Jeremy Chiang

PhD Candidate

PhD Candidate

Research Title:  In-vivo Corneal Confocal Microscopy and Tear Neuropeptides in Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy  

Supervisors:  Dr Maria Markoulli, Professor Arun Krishnan, Professor David Goldstein 




Cancer is a prevalent global health issue generally associated with high morbidity affecting millions of individuals across the world. However, as disease diagnosis and management improve with time, so has the survivability of patients afflicted with cancer. However, side effects from chemotherapy which forms the most common treatment can be substantial and affect the quality of life and functionality of cancer survivors.  

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is a common, potentially debilitating condition characterised by pain, abnormal sensation and loss of proper function usually starting in the distal parts of the limbs. The current methods for diagnosing this condition are either invasive, non-objective, or time-consuming for both the health practitioner and patient. In light of this, in-vivo corneal confocal microscopy is being investigated in imaging sub-clinical changes in the corneal sub-basal nerve plexus as potential early biomarkers of peripheral neuropathy, although focus has been given primarily to the diabetic condition.  

In order to assess whether conventional measures of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy correlate with ocular surface measures, neurophysiological and ophthalmic studies are undertaken. Initially, nerve conduction and ophthalmic studies including in-vivo corneal confocal microscopy and tear neuropeptide analysis are conducted in a cross-sectional cohort of cancer participants who have persistent peripheral neuropathy post-treatment to establish any relationship between peripheral nerve dysfunction and small nerve fibre changes in the cornea. It is hypothesised that nerve conduction studies will show a decrease in sensory nerve action potential in patients with chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, correlating with a decrease in corneal nerve parameters and neuropeptide levels.  

To explore the temporal relationship between the development and progression of peripheral neuropathy with changes in the ocular surface measures, a longitudinal prospective cohort study is conducted. Risk factors which may predispose a patient with cancer undergoing chemotherapy to ocular surface changes and peripheral neuropathy will also be assessed. It is hypothesised that ocular surface measures, particularly corneal nerve parameters, will precede peripheral nerve dysfunction as measured with conventional neurophysiological methods. 



Jeremy is a UNSW Sydney alumnus who graduated with the University Medal from the School of Optometry and Vision Science. He has worked as a clinical optometrist in both private and corporate practice, with interests in advanced multimodal ocular imaging, managing ocular surface and tear film dysfunction as well as collaborative multidisciplinary patient care. In the academic setting, he is keen on educating students in clinical skills, ocular pathology and therapeutics. Jeremy is an avid traveller, enjoying his time with family and friends. While he is not busy researching, he is on the constant hunt for good cafes and eateries.  



2019 - Current PhD Candidate, School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney 

2012 - 2016  Bachelor of Optometry (Honours)/Bachelor of Science, School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney 



Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship (RTP), UNSW Sydney, 2019

The University Medal in Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney, 2017

The Bachelor of Optometry / Bachelor of Science Program Prize, UNSW Sydney, 2017

The CooperVision Australia Prize in 4th Year Optometry, UNSW Sydney, 2016

The Essilor Australia Pty Limited Prize for Ocular Disease, UNSW Sydney, 2015

The Essilor Australia Pty Limited Prize for Optics, UNSW Sydney, 2015

Faculty of Science Summer Vacation Research Scholarship, UNSW Sydney, 2014

Faculty of Science Dean’s List for Academic Excellence Award, UNSW Sydney, 2014

Optometric Vision Research Foundation (OVRF) Maki Shiobara Scholarship, UNSW S Sydney, 2014

Specsavers Prize, UNSW Sydney, 2014

Faculty of Science Dean’s List for Academic Excellence Award, UNSW Sydney, 2013

Coach of the Month – September, AOS Education Pty Ltd, 2013 

Ian Somervaille Award, UNSW Sydney, 2012



2019, Student Member of American Academy of Optometry

2016, Member of Optometry Australia

2016, Member of Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia

2015, Member of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society