• Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

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Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Julie-Anne Little is Associate Research Director for the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute. 

She is a Senior Lecturer in Optometry and Vision Science.  As a GOC registered optometrist, she has worked in hospital optometry in England and undertook a post-doctoral research fellowship within The Royal Group of Hospitals, Belfast, prior to taking up her lectureship position at Ulster University.

As Optometry and Vision Science Research Group Leader, her research interests include the developing visual system and the impact of intellectual disability, particularly Down syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disorders including autism, on vision. She is also interested in how the structure of the eye impacts on functional vision, and is currently leading a project investigating the use of Ocular coherence tomography to image the crystalline lens and better quantify cataract.  She has supervised PhD and MSc students, and been awarded significant grant funding from a variety of sources.   Julie-Anne has been awarded the College of Optometrists Neill Charman Medal for outstanding research. She was returned in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, and has produced research outputs making an important knowledge contribution not only to paediatric vision, but also to aspects of vision in special needs populations; including Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Julie-Anne has collaborative links with International researchers and clinicians. She is past-President of the European Council of Optometry and Optics, and Deputy Chairman of the Association of Optometrists.  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

External positions

Chairman, Association of Optometrists

Jun 2021Jun 2023

Educational Visitor, General Optical Council


Chairman European Qualifications Board, European Council of Optometry and Optics


  • RE Ophthalmology
  • optometry
  • vision
  • cataract
  • down syndrome
  • autism
  • amblyopia
  • hyperopia


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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