Mr Wilson Pan


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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Wilson graduated with a Bachelor of Technology with first class honours from the University of Auckland, specialising in medical physics and imaging technology. During his undergraduate studies, he had chances to  work with lead­ing researchers and engineers in New Zealand and Australia. Research projects that he worked with previously involved including gastirc slow wave analysis with Auckland Bioengineering Institue, cardiac diffusion imaging with Auckland MRI Research Group and cardiac CINE imaging with ultra-high field MRI (7T) at the Center for Advanced Imaging, University of Queensland. His research of interests are about MRI technology and applications. He is now applying my expertise for novel development and optimization of ophthalmological MRI imaging. 

Research | Current

The physiological optics of the lens depend on two important component - water content and protein concentration. The water gradient in the lens is essential to maintain homeostasis while the spatial varying protein concentration give rise the gradient of refractive index (GRIN) - a key property for the lens optics. Due to lack of non-invasive approach, the combinational effects of the lens water and protein contents have not been studied. Relaxation time (T1 & T2) are tissue-specific parameters under magnetic field, and these parameters correlate with lens water (T1) and protein concentration (T2). In my PhD thesis, I aim to develop and optimise clinical MRI approach to quantitatively map lens T1 and T2 that allow us to assess the lens physiological optics in-vivo. Next, we will use these protocols to perform a large scale study in order to monitor the age-related trends of lens physiological optics, and the progressions towards presbyopia and cataract. This would lead us better understanding the mechanism of age-related disease of the lens, and assist the development of pharmacological agents to delay presbyopia or cataract.  

Predicting the vision quality of elderly based on an anatomically accurate model of ocular ageing. Modelling the optical functions and anatomical information of the ageing lens based on MRI imaging. Ultimately, we would like find the biomarkers of the onset of age-related cataracts. 

Teaching | Current

GTA: Physics 160 - Physics for Life Science

GTA: Optom 263 - Essential Optics


Postgraduate supervision


2018 - 2019 Robin Laven. An exploration of the lens paradox: in-vivo observation (Summer Project)

2017 - Jina Park, Rahul Kumar & Hong Low. Investigating the effects of gap junctions on lens phyiological optics (Part V project)

2017 - 2018 Louisa Howse. Monitoring the age-related changes of human vitreous using MRI (Summer Research Project)


2015 - Summer Research Excellence Award (University of Queensland)

2017 - Guest speaker: New Zealand Association of Optomtery Annual Conference, New Zealand 

2017 - Young Investigator Travel Award for the 5th Interanational Conference on the Lens (ICL)

2018 - Sir John Logan Campbell Medical Trust Travel Award

2019 - Claude McCarthy Fellowship

Areas of expertise

MRI Applications and Technology

Ocular MRI

Medical Image Processing

University Teaching

Committees/Professional groups/Services

2019 - President of New Zealand Chinese Postgraduate Society 

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Muir, E. R., Pan, X., Donaldson, P. J., Vaghefi, E., Jiang, Z., Sellitto, C., & White, T. W. (2020). Multi-parametric MRI of the physiology and optics of the in-vivo mouse lens. Magnetic resonance imaging, 70, 145-154. 10.1016/j.mri.2020.04.015
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paul Donaldson, Ehsan Vaghefi
  • Thakur, S. S., Pan, X., Kumarasinghe, G. L., Yin, N., Pontre, B. P., Vaghefi, E., & Rupenthal, I. D. (2020). Relationship between rheological properties and transverse relaxation time (T2) of artificial and porcine vitreous humour. Experimental Eye Research, 19410.1016/j.exer.2020.108006
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Sachin Thakur, Beau Pontre, Ilva Rupenthal, Ehsan Vaghefi
  • Pan, X., Lie, A. L., White, T. W., Donaldson, P. J., & Vaghefi, E. (2019). Development of an in vivo magnetic resonance imaging and computer modelling platform to investigate the physiological optics of the crystalline lens. Biomedical optics express, 10 (9), 4462-4478. 10.1364/BOE.10.004462
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paul Donaldson, 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, Paul Donaldson, Ehsan Vaghefi
  • 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: Paul Donaldson, Alyssa Lie
  • Vaghefi, E., Kauv, K., Pan, W., & Squirrell, D. (2017). Application of arterial spin labelling in detecting retinal ischemia. Case Reports in Ophthalmology, 8 (3), 545-557. 10.1159/000485316
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ehsan Vaghefi
  • Paskaranandavadivel, N., Pan, X., Du, P., O'Grady G, & Cheng, L. K. (2015). Detection of the Recovery Phase of in vivo gastric slow wave recordings.. Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference. 10.1109/embc.2015.7319782
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Nira Paskaranandavadivel, Greg O'Grady, Peng Du, Leo Cheng


Contact details

Primary office location

M&HS BUILDING 503 - Bldg 503
Level 3, Room 375
New Zealand

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