Mrs Gemma Arblaster MSc, BMedSci (Hons) Orthoptics

Gemma Arblaster

NIHR Clinical Research Fellow

Academic Unit of Ophthalmology & Orthoptics
University of Sheffield
Medical School
Beech Hill Road
S10 2RX

Office: E100f
Tel: (+44) 0114 215 9034
ORCiD: 0000-0002-3656-3740


I qualified as an Orthoptist in 2001 and during my career I have combined clinical Orthoptics with teaching and research.  I completed my MSc in Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science in 2003 and joined the University of Sheffield as Lecturer in Orthoptics in 2011.  I have practised as an Orthoptist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust since 2007.

Research Interests

I am currently undertaking an NIHR Clinical Research Fellowship, combining research into strabismus with clinical and research training.  My research project is:  'Measuring the effects of eye alignment surgery - a feasibility study'.  The aim of the study is to determine whether it is feasible to measure changes in vision and task performance in patients who have had strabismus surgery for psychosocial benefit. 

My other research interests include:

  • Unilateral vertical nystagmus and ocular motor stability after monocular vision loss (the Heimann-Bielschowsky Phenomenon)
  • Nystagmus - using virtual reality to simulate oscillopsia and raise awareness of nystagmus and improving the information given to patients with nystagmus
  • Occlusion to improve control in intermittent exotropia
  • Gross binocular single vision and new ways of quantifying binocular vision

Current projects

NIHR Clinical Research Fellowship: Measuring the effects of eye alignment surgery - a feasibility study

Simulating oscillopsia using virtual reality

Improving the information given to patients with nystagmus

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests are orthoptics, clinical orthoptics, eye movements, strabismus and low vision. I have taught Orthoptics and Clinical Orthoptics to undergraduate students on the BMedSci (Orthoptics) course. I have also taught on the Low Vision module of the MMedSci (Vision & Strabismus) course. 

For clinical examinations we invite volunteer patients to take part. If you are interested in taking part in our clinical examinations in the future, please contact the Patients as Educators team to discuss your suitability for our examinations see

Clinical Experience

I currently practice as an Orthoptist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

My previous clinical Orthoptic experience includes roles at:

  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust - lead clinical tutor and extended Orthoptic role assessing post operative strabismus patients
  • Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
  • Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Professional Activities

  • Member of the British & Irish Orthoptic Society
  • Registered with the Health & Care Professions Council

Research Supervision

I have supervised undergraduate research project students and postgraduate research project students on the MMedSci (Vision & Strabismus) course.

MMedSci students supervised to completion:

Mahira Sheikh, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.
Do the changes in visual acuity in children undergoing amblyopia therapy differ at near and distance?

Sarah Catherina Wittering, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Reading at Distance: Does using an Interactive Whiteboard affect reading performance?

Mohammed Maqsud, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.
Study to investigate the incidence and final visual outcomes of children with bilateral refractive amblyopia referred from routine vision screening.

Deborah Steele, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Amblyopia treatment and quality of life: The child's perspective on atropine versus patching.


For a full list of publications please visit myPublications