Ophthalmic Epidemiology Group

Research Overview

Led by Professor Mingguang He, the Ophthalmic Epidemiology group conduct clinical and epidemiologic research in eye and vision-related diseases including myopia, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, twin studies and relevant instruments and technologies.

Current projects include longitudinal studies on large cohorts which aim to investigate eye biomarker and phenotypes as predictors for important life events. The group has established the first Chinese High Myopia Registry consisting of over 1,000 individuals with high myopia. Long-term follow up studies aim to understand the natural history and risk factors for progression and the development of retinal damage. Another ongoing study is a twin registry of 9,000 pairs of young twins. Most of the twins were examined annually since 2006 and genome-wide scan has been completed for all samples now.

Prof. He's group is running a clinical trial on prophylaxis of angle closure in Chinese people where he enrolled 890 participants with angle closure and lasered one-randomly selected eye.

The group have also completed a clinical trial on the impact of outdoor intervention on the control of myopia, of which the significant findings have been reported in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The group is also working on inventing devices that facilitate the diagnosis and surgery of eye disease


Dr Andreas Muller Deputy Director of WHO Collaborating Centre

Dr Fei Long Project Manager

Dr Jianbin Liu Research Assistant

Dr Sumit Parikh Research Assistant

Ms Kathy Fortis Research Assistant

Ms Liying Li Research Assistant

Dr William Yan M.D student


Prof Yizhi Liu, Zhongshan Ophthalmic Centre, Sun Yat-sen University

Prof Paul Foster, Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London

Prof David Mackey, Lions Eye Institute, University of Western Australia

Prof Tin Aung, Glaucoma Department, Singapore National Eye Centre

Prof Tien Wong, Vitreo-Retinal Department, Singapore National Eye Centre

Prof Ian Morgan, Research School of Biology, Australian National University

Prof David Friedman, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University

Prof Nathan Congdon, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK

Dr Leon B. Ellwein, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, United States

Assoc Prof Ying Chau, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Assoc Prof Ching-Yu Cheng, Glaucoma Department , Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore


Development of an automated web-based screening system for eye diseases. BUPA Health Foundation, 2015-2018.

Key International Cooperative Research Project. National Natural Science Foundation, 2015-2019.

Scientific and Technological Innovation Leader. Ministry of Science and Technology, 2015-2017.

Intelligent Retinal Camera Project. Australian Cooperative Research Centre. 2013-2015.

Distinguished Young Scholar Award. National Natural Science Foundation, 2011-2015.

Development of preventive ophthalmology. State Key Laboratory Fund, State Science and Technology & Ministry of Education. 2009-2019.

Zhongshan Angle-closure Prevention Trial. Fight for Sight, UK 2008-2011.

Refractive error intervention program in China (ChildSight®).  Michael Dell Susan Foundation. 2008-2010.

Guangzhou Twin Eye Study: Progression of myopia and genetic determinants. National Natural Scientific Committee 2007-2010.

Guangzhou Twin Eye Study. Sino-Australia Special Fund 2007-2008.

Prophylactic treatment and natural history of angle closure. Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET), Ministry of Education, 2007-2010.

Prophylactic treatment and natural history of angle closure. Project 5010, Sun Yat-sen University, 2006-2016.

Guangzhou Twin Eye Study. Department of Science and Technology, Guangzhou City Government. 2005-2008.

Prophylactic treatment of angle closure glaucoma. Department of Science and Technology, Guangdong Provincial Government 2005

Refractive Error Study in School-aged children in Guangzhou & Yangxi. World Health Organization, Geneva and National Eye Institute, USA N01-EY-9-2103. (2003-2004).

Research Outcomes

Nongpiur ME, Sakata LM, Friedman DS, He M, Chan YH, Lavanya R, Wong TY, Aung T. Novel association of smaller anterior chamber width with angle closure in Singaporeans. Ophthalmology 2010;117:1967-1973.

Wang B, Sakata LM, Friedman DS, Chan YH, He M, Lavanya R, Wong TY, Aung T. Quantitative iris parameters and association with narrow angles. Ophthalmology 2010;117:11-17.

Amerasinghe N, Zhang J, Thalamuthu A, He M, Vithana EN, Viswanathan A, Wong TY, Foster PJ, Aung T. The heritability and sibling risk of angle closure in Asians. Ophthalmology 2011;118:480-485.

Nongpiur ME, He M, Amerasinghe N, Friedman DS, Tay WT, Baskaran M, Smith SD, Wong TY, Aung T. Lens vault, thickness, and position in Chinese subjects with angle closure. Ophthalmology 2011;118:474-479.

Wang D, Huang W, Li Y, Zheng Y, Foster PJ, Congdon N, He M. Intraocular pressure, central corneal thickness, and glaucoma in chinese adults: the liwan eye study. American journal of ophthalmology 2011;152:454-462 e451.

How AC, Baskaran M, Kumar RS, He M, Foster PJ, Lavanya R, Wong HT, Chew PT, Friedman DS, Aung T. Changes in anterior segment morphology after laser peripheral iridotomy: an anterior segment optical coherence tomography study. Ophthalmology 2012;119:1383-1387.

Sng CC, Foo LL, Cheng CY, Allen JC, Jr., He M, Krishnaswamy G, Nongpiur ME, Friedman DS, Wong TY, Aung T. Determinants of anterior chamber depth: the Singapore Chinese Eye Study. Ophthalmology 2012;119:1143-1150.

Tan GS, He M, Zhao W, Sakata LM, Li J, Nongpiur ME, Lavanya R, Friedman DS, Aung T. Determinants of lens vault and association with narrow angles in patients from Singapore. American journal of ophthalmology 2012;154:39-46.

Nongpiur ME, Gong T, Lee HK, Perera SA, Cheng L, Foo LL, He M, Friedman DS, Aung T. Subgrouping of primary angle-closure suspects based on anterior segment optical coherence tomography parameters. Ophthalmology 2013;120:2525-2531.

Nongpiur ME, Haaland BA, Friedman DS, Perera SA, He M, Foo LL, Baskaran M, Sakata LM, Wong TY, Aung T. Classification algorithms based on anterior segment optical coherence tomography measurements for detection of angle closure. Ophthalmology 2013;120:48-54.

Ma X, Zhou Z, Yi H, Pang X, Shi Y, Chen Q, Meltzer ME, le Cessie S, He M, Rozelle S, Liu Y, Congdon N. Effect of providing free glasses on children's educational outcomes in China: cluster randomized controlled trial. BMJ (Clinical research ed) 2014;349:g5740.

Nongpiur ME, Haaland BA, Perera SA, Friedman DS, He M, Sakata LM, Baskaran M, Aung T. Development of a score and probability estimate for detecting angle closure based on anterior segment optical coherence tomography. American journal of ophthalmology 2014;157:32-38 e31

Zhou Z, Ma X, Yi H, Pang X, Shi Y, Chen Q, Meltzer ME, Price-Sanchez C, He M, Rozelle S, Morgan I, Congdon N. Factors Underlying Different Myopia Prevalence between Middle- and Low-income Provinces in China. Ophthalmology 2015;122:1060-1062.