Distinguished Researcher Visits SOVS

Professor Colin Sheppard from the Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, visited School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS) earlier this year.  He joined the School through the Faculty of Science Visiting Research Fellowship scheme hosted by Dr Maitreyee Roy.

Professor Sheppard is a distinguished researcher in the field of 3D biomedical optical imaging and has numerous awards and patents. He invented the two-photon microscopy and published pioneering papers on high-resolution confocal microscopy. Whilst at Oxford University in the UK, he launched the first commercial confocal instrument in 1982. Nowadays the Confocal Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy has become a leading diagnostic tool in clinics worldwide. Professor Sheppard and Dr Roy worked on a collaborative research “Advances in Optical Imaging of the Eye” during his three weeks stay at SOVS.

Currently two main modern techniques for imaging of the cornea, and of the retina are optical coherence tomography (OCT) and confocal microscopy. Both are scanning techniques, which is a disadvantage for clinical imaging.

During his stay, Professor Sheppard, Dr Roy and the team developed a variant of OCT called Full-field OCT (FF-OCT) which avoids the necessity for scanning by using a detector array (CCD). The novelty of the system is the use of liquid crystal technology for fast switching angle geometric phase shifting that has improved the data acquisition time remarkably. They explored the possibility of extending the capability of present FF-OCT system by coupling two different imaging modalities such as polarisation and fluorescence imaging that will provide ocular tissue’s morphology, biological chemical properties, birefringence and depolarization at the same time.

Professor Sheppard presented two seminars whilst in Sydney.  One at the School of Optometry and Vision on “confocal microscopy: past, present and future” and also at the School of Physics on “tight focusing light”, both of which were well received by wider audience. During his stay, he interacted with SOVS staff, postdoctoral fellows, postgraduate students, and other Faculty members.

Colin and Maitreyee
 [Dr Maitreyee Roy and Professor Colin Sheppard]