Professor Kathryn Saunders PhD, FCOptom graduated from the University of Wales, Institute of Science and Technology (now Cardiff University) in 1988 with a first class honours in Ophthalmic Optics. She undertook her pre-registration year at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London and registered as a qualified optometrist in 1989. She has a PhD in Vision Science from Cardiff University and is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists.
Kathryn has a special interest in paediatric vision and visual development. Her research aims to provide improved methods for assessing and managing visual problems in children, particularly where developmental disability co-exists with vision deficits.
She has published over 70 peer reviewed scientific papers and she has attracted research funding from the Nuffield Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and other charitable organisations. Kathryn has been invited to deliver keynote lectures at research and professional conferences in the UK and Europe. She leads the Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction (NICER) Study, the largest prospective study of eyes and vision in childhood in the UK and Ireland, funded by Ulster University and the College of Optometrists.
Kathryn is currently Subject Lead for Optometry & Vision Science at Ulster University and coordinates and teaches on several undergraduate and postgraduate modules, including Paediatric Optometry and the Professional Certificate in Paediatric Eye Care, the only fully online professional short course in paediatric eye care accredited by the profession in the UK. She runs a paediatric/special needs visual assessment clinic in the Ulster Optometry Clinic, regularly providing eye care for pre-school children and those with special needs. This clinic also provides training to undergraduate optometry students.