Dr Laura Downie, BOptom, PhD, FAAO, is an optometrist and clinician scientist / lecturer at The University of Melbourne. She has established an international reputation as a leading clinical researcher with a strong research record supporting evidence-based practice. She was awarded an NHMRC Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) Fellowship in 2015, and received the Irvin M Borish Award from the American Academy of Optometry in 2014, being an international award that recognises an outstanding young clinician scientist.
In 2015 Dr Laura Downie was awarded a Blackmores Macular Disease Foundation Australia Research Grant for $100,000 over three years.
Dr Downie's research is entitled 'Advancing eye care for people with age-related macular degeneration through integrating clinical research and its translation'.
Project summary: To improve age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patient outcomes and reduce the substantial burden that this condition has both on individuals and the community necessitates an interdisciplinary approach combining the creation of new research evidence with its implementation into practice.
Using a multi-dimensional approach, this project integrates cutting-edge clinical AMD research with a national research translation program to advance the quality of eye care for Australians with AMD.
This will involve the development of a novel optometric clinical audit tool for optometrists and a standardised education program based on best practice to provide more consistent level of early diagnosis, improved referrals and guidance from optometrists to patients and their families.