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Our Team

The UKNEHS is a group of individuals and organisations from across the sensory loss, healthcare and charity sectors united by the common goal to provide high quality data that will improve lives.

Meet our leadership team below:

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins

Chair - Executive Board

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The UKNEHS team were deeply saddened by the death of Professor Sir Michael Rawlins at the start of 2023. He was a generous supporter of the UKNEHS project, and his leadership in health research will be sorely missed.  


Chair - Steering Committee

Raj Mehta

Since retiring from BP, where he held various senior leadership posts in the areas of procurement and IT, Raj has been pursuing his passion in raising awareness and promoting the capabilities of disabled people. Indeed, being blind himself, Raj brings a unique and diverse perspective to the many roles he currently holds within the health and voluntary sectors, serving as an advisor, non-executive director, trustee, mentor and trainer.

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Professor Rupert Bourne BSc FRCOphth MD 

Chief Investigator

Rupert Bourne is Professor of Ophthalmology at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Cambridge University Hospital, where he directs the Cambridge Eye Research Centre. He trained at Moorfields Eye Hospital and undertook two Glaucoma fellowships, one there and another at the Shiley Eye Centre/Hamilton Glaucoma Center in San Diego, California. He has a strong research interest, particularly in advanced techniques of Glaucoma diagnosis and progression and the management of Glaucoma in the community, along with overseas ophthalmology which has involved design and analysis of several large population-based surveys of eye disease, several national in scope, eg. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Trinidad.


Rupert is the Chair of the National Institute for Health Research Ophthalmology Specialty Group, responsible for NHS research delivery. In his role as Coordinator of the Vision Loss Expert Group of the Global Burden of Disease Study, he has overseen the long-term research into the world-wide prevalence rates of blindness and visual impairment, in partnership with the World Health Organization. He is Chief Investigator for the UK National Eye Health and Hearing Study due to start later this year.


Professor Adrian Davis OBE FFPH FSS FRSM HonD (Montreal) HonFFHCS

Specialist Advisor (Hearing & Population Health)

Professor Adrian Davis was the Director of Population Health Science at Public Health England. He advised the Chief Scientific Officer at NHS England on NHS Audiology Services. He was responsible for the strategy of burden of disease programme for England and advised the Global Burden of Disease programme on hearing and related health issues. He is a member of the scientific council for Global Burden of Disease Programme. 
He was the first Director of the Newborn Hearing and Infant Physical Examination Screening Programme (NIPE) where he had overall responsibility for all aspects of the Programmes. Adrian has been involved in the transformation and evaluation of NHS services across a variety of settings.  He has a major interest in innovation and how the Public Health and NHS healthcare workforce can better use knowledge, information and technologies to transform and improve health, service quality and patient experience. Adrian has also been the Department of Health lead advisor on Physiological Diagnostics and Audiology. He recently received a Department of Health lifetime achievement award for his scientific contribution to healthcare in the NHS and has published 250+ articles, chapters and books about his research and associated service development. 
Adrian was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2007 for his services to healthcare. Adrian was an honorary professor in Hearing and Communication at The Ear Institute at University College London (UCL) and previously worked as an epidemiologist for the UK Medical Research Council for 25 years and as Professor of Hearing and Communication at Manchester University for six years. He is now owner director of AD CAVE Solutions Limited which is a consultancy and research company based in London.

Mr Richard Wormald MA (Cantab) MB BChir (Cantab) MSc (LSHTM) FRCS (GLASGOW) FRCOphth

Co-Chief Investigator 

Richard Wormald has been a consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital since 1994, and prior to that at the Western Eye Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Ophthalmology University College London, and at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Richard trained in ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital with FRCS Glasgow in 1984 and FRCOphth in 1986. He trained in Medicine and Surgery at Cambridge University and the London Hospital 1977 and completed a Masters in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1988.

Richard has 25 years experience in epidemiology of eye health both nationally and internationally including experience of the preservation and analysis of data from the blind and partial sight registers and now CVI data for England and Wales. Richard has served as a medical advisory trustee for two major international NGOs for the prevention of blindness – Sight Savers International from 1998-2006 and Fred Hollows (UK) from 2010 until present. He is a Trustee for Vision UK and the British Council for the Prevention of Blindness


Richard is a world leader in evidence based ophthalmology as Coordinating Editor of the Cochrane Eyes and Vision group, which produces high quality systematic reviews informing guidelines and policy. He has been a council member of the RCOphth and is now a member of their scientific committee.

Richard has a well established track record in ophthalmic clinical and population based research with more than 200 published research papers, which have been influential on major sight loss issues. Richard was a Steering Committee member for the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership for Sight Loss and Vision.

Dr Tasanee Braithwaite MA MPH MRCP FRCOphth DM


Dr Tas Braithwaite is an academic ophthalmologist specialising in inflammatory eye disease and neuro-ophthalmology. Her current clinical practice is at Moorfields Eye Hospital and King’s College Hospital, in London. She is part-funded by patient charity Olivia’s Vision, and is working closely with Professor Alastair Denniston and others, to develop novel, patient focused digital approaches for the diagnosis and management of inflammatory eye disease.


Tas is working on the design of the UKNEHS, to ensure this vitally important project delivers ‘bang for buck’. She trained in epidemiology and health economics, gaining a Master in Public Health degree and Health Economics certificate from Johns Hopkins University in the USA, and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Oxford. She led the successful National Eye Survey of Trinidad and Tobago (2013-2014), and contributes to the Global Burden of Disease Study, as a member of the Vision Loss Expert Group. She has served as a Consultant to the World Health Organisation, and is a Contact Editor for Cochrane Eyes and Vision.

Professor Shahina Pardan


In 2001 Shahina joined Anglia Polytechnic University as the first female professor of Optometry in the UK. In 2009 she took up position as the inaugural director of the Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU) based within the Postgraduate Medical Institute. Under her leadership VERU has developed into an international research centre. She supports and facilitates vision and eye research within the different departments of Anglia Ruskin University. She has also built a team comprising four consultant ophthalmologists, as part-time professors, and post-doctoral research fellows.


Shahina led the successful Research Excellence Framework 2014 for Allied Health Professions which resulted in 100% of VERU's profile being rated as world class, internationally excellent and excellent (84% rated as world class/internationally excellent). The impact and reach of VERU's research activities was rated as 100% world class and internationally excellent.

Shahina is a recipient of the Asian Jewel Award - Health Care and Education category (2005), the Asian Women of Achievement Award - Professions category (2001) and the first Ismaili Award for Excellence in the Postgraduate category (1992).


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Michael Bowen


Michael Bowen is the Director of Research at the College of Optometrists. The College is the professional and scientific body for optometry in the UK. Mike joined the College in 2008 to develop the College's first Research Strategy and create their Research Department. Mike was the Principle Investigator on the PrOVIDe project, which gathered data on the prevalence of visual impairment in people living with dementia in the UK. Mike was on the Steering Committee for the UK Sight Loss and Vision Priority Setting Partnership, and is on the Scientific Advisory Committee for the SENSE Cog project. Mike is responsible for the College's international research journal, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. He was co-Chair of the VISION 2020 UK Social Research Group.


Before working at the College of Optometrists Mike worked for the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), running their regulatory, research and education functions. Mike's academic background is in Psychology, Biology and Medical Ethics.

Anne Connolly, BA MSc

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Anne Conolly is a Research Director at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) where she specialises in population health surveys with particular expertise in bio-social data collection methods. She currently directs the Health Survey for England, an annual health examination survey that has monitors trends in the nation’s health and care. She has a BA in Social Sciences from Durham University and a MSc in Social Research Methods from the University of Surrey.


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