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Anita graduated in Orthoptics in 1990 and after a period in clinical practice, returned to academia obtaining a Masters in Public Health and Community Medicine from Glasgow University in 1993 and a PhD investigating Visual Function in Amblyopia from Glasgow Caledonian University in 1997.
She has a wealth of postdoctoral research experience both nationally and internationally, and held a prestigious MRC Fellowship at the Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL. She has been a lecturer in the Department of Optometry and Visual Science, City University, and had honorary positions with the Medical School, Imperial College and Moorfields Eye Hospital. More recently Professor Simmers has taken up a senior faculty position in Vision Sciences, Department of Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University.
Prof Simmers has published extensively in the field of amblyopia and the psychophysical assessment of visual function, her research work is highly cited along with a proven track record of obtaining independent research income and of managing successful research collaborations both nationally and internationally. Anita sits on an editorial board, is a reviewer for 14 International journals and 5 grant funding bodies. She is also a founding member of Glasgow Neuroscience - an academic and clinical community that aims to stimulate and improve neuroscience across Glasgow with the aim to share ideas, expertise and foster local collaboration.
“First and foremost I am a clinician who is passionate about visual neuroscience and the interface between clinical and laboratory research. My research makes excellent translational use of my combination of clinical knowledge, as a trained orthoptist, and research skills in visual psychophysics. All my investigations are non-invasive, as well as adding to basic science they also provides critical information on the clinical management of a common eye condition, in the long-term I hope to develop successful treatment/training strategies for a range of visual disorders,” Prof. Simmers says.
Presently Professor Simmers is research group lead for the Vision Research Group, in the Institute for Applied Health Research within GCU. The VNRG carries out fundamental and strategic research about the human visual system. It brings together individual researchers and their research groups through a broad range of studies and techniques that reflect the diversity and originality of all aspects of vision research.
The purpose of this clinic is to allow final year undergraduate optometry students to gain expertise in the diagnosis and management of ocular motility disorders in both an adult and pediatric population. Due to the translational nature of my research this provides an ideal opportunity to consolidate advances in the research arena, which translate, to the clinical domain.
I actively encourage students to develop their own innovative ideas or for those who prefer a more prescriptive approach I offer a wide range of topics. I hold regular meetings with all my students to monitor progress, discuss research-related issues and offer advice when-ever needed.
Knox PJ, Ledgeway T and Simmers AJ. The effects of spatial offset, temporal offset and image speed on sensitivity to global motion in human amblyopia. Vision Research 86, 59-65 (2013).
Greenwood, JA, Tailor, VK, Sloper, JJ, Simmers, AJ, Bex, PJ and Dakin, SC. Visual acuity, crowding, and stereo-vision are linked in children with and without amblyopia. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 53(12), 7655-7665 (2012).
Knox PJ, Simmers AJ, and Gray LS. An exploratory study: Prolonged periods of binocular stimulation can provide an effective treatment in childhood amblyopia. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 53, 817-824 (2012).
Simmers AJ, Ledgeway T, Hutchinson CV and Knox PJ. Visual deficits in amblyopia constrain normal models of second-order motion processing. Vision Research 51, 2008-2020 (2011).