care of Australians with Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma and a range of retinal diseases. 400,000 Australians live with dementia and most have Alzheimer’s disease. Abnormal proteins accumulate in the brain and retina for 10-20 years before memory impairment, providing an opportunity for early detection and treatment. There are no screening tests for the earliest stages of the disease.

Similarly, glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss affecting 300,000 Australians. Early treatment can save vision, but late diagnosis is typical. The deposition of abnormal proteins in the retina in Alzheimer’s disease and structural changes in the nerve cells affected by glaucoma scatter light in characteristic ways which we can detect during the early stages of disease.

This project combines clinical imaging with advanced image analysis methods, including deep learning approaches. There is scope to collaborate with groups in Australia and internationally on artificial analysis approaches to imaging biomarker discovery and to be involved in the development of prototype imaging systems.

To learn more or apply for this opportunity, please email A/Prof Peter van Wijngaarden at peterv@unimelb.edu.au


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