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Personal profile




Dr Doina Gherghel is an academic ophthalmologist with a large research and teaching portfolios. She is  the founder of Aston's Vascular Imaging and Research Laboratory, the first UK laboratory dedicated to investigating the role of both systemic and ocular circulation in the onset and progression of ocular and systemic vascular disease. The lab also provides personalised risk assessment for early detection of cardiovascular disease risk. 

Research Interests

  • Systemic and ocular circulation in health and disease
  • Personalised medicine
  • Individual risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Ageing and vascular health
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension- early risk markers
  • Obesity and vascular health
  • Alzheimer disease: ocular circulation and endothelial function
  • Alzheimer's disease: vision correction and cognitive function
  • Circadian rhythms in human circulation  
  • Intra-ocular drug delivery systems
  • Psychological aspects of vision care

Research Projects/Collaborations

Teaching Activity


  • Sept 2012-2017,  BMEC Honorary Assistant Specialist (glaucoma)
  • Sept 2009-to date Heart of England NHS Trust- Honorary Assistant Specialist (glaucoma)
  • 2006: PhD, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University
  • 2004-to date: Aston University: Lecturer in Ophthalmology
  • 2004-2005: Medici Fellow (Technology Transfer Fellowship)
  • 2004-to date: Research Consultant, Aston Academy of Life Sciences
  • 2001-2004: Honorary Trust Fellow, Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust, Birmingham, UK
  • 2001-2004: Research Fellow, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University
  • 1998-2000: Glaucoma Research Fellow, University Eye Clinic, Basel, Switzerland
  • 1999: Doctor, Ophthalmology, University Eye Clinic Iasi, Romania
  • 1995-1998: Registrar in Ophthalmology, University Eye Clinic Iasi, Romania
  • 1988-1994: University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Iasi, Romania

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • General Medical Council, Specialist Register in Ophthalmology
  • Alzheimer’s Research Trust, Midlands Network
  • Glaucoma Society (UK and EIRE)
  • European Glaucoma Society (EGS)
  • Association of Ocular Blood Flow
  • SFHEA, Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

PhD Supervision

  • Marie-Curie Post Doctoral Research  Fellow: Dr Andras Joo (Marie Curie Fellow). September 2016-to date. Project: INVeST: Individual Vascular Signature and risk factors for cardiovascular Disease: (funded by the EU Marie Curie Individual Fellowship, 2016)
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow: Dr Alexandra Benevente-Perez: October 2007-December 2008. Project: Glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease: vascular associations with multiple neurodegenerative consequences (funded by Alzheimer’s Research Trust-ART)
  • Post Doctoral Research Fellow: Dr Helen Smith (2005-2006). Project: New drug delivery system for the treatment of POAG 
  • PhD: Hala Shokr: INVITE: INdividual Vascular IdenTity; Early Detection of Vascular Complications in Asymptomatic Pregnant Women at Risk of Pre-Eclampsia
  • PhD: Ihab Nassra (Associate supervisor, computer Sciences student): An Integrated Machine Learning Approach for Cardiovascular Diseases Risk Prediction based on Retinal Vascular Analysis
  • PhD: Cemma Ramful (just enrolled in October): PRECEDE: PREdicting CognitivE DEcline in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) using retinal functional and structural biomarkers
  • PhD: Mr Said Karimzad October 2013-to 2017: Ocular health and cardiovascular risk in obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery
  • PhD:  Ms Karma Mohamed Gaber Fathalla; July 2012-to 2019. Project: Investigating the use of machine learning and data mining techniques in determining the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • PhD:  Ms Swathi Seshadri; January 2012-January 2015. Project: Individual vascular signature for cardiovascular risk 
  • PhD:  Ms Stephanie Mroczkowska: Janury 2009- January 2012. Project: Ocular and systemic vascular dysfunction in glaucoma and Alzheimer's disease 
  • PhD: Ms Lu Qin: April 2008-November 2011. Project: The effect of ageing on vascular health
  • PhD: Mr Sunni Patel: October 2007-May 2011. Project: Ethnic differences in endothelial function in subjects at risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • PhD: Ms Rebekka Heitmar , October 2005- November 2008. Project: Retinal and systemic vascular reactivity in health and disease
  • Ophthalmic Doctorate project: Mrs Catherine Collin, October 2009-to date:   Evaluation of the optic disc parameters in a normal population in the daily optometric practice : Effect of age, refractive error, , intraocular pressure, blood pressure, and ethnicity.

Contact Details

Email:  d.gherghel@aston.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0) 121 204 4120

Fax: +44 (0) 121 204 4220

Education/Academic qualification


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Doina Gherghel is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Retinal Artery Medicine & Life Sciences

Research Output 2000 2019

Retinal and peripheral vascular function in healthy individuals with low cardiovascular risk

Karimzad, S. E., Shokr, H. & Gherghel, D., 1 Nov 2019, In : Microvascular Research. 126, 103908.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Retinal Vessels
Blood Vessels
Blood pressure
Lipid Metabolism

Partially Lazy Classification of Cardiovascular Risk via Multi-way Graph Cut Optimization

Fathalla, K. M., Ekárt, A. & Gherghel, D., 28 Aug 2018, In : Procedia Computer Science. 126, p. 576-585 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

Open Access
Genetic algorithms
Acoustic waves

Retinal vascular function in asymptomatic individuals with a positive family history of cardiovascular disease

Seshadri, S., Karimzad, S., Shokr, H. & Gherghel, D., 1 Dec 2018, In : Acta Ophthalmologica. 96, 8, p. e956-e962

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Retinal Vessels
Cardiovascular Diseases
Lipid Metabolism

Cardiovascular risk prediction based on retinal vessel analysis using machine learning

Fathalla, K., Ekárt, A., Seshadri, S. & Gherghel, D., 6 Feb 2017, 2016 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, SMC 2016 - Conference Proceedings. IEEE, p. 880-885 6 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Learning systems
Machine Learning

Ageing effect on flicker-induced diameter changes in retinal microvessels of healthy individuals

Seshadri, S., Ekart, A. & Gherghel, D., Feb 2016, In : Acta Ophthalmologica. 94, 1, p. e35-e42

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Retinal Vessels
Carotid Intima-Media Thickness


Autonomic dysfunction and systemic oxidative stress associated with glaucomatous optic neuropathy

Author: Gherghel, D., 2004

Supervisor: Hosking, S. L. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Ocular and systemic markers for vascular function in those at risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease

Author: Patel, S. R., May 2011

Supervisor: Gibson, J. M. (Supervisor) & Gherghel, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Ocular and systemic vascular alterations in overweight and obese individuals undergoing weight-loss interventions

Author: Karimzad, S., 15 Aug 2018

Supervisor: Gherghel, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Ocular and systemic vascular dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease

Author: Mroczkowska, S., 3 May 2012

Supervisor: Gherghel, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Ocular and systemic vascular function in human ageing

Author: Qin, L., 30 May 2012

Supervisor: Gherghel, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy