Dietetics PhD student profile – Leanne Smewing

Leanne graduated from Plymouth University with a BSc (Hons) Optometry degree in 2014 and qualified as an Optometrist in 2015. She has experience working in hospital optometry, independent optometry practice, and large high street multiples. During her undergraduate degree Leanne became interested in the role between diet and ocular pathology, researching nutritional supplement recommendation in age-related macular degeneration as part of her undergraduate dissertation project.

Leanne’s PhD project is collaboration between the Optometry and Dietetics departments, with supervisors from each profession part of the research team. The PhD project will utilise recent advances in technology to explore the role that advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may play in the acceleration of ocular ageing, as well as in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease in the form of glaucomatous optic neuropathy. Both tissue-bound AGE and dietary AGE intake will be measured. The PhD is due for completion January 2019 and has been funded by the College of Optometrists.