Dr Jennifer Evans
BA(Cantab) MSc Phd
I have a Natural Sciences degree and have been working in Eyes and Vision since 1988, with a break to do my Masters in Epidemiology at LSHTM. For my masters project I analysed the causes of visual impairment for national blindness registration data. For my PhD, also at LSHTM, I assessed the prevalence and risk factors for age-related macular degeneration in the UK.
I have worked on a variety of projects including randomised controlled trials in Nigeria and Nepal (ivermectin for onchocerciasis and cataract surgery respectively). I have worked with Professor Barker's group in Southampton looking at early growth and age-related eye disease and with Professor Astrid Fletcher in the Epidemiology Unit on visual impairment in older people.
I teach on the MSc Public Health for Eye Care. I am a tutor on IDM301 Epidemiology and Control of Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries and EPM101 Fundamentals of Epidemiology. Both these modules are distance-based learning courses.
My main research interest is in the science of evidence synthesis. I am joint co-ordinating editor of Cochrane Eyes and Vision and I am a co-author on 32 systematic reviews on eyes and vision. These include reviews on interventions for age-related macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, onchocercal eye disease, keratoconus, trachoma and fungal keratitis. They range from simple intervention reviews to complex network meta-analyses. We are in the process of expanding into prognostic reviews in Cochrane Eyes and Vision and I am involved in introducing those methods to the group. With the clinical co-coordinating editors and managing editor I am responsible for ensuring the quality of all Cochrane Eyes and Vision reviews, implementing new methods, co-ordinating the editorial board, and facilitating collaborations with our US satellite and other organisations such as NICE, WHO, Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the College of Optometrists. The editorial board consists of a group of academic ophthalmologists, optometrists and statisticians at UK universities including St Andrews, Belfast, Liverpool and London. The US satellite is based at University of Colorado.
Following on from my PhD on age-related macular degeneration, I have developed work on nutrition and age-related macular degeneration. In particular, I have conducted systematic reviews on the role of antioxidant supplements in preventing and slowing the progression of AMD but also the role of omega-3 supplements. These reviews have featured in the American College of Physicians Journal club and in a blog hosted by Cochrane UK.
I contribute as an epidemiologist to a wide-range of departmental projects, including randomised controlled trials of glaucoma and refractive error in Africa and India and observational studies on glaucoma and disability. Collaboration with other clinicians and scientists have included work on diabetic eye disease with a focus on ethnic variation and factors affecting attending for screening.