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B26 Retina WholeMount 40x Mosaic.tif

retinal biomarkers group

We are looking into the eye to understand the brain in conditions affecting cognitive and emotional functioning from ASD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, cerebral visual impairment and vasculopathies.

The group has developed from collaborations in London where we explored visual function in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These early studies replicated early work of Ed Ritvo, who in 1988 first identified that the retinal responses to light were different in ASD. With the support of Ed, we were able to extend this work and in 2020 we published the first large study that supported using the retina as a biomarker for ASD. 

From that original study we also noticed that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also have different responses to light that could help to differentiate between ASD and ADHD.

Now with the power of machine learning and different methods for analyzing the retinal signals from light - we are beginning to develop models that could help classify neurodevelopmental conditions with a retinal biomarker.

We are also exploring retinal changes using structural and functional biomarkers for cerebral ischaemia, cortical visual impairment and peripheral arterial disease.

Group Members


Paul Constable PhD

Visual Electrophysiology

Based at Flinders University, Adelaide, I have supported the research projects with recording electroretinograms (ERGs) in children with and without a neurodevelopmental condition. I have expertise in retinal physiology and working with children on the spectrum

Biomedical Engineering

Hugo Posada-Quintero PhD

Visual Electrophysiology

Hugo is based at the University of Connecticut Department of Biomedical Engineering, and is a member of the Biosignal Processing and Wearable Device Lab where he co-ordinates the development of new medical devices for the classification of neurodevelopmental conditions.


Dorothy Thompson PhD

Senior Bio-Engineer

Consultant Clinical Electrophysiologist. Co-Director, Service provision & Clinical Audit at

 the Tony Kriss Visual Electrophysiology Unit,

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Thompson is a leading expert in paediatric visual electrophysiology and co-ordinated the retinal biomarkers group based in London.

Research Assistant

Lynne Loh PhD

Research Assistant

Based at Flinders University, Lynne is an experienced visual electrophysiologist and has a long history of working with paediatric populations. Lynne helps co-ordinate and run the group's studies.


Prof David Skuse MBBS, PhD

Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist

Professorial Research Associate in the Population, Policy & Practice Deptartment of UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. David devised the computerized 3di interview for Autism Spectrum Disorders. David has played a key role in the development of revised criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders and he is currently, identifying rare genetic risk factors that increase the risk of psychiatric disorders, especially autism, in children with intellectual disability.


Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos PhD

Statistical Modelling

Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos is a research fellow in human and artificial cognition at the Centre for Change and Complexity in Learning (C3L) at the University of South Australia. Fernando has  research interests in embodied cognition (e.g. embodiment of language and emotions) and applied statistics/methodology. Fernando contributes to modelling features for classification of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Signal Analysis

Mikhail Kulyabin PhD

Machine Learning and Signal Analysis

Mikhail is based at the Friedrich-Alexander-UniversitätErlangen-Nürnberg within the Pattern Recognition Laboratory of the Computer Science Division. Mikhail specialises in the application of machine learning to recognise differences in the signal patterns that help with classification of neurodevelopmental disorders.

Statistical and Machine Learning, Uncertainty Quantificatio

Prof Nadja Klein PhD

Statistical and Machine Learning, Uncertainty Quantification

Nadja is Professor of Uncertainty Quantification and Statistical Learning at Research Center “Trustworthy Data Science and Security” (University Alliance Ruhr) and Universität Dortmund. Nadja's work is interdisciplinary and has been published in leading outlets in statistics. Methodologically, her interests are in: Bayesian Computational Methods. Bayesian Deep Learning, Machine Learning, Smoothing, Regularization and Shrinkage, Distributional Regression, Network Analysis and Spatial Statistics which in this project she applies and extends towards understanding and modelling of retinal biomarker datasets.


Natalie Mills MBBS, PhD

Academic and Clinical  Psychiatrist

Natalie is a child and adolescent Psychiatrist at the University of Adelaide, Discipline of Psychiatry. Her PhD investigated the role of cytokines and inflammatory markers in depression in adolescents. Natalie contributes clinical expertise in developmental disorders and the role of inflammatory pathways in depression and anxiety

Signal Analysis

Luis Roberto Mercado Diaz

Signal Analysis

Luis is based with Hugo at the University of Connecticut Biomedical Engineering department. He applies signal analytical methods with machine learning to decompose the retinal signal in the search for biomarkers in neurodevelopmental disorders. Luis's expertise is in Pattern Recognition and Intelligent Machines, working with different strategies of classification, optimization of time series analysis


Mallika Prem Senthil MBBS, PhD

Retinal Imaging

Mallika is an ophthalmologist and academic who is exploring the use of ocular imaging as a non-invasive biomarker for systemic diseases such as peripheral arterial disease and idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Biomedical Engineer


Nicolas is based at the University National of Colombia in the department of physics where they are working on a prototype ERG device for applications in retinal and neurological disorders.



Sam is based at the University National of Colombia in the department of physics where they are working on a prototype ERG device for applications in retinal and neurological disorders.

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