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Dr Christolyn Raj Ophthalmologist

Dr Christolyn Raj

Dr Christolyn Raj


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Dr Christolyn Raj is a Melbourne-trained ophthalmologist. One of her subspecialty areas is cataracts and laser-assisted cataract surgery, having worked closely with those who pioneered this technique in Australia during her post-fellowship years.

Dr Raj is also highly experienced in the treatment of retinal disease including age-related maculopathy, diabetes and retinal vein occlusion. She has established herself as a key figure in the field of retinal medicine, with several years of active research to her name,  particularly in the area of diabetes. Her current research affiliate within the University of Melbourne is looking into novel therapies for the early treatment of diabetic maculopathy.

Dr Raj is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and an International Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She also holds the positions of Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, examiner for RANZCO and reviewer for Australian Journal of General Practice: Ophthalmology Editorial.

Career highlights


  • Honorary Senior Lecturer, Ophthalmology and Visual Science, University of Melbourne, Victoria (2017 – present)
  • RANZCO Clinical Term Supervisor (2014 – present)
  • Convener, RANZCO ophthalmology seminar for pre-RACE trainees (2015 – present)
  • Clinical Lecturer, Basic Physician Trainees Part 2 Exam (Ophthalmology) (2016 – present)
  • Examiner, Ocular Therapeutics Course, Australian College of Optometry (2017 – present)

Other professional achievements

  • Consultant Ophthalmologist, Mercy Hospital for Women, Victoria
  • Keynote speaker at Melbourne Ophthalmic Alumni, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Victorian College of Optometry Seminar Series, Orthoptics Australia Conference and national optometric conferences
  • Reviewer for ophthalmology publications in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and the Australian Family Physician journal
  • Author for a regular feature column in the ophthalmic magazine Mivision (2017 – present)
  • President, Victorian Ophthalmology Trainee Network (2009–2012)
  • President, Indigenous and Public Health Office, Doctors in Training, Australian Medical Association (2009–2010)
  • Victorian Ambassador for Doctors in Training, Australian Medical Association (2009)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
  • International Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons

Community involvement & charitable work

Dr Raj is passionate about educating and empowering the community on health issues. She has featured on A Current Affair to promote the need for diligence in monitoring chronic eye disease, and is a regular contributor to promotional material used to launch the annual Macular Degeneration Awareness Week campaign.

Dr Raj's philanthropic work has led to her establishing the 'Teddy Bear Eye Hospital’ featured in the annual Good Friday Appeal at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. A simulated hospital for children, the Teddy Bear Eye Hospital helps to motivate children's interest in eye health while removing the stigma associated with visits to the ophthalmologist.

Dr Raj continues to be an ambassador for Vision Australia, a not-for-profit organisation devoted to caring for vision-impaired individuals. She has pioneered several hospital and community programs that educate the community about Vision Australia services, and is a benevolent supporter of Vision Australia's Carols by Candlelight.

Her philanthropic work in the area of indigenous eye health is remarkable. Having worked in indigenous communities throughout her medical training, she now partners with not-for-profit teams to investigate how to deliver outreach services to these communities.


  • Certificate of Achievement (‘100 Inspiring Women’), Australian Medical Association Eastern Division
  • Convener’s Award for Excellence, RANZCO Ophthalmology Seminar (2016)
  • Certificate of Excellence in Teaching: Lecturer (Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences), University of Melbourne Clinical School (2014)
  • Best Clinical Poster, American Ophthalmology Association (2010)
  • Perth Eye Foundation Bursary, Invited Speaker, RANZCO branch meeting (2007)
  • JJ Hunter Bursary for research in ophthalmology, Australian Medical Association (2005)
  • Rotary International Scholarship – cataract and refractive surgery, India (2005)
  • John Flynn Scholarship (2002–2006)

Education & training

  • Bachelor of Optometry, University of Melbourne, Victoria
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery with Honours, University of Sydney, New South Wales
  • Ophthalmology training, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Victoria
  • Master of Medicine, James Cook University, Queensland
  • Master of Public Health, James Cook University, Queensland

Research & publications

Dr Raj’s early research with investigators at the Save Sight Institute in New South Wales looked at pathological processes of drusen that led to the irreversible sequelae in age-related macular degeneration. This research contributed to the understanding of this disease process, and has been instrumental in determining how the disease is managed today. Today, she dedicates much of her clinical time to investigating the pathological processes behind other retinal diseases, including macular telengiectasia and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), both of which have devastating complications and limited treatments available.

In the area of cataract surgery, Dr Raj’s work focuses on the impact of cataract surgery for pre-disposed individuals with retinal disease. Her current clinical research involves following a large cohort of patients with myopic refractive error and the development of retinal tears following cataract surgery. Dr Raj is a newly featured author in the ophthalmic magazine Mivision, where she often presents her research and evidence-based appraisals of various ‘hot topics’ in medical and surgical retina.

Dr Raj is also collaborating with the Royal Children’s Hospital to investigate ways to reduce the impact of morbidity and mortality from optic nerve pathway tumours. Her recent work has involved the creation of an iPhone and android app that can be used by clinicians to monitor the disease.

Publications Congress posters and lectures
Read more publications
  • Retinal tears: to treat or not to treat? What are the implications?

    C.Raj, Sharma.S
    Mivision, 2017 (In print)
  • Introducing the "Retinal Hub" - a collaborative learning site for all disciplines.

    Raj C. RANZCO, 2017.
  • The Glioma Grow I-PAD application for clinicians.

    Tze-Pham D, Raj C. RANZCO, 2017.
  • Case series orbital lymphoma with retinal pathology.

    Raj C. Asia-Pacific Ophthalmology Congress, 2014.
  • Laser Treatment for Choroidal Metastases – a case series.

    Raj C, Campbell W. RANZCO, 2010.
  • I-Aid a tool for emergency clinicians – 12 month follow up study.

    Raj C, Wells K, Guymer R. RANZCO, 2008.
  • I-Aid a website for emergency clinicians.

    Raj C, Wells K, Guymer R. Melbourne Ophthalmic Alumni. Melbourne, 2007
  • What's new and relevant with diabetic retinopathy management?

    Raj C. VCO Seminar Series, 2017.
  • Femtosecond laser surgery – its uses and applications.

    Raj C. Orthoptic Seminar, 2017.
  • A series of clinical conundrums - thinking outside the retinal circle.

    Raj C. National Optometric Conference, 2016.
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension : a critical review of cases presented to one area health service over 12 month period.

    Raj C, McKenzie J. Neurology Symposium. Western Hospital, Melbourne 2014.
  • The great masquerade: orbital and retinal lymphoma.

    Raj C, Wong NJ, Lim LA. Neurology and Neurosurgical Meeting. Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne 2013.
  • A critical review of a TASS in one major teaching centre.

    Raj C, Ng Ching-Hui, Symons A. RANZCO Victorian Branch Meeting. Melbourne 2013.


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