Professor Erica Fletcher receives esteemed American Academy of Optometry Award

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We are delighted to announce that Professor Erica Fletcher has been recognised with the internationally acclaimed American Academy of Optometry’s 2016 Glenn A. Fry Award and lecture.

The American Academy of Optometry annual awards recognise outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing the profession of optometry.

Professor Fletcher from the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, School of Biomedical Sciences is the Chair of the School’s Research Committee. She joined six international 2016 awardees from Hong Kong, Germany, United Kingdom and South Africa who received their awards in November 2016.

Dr Fletcher’s visual neuroscience research focusses on retinal diseases which are a major cause of blindness in the Western world, with few available treatments due to a lack of understanding of the underlying causes of the diseases.

“I have had an interest in how the retina functions since my PhD and was very fortunate to have some very helpful and important mentors who really developed my interest in understanding how the retina functions,” she said.

“Our recent work is studying a particular molecule that causes early disease and investigating whether a novel treatment could be useful in preventing the progression from early stages of age related macular degeneration to more the advanced diseased state.”

Professor Fletcher is regarded as one of the leaders in vision science and is a wonderful ambassador for women in science. Her contributions combine both research and clinical perspectives, and also extend to her leadership roles in optometry professional organisations and advisory groups, as well as medical and optometric education.

See commentary on Professor Fletcher's award on YouTube.