Rabia Mobeen

PhD Candidate

Name: Rabia Mobeen

Research Title: The effect of age and contact lens wear on the inflammatory status of the cornea

Supervisors: Professor Fiona Stapleton, Dr Blanka Golebiowski, Dr Cecilia Chao

Email Address: r.mobeen@unsw.edu.au

Linked in: www.linkedin.com/in/rabia-mobeen

RESEARCH

Myopia-controlling contact lenses are now widely used in children and adolescents. However, contact lens wear is a primary risk factor of corneal inflammatory and infiltrative events, including microbial keratitis, especially in young adult lens wearers. Understanding the immune response of the cornea during contact lens wear is, therefore, crucial to improve the safety of contact lens wear. The corneal immune response can be studied by examining the presence of antigen-presenting cells, which are key sentinels of immunity. Confocal microscopy allows these cells to be identified morphologically in vivo since they represent as cells with dendrites and are referred to as corneal epithelial dendritic cells (CEDC). Density and morphology of CEDC are known to alter in corneal inflammation and/or infection. To date, CEDC density during contact lens wear has only been examined in the adult population but has not been reported in children and adolescents. It is necessary to compare the CEDC characteristics, including density, its distribution and morphology on the ocular surface (central, peripheral and limbal cornea) before and after the initiation of the sub-clinical inflammatory response induced by contact lens wear and if they are influenced by age in either contact lens wearers or non-wearers. Inflammatory mediators including cytokines and chemokines are known to be involved in immune response and have also shown to be associated with contact lens-related clinical or subclinical inflammatory response. However, the relationship between tear inflammatory mediators and the CEDC alterations during contact lens wear and different age groups has not been previously investigated. Given the interconnection between the nervous and immune systems relationship of CEDC with corneal nerve density also need to be examined. Thus, this project aims to compare the ocular surface immune response to contact lens wear across different age groups. Changes in CEDC density, morphology and distribution using in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) as well as their relationships with corneal nerves and tear inflammatory mediators will be assessed. This study will not only provide fundamental information on the ocular immune response but will provide insights into methods of improving the safety of contact lens related myopia control treatment.

BIOGRAPHY

Rabia Mobeen received her M.Phil. in Optometry degree in 2016 and BS Optometry in 2010 both with distinctions from College of Ophthalmology and Allied Vision Sciences, K.E.M.U Lahore, which is one of the renowned institutes of Optometry in Pakistan. After completion of her bachelor’s degree, she was appointed as a Faculty Fellow in the same institute. She has a vast experience as a clinician at Mayo Hospital, Lahore and teaching of 7 years at both graduate and postgraduate level in KEMU, Pakistan. As a researcher, she has appeared in numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals. She is currently working on her Ph.D. project at UNSW under supervision of Prof Fiona Stapleton, Dr. Blanka Golebiowski and Dr. Cecilia Chao for which she has been awarded two scholarships. She has been the recipient of three awards including Joe and Janet Barr Early Career Cornea and Contact Lens Research Award from American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF), a student travel grant 2019 from American Academy of Optometry and student scholarship from International Society for Contact Lens Research during the course of her Ph.D.

Education

Institution and location

Field of study

Degree

MM/YY

University of New South Wales, Australia

Optometry

Ph.D.

Continue

King Edward Medical University, Pakistan

Optometry

M.Phil.

08/16

King Edward Medical University, Pakistan

Optometry

BOptom

02/10

Punjab University, Pakistan

Arts

Bachelors

08/11

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Journal Articles and Abstracts
  1. Mobeen R, Stapleton F, Chao C, Madigan MC, Briggs N, Golebiowski B. Corneal epithelial dendritic cell density in the healthy human cornea: A Meta-analysis of in-vivo confocal microscopy data. Published. The Ocular Surface (In press). 2019 Jul 3. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtos.2019.07.001.
  2. Mobeen R, Chao C, Stapleton F, Madigan MC, Golebiowski B. Corneal epithelial dendritic cell density in a healthy population and its relationship with age and sex: A meta-analysis of in-vivo confocal microscope data. Abstract. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2019; E-abstract 3143791.
  3. Tajbakhsh Z, Chao C, Mobeen R, Golebiowski B, Jalbert I, Stapleton F. Development of a novel corneal epithelial dendritic cell morphology grading scale. Abstract. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2019; E-abstract 3145562.
  4. Mobeen R, Lum E, Stapleton F, Tajbakhsh Z, Chao C, Madigan MC, Swarbrick H, Golebiowski B. Corneal epithelial dendritic cell density, morphology and relationship with corneal nerves, in orthokeratology compared to soft contact lens wear and no lens wear. Abstract. International Society of Contact lens research.
  5. Mobeen R, Lum E, Stapleton F, Tajbakhsh Z, Chao C, Madigan MC, Swarbrick H, Golebiowski B. The impact of orthokeratology and soft lens wear on corneal immune cells and nerves. Abstract. Optom Vis Sci 2019. E-Abstract 3238372.
  6. Chao C, Jalbert I, Stapleton F, Mobeen R, Tajbakhsh Z, Golebiowski B. Density and morphology of corneal epithelial dendritic cells in proximity to subbasal nerves and effects of contact lens wear – An in vivo confocal microscopy study. Abstract. International Society of Contact lens research.
  7. Golebiowski B, Mobeen R, Lum E, Chao C, Swarbrick H, Stapleton F. Corneal epithelial dendritic cell density and morphology after 3 months of overnight orthokeratology and rigid contact lens wear compared to no lens wear. Abstract. International Society of Contact lens research.

AWARDS

  1. Joe and Janet Barr Early Career Cornea and Contact Lens Research Award from American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF).
  2. Student travel scholarship, International Society of Contact Lens Research 2019 (ISCLR).
  3. Student travel fellowship, American Academy of Optometry Foundation 2019 (AAOF).
  4. University of New South Wales, Sydney  Tuition Fee Remittance Scholarship towards Ph.D.
  5. The Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) Joint Scholarship towards Ph.D., Government of Pakistan.
  6. Successful recipient of UNSW Women in Maths and Science Champions Award 2019.
  7. Postgraduate Student Representative for the School of Optometry and Vision Science 2019, UNSW, Sydney.

CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE

  1. Annual meeting of Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) April 2019, Vancouver, Canada.
  2. Biennial meeting of the International Society of Contact Lens Research (ISCLR) August 2019, Singapore.
  3. Annual meeting of Australian Biology of Ageing Conference (ABAC) August 2019, Sydney, Australia.
  4. Annual Meeting of American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) October 2019, Orlando, Florida.

AFFILIATIONS

  1. School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
  2. College of Ophthalmology and Allied Vision Sciences, Kind Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan.

MEMBERSHIPS

  1. Founder Member of Society of Optometrists, Orthoptics and Ophthalmic technologists of Pakistan (SOOOP).
  2. Student member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).
  3. Student member of the American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF).
  4. Student Member of Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA).