Dr Matthew McDonald’s journey began in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where he was born and raised. In 2011 he moved to England where he completed his medical degree (MBBS) and Master of Research in ophthalmology. From a young age, he felt a deep connection to Aotearoa and spent many winters during his medical degree in Tāmaki Makaurau for work experience. In 2018 he emigrated here to work in ophthalmology and medical research. He remains passionate about translating his research to clinical practice, teaching, and learning the art of microsurgery. As a PhD student at the University of Auckland, his project is centered around eye-tracking technology as a means to diagnose a traumatic brain injury.

Matthew will join the team part-time to work on brain injury research. Matthew holds a Master of Research in Clinical Science (ocular therapeutics) and a medical degree. His Master’s dissertation was on cataract surgery complications, which earned the Royal Society of Medicine’s Dermot Pierse Award in Ophthalmology, a national award in the UK. Matthew previously lived in Northland to work in a clinical ophthalmology role whilst learning te reo. It was in Whangārei he learned first-hand the impact of brain injury (TBI) on patients, families, and clinicians, where motor vehicle accidents are a tragic daily occurrence. In addition to his work at Mātai Medical Research Institute, he is pursuing a PhD in TBI research (eye-tracking and neuroimaging). Matthew’s PhD project will use affordable, modern portable eye-tracking technology to detect brain damage through abnormal eye movements.