Professor Paul James Donaldson
BSc, PhD (Otago)
Paul is the Director of the Molecular Vision Laboratory and is currently the Head of the School of Medical Sciences.
He obtained his PhD in field of epithelial transport from the Department of Physiology at the University of Otago in 1987, and this was followed by Post Doctoral Fellowships at Yale University and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. In 1990 he returned to New Zealand to take up a research position in the then Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology at The University of Auckland. This marked the start of a long and productive collaboration with Professor Joerg Kistler on the lens cataract research. In 1997 Dr Donaldson accepted a tenured position in the Department of Physiology at Auckland where he set up the Molecular Vision Laboratory. In 2004 he was promoted to Associate Professor and later in that year also became Head of Department.In 2008 he was appointed to the Chair in Optometry and Vision Science and assumed the leadership of the Department of Optometry and Vision Science and oversaw the transfer of the Department from the Faculy of Science to the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences. In 2012 Paul was appointed as the Head of the School of Medical Sciences.
Paul built an international reputation as a vision research scientist. His research has been supported by numerous funding agencies including the Health Research Council, Wellcome Trust UK, Marsden Fund, Auckland Medical Research Foundation, Paykell Trust, Lotteries Health and the National Institutes of Health, USA.
He has been actively involved in the International Society of Eye Research (ISER) and the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology for many years as a reviewer, keynote speaker and symposia organizer. He served as the Vice President (Pacific Rim) of ISER and is the Deputy Director of New Zealand National Eye Centre (NZ-NEC), a cross faculty center between Optometry and Vision Science, Ophthalmology and the Molecular Vision Laboratory.
Research | Current
The Molecular Vision Laboratory has extensive molecular and cellular expertise in the general field of membrane transport. Members of the laboratory utilize electrophysiology, imaging, biochemistry, proteomics, molecular biology, and computer modeling to determine how the properties of ion channels and transporters contribute to the integrative function of ocular tissues that comprise the front of the eye. Current research projects in the lens are focused on determining how the interaction of a variety of ion channels and transporters contribute to the maintenance of lens transparency.
Head of School School of Medical Sciences
Honorary Professor Department of Optometry and Vision Science
Honorary Professor, Department of Physiology
Associate Investigator Maurice Wilkins Centre for Biodiscovery,
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Demarais, N. J., Donaldson, P. J., & Grey, A. C. (2019). Age-related spatial differences of human lens UV filters revealed by negative ion mode MALDI imaging mass spectrometry. Experimental eye research, 184, 146-151. 10.1016/j.exer.2019.04.016
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Gus Grey, Nicholas Demarais
- Vaghefi, E., & Donaldson, P. J. (2018). The lens internal microcirculation system delivers solutes to the lens core faster than would be predicted by passive diffusion. American journal of physiology. Regulatory, integrative and comparative physiology, 315 (5), R994-R1002. 10.1152/ajpregu.00180.2018
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ehsan Vaghefi
- Donaldson, P. J., Perwick, R., Li, I., Demarais, N. J., Lim, J. C., & Grey, A. (2018). Mapping glucose metabolism pathways in the bovine lens using imaging mass spectrometry. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Research-in-Vision-and-Ophthalmology (ARVO), Honolulu, HI. 29 April - 3 May 2018. INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE. (pp. 3).
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julie Lim, Gus Grey
- Lie, A. L., Pan, X., Donaldson, P. J., White, T. W., & Vaghefi, E. (2018). The lens paradox is due to an age-related shift in optical centre of the lens. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Research-in-Vision-and-Ophthalmology (ARVO), Honolulu, HI. 29 April - 3 May 2018. INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE. (pp. 2).
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Alyssa Lie, Ehsan Vaghefi
- Nye-Wood, M. G., Lie, A. L., Donaldson, P. J., & Vaghefi, E. (2018). Physiological optics of the accommodating lens: a clinical observational study using MRI. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Association-for-Research-in-Vision-and-Ophthalmology (ARVO), Honolulu, HI. 29 April - 3 May 2018. INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE. (pp. 2).
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Alyssa Lie, Wilson Pan, Ehsan Vaghefi
- Petrova, R. S., Webb, K. F., Vaghefi, E., Walker, K., Schey, K. L., & Donaldson, P. J. (2018). Dynamic functional contribution of the water channel AQP5 to the water permeability of peripheral lens fiber cells. American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology, 314 (2), C191-C201. 10.1152/ajpcell.00214.2017
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Rosica Petrova, Ehsan Vaghefi
- Umapathy, A., Li, B., Donaldson, P. J., & Lim, J. C. (2018). Functional characterisation of glutathione export from the rat lens. Experimental Eye Research, 166, 151-159. 10.1016/j.exer.2017.10.010
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Julie Lim
- Pan, X., Lie, A. L., Donaldson, P., White, T., & Vaghefi, E. (15/12/2017). Investigating the alternations of lens physiological optics of nuclear cataracts using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Poster presented at The 5th International Conference on the Lens, Kailua Kona, Hawaii. Related URL.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Wilson Pan, Alyssa Lie
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