Dr Mitra TavakoliBSc Optom (Hons), MSc, PhD, FBCLA , FAAO


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Dr. Mitra Tavakoli is a Senior lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School and an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Mancher. 

Her research as clinical ophthalmic scientist is primarily focus on the assessment of corneal nerve morphology using a relatively new technique of in vivo corneal confocal microscopy as a valid surrogate end point for human diabetic neuropathy and in a range of other peripheral neuropathies.  More recently her research is focused on  novel approaches to investigate the structual and functional changes at retina, and cornea of a range of vascular and neurological conditions.

Dr. Tavakoli research is funded by National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), National Institute of Health (NIH). She has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and textbook chapters and in excess of 60 abstracts over the last 9 years. She regularly speaks at international and national conferences and meetings.

Mitra is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a Fellow of the British Contact Lens Association, a member of College of Optometrist and professional member of several other professional bodies including ARVO, EASD and NeuroDiab.

Mitra received several awards and nominations in recognition of her research, including the BCLA Irving Fatt Memorial Award Lecturer and Young Investigator Clinical Science Award from Neuropathy study group of European Association of Study of Diabetes (EASD).

She serves on the editorial boards of several journals including BMC Ophthalmology. Dr. Tavakoli is a regular peer reviewer to several leading journals in the fields of diabetes, neurology and ophthalmology including Diabetes, Diabetes Care, Diabetic Medicine, IOVS and Cornea. She is a scientific reviewer for American Diabetes Association.


Mitra graduated with a first class honours degree in Optometry from Mashad University of Medical Sciences in 2000. She gained an MSc in Optometry from the University of Bradford in 2003 and a PhD in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manchester in 2008.

Her PhD and two years' post-doctoral projects established the technique of corneal confocal microscopy to assess peripheral neuropathy in diabetes, Fabry disease and idiopathic small fibre neuropathy.  Her research is currently focused on developing the novel technique of corneal confocal microscopy and other ophthalmic markers in the diagnosis of diabetic and other neuropathies.

Over the last six years, Mitra has contributed to two book chapters, 22 original papers, 12 review articles and 40 published abstracts.

She is associate editor for BMC Ophthalmology and  a regular reviewer for several academic journals in the field of diabetes, neurology and vision sciences including Diabetes Care, Diabetic Medicine and Cornea.

She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO), a Fellow of the British Contact Lens Association (FBCLA), and professional member of ARVO, EASD, Diabetes UK and Neurodiab.

Her work has been recognized by the award of several prizes, including: Irving Fatt Memorial Award Lecture from British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) (2013), Young Investigator Award of the Neuropathy study group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (Neurodiab) (2011), Best Graduate Student of the year, School of Clinical and Laboratory Sciences, University of Manchester (2008), Best PhD Medical Essay, University of Manchester (2006) and Exemplary Researcher of Medical Sciences, Mashad University of Medical Sciences, Ferdowsi Scientific Festival, Mashad University of Medical Sciences (2001). She was the recipients of several travel fellowship awards from various prestigious bodies including: American Academy of Optometry (AAO), American Diabetes Association (ADA), Association for Research in Vision anphthalmology (ARVO) and European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

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2010 FAAO, Fellowship American Academy of Optometry

2009 FBCLA, Fellowship British Contact Lens Association

2008-2010, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Manchester

2004-2008 PhD, Medicine,University of Manchester

2002-2003 MSc,Optometry,University of Bradford

1996-2000 BSc (Hons) (Distinction) Optometry, Mashad University of Medical Sciences

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

  • Association for Research in Vision and ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • American Academy of Optometry (AAO)
  • British Contact Lens Association ( BCLA )
  • International Society for Eye Research (ISER)
  • European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD)
  • European Diabetic Neuropathy Study Group ( NeuroDiab)
  • Diabetes UK

External positions

Senior Lecturer in Medicine, University of Exeter

Jan 2016 → …

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