Spotlight on our Research

There are many stories about the research that we are doing in the School of Optometry and Vision Science. Here are just a few of them.

Eye & Contact Lens has three papers from members of the School. This issue is a special issue on contact lens discomfort and features papers from a symposium held in Seattle, WA, USA in April 2016.

The School of Optometry is celebrating after a highly successful showing at the annual American Academy of Optometry Conference held in Anaheim, USA. Over 15 SOVS academics, postgraduate students and visiting staff attend, presenting research on anterior and posterior eye disease.

The School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS) at UNSW Australia has just released an iPad app to test eye-hand coordination in a games-like manner with proven appeal to children and adults  ($2.99 at the iTunes App Store, just click here). 

On Tuesday 30 August 2016, the School hosted its inaugural Research Information Night – a opportunity for students interested in research to chat and network with potential supervisors in a casual environment. Over 20 potential supervisors attended including researchers from the School of Optometry and Vision Science, The Brien Holden Vision Institute, The Centre for Eye Health and The George Institute.

During my recent sabbatical (March-June 2016) I was fortunate to work with Dr Kathryn Richdale at the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry  to develop new links with optometric and ophthalmic researchers based in New York and USA.

Dr Jerome Ozkan has been successful in his application for a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship, being granted a four-year Peter Doherty Biomedical Fellowship to commence in 2016. Dr Ozkan has previously worked in clinical trials research and as an Associate Lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW.

Professor Colin Sheppard from the Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, visited School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS) earlier this year.  He joined the School through the Faculty of Science Visiting Research Fellowship scheme hosted by Dr Maitreyee Roy. Professor Sheppard is a distinguished researcher in the field of 3D biomedical optical imaging and has numerous awards and patents.

Dr Blanka Golebiowski recently presented as a keynote speaker at the prestigious Gordon Conference for the Biology and Pathobiology of the Cornea. Held 29 February to 4 March in Ventura, California, the conference was chaired by Professor Darlene Dartt from Schepens Eye Research Institute and Harvard Medical School and Professor Robert Lavker from Northwest University School of Medicine.

During the summer, UNSW Optometry & Vision Science students joined Associate Professor Michele Madigan for an introduction to eye cell biology research skills and participation in laboratory-based eye research projects.

The book “Antimicrobial Surfaces: Eds. Ivanova and Crawford” was recently published by Springer. This contains a chapter written by Professor Willcox along with Dr Ren Chen and colleagues from the School of Chemistry, UNSW Australia. This book deals with the common problem of microbial adhesion to surfaces. Microbes like to adhere to surfaces, and indeed it has been argued that this is their preferred mode of growth. Once adhered to a surface, the microbes, especially bacteria, form structures called biofilms.