Ocular Surface Research (Inc. Dry Eye and Contact Lenses)

The School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW, Sydney has a worldwide reputation as a leading centre for research and development in the field of the Ocular Surface and Contact Lenses. Members of the School have been involved in the development of silicone hydrogel lenses, multipurpose disinfecting solutions for contact lenses, and devices to maintain contact lens case hygiene, as well as large scale epidemiology studies to understand rates and risk factors for contact lens keratitis.

Our research emcompasses fundamental studies on the health of the ocular surface, and how that is impacted by contact lens wear, the tear film (its structure and function), corneal and conjunctival wound healing, the epidemiology of ocular infection, and the design and testing of antimicrobial surfaces for contact lenses and other biomaterials. 

One of the other key research areas within the Ocular Surface Research Group is dry eye.  It is increasingly common in the aging population, affecting 500,000 individuals in Australia. Various factors influence the occurrence of symptoms of dry eye, which are especially common in post-menopausal women and contact lens wearers. Obesity, LASIK surgery and allergy may also be relevant.

Researchers at UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science is continuing research in these areas to understand the mechanisms of dry eye disease, specifically through the exploration of the roles of the tear proteome and neuropeptides, sex hormones and dietary supplementation in the modulation of dry eye.

Our Researchers

Professor Mark Willcox

Role: Professor and Director of Research

Phone: +61 2 9385 4164
Office: Level 3, Room 3.057 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Scientia Professor Fiona Stapleton

Role: Scientia Professor

Phone: +61 2 9385 4375
Office: Level 3, Room 3.054 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Dr Ajay Kumar Vijay

Role: Research Fellow

Phone: +61 2 9385 4503
Office: Level 3, Room 3.061, Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Dr Simin Masoudi

Role: Research Associate

Phone: +61 2 9385 9227
Office: Level 3, Room 3.060, Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Dr Renxun (Ren) Chen

Role: Research Associate

Phone: +61 2 9385 4639
Office: School of Chemistry, Level 2, Room 214, Dalton Building, UNSW, Kensington 2052
 

A/Prof Michelle Madigan

Role: Associate Professor

Phone: +61 2 9385 9879
Email: m.madigan@unsw.edu.au
Office: Room 3.045 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Dr Blanka Golebiowski

Role: Senior Research Fellow

Phone: +61 2 9385 4502
Email: b.golebiowski@unsw.edu.au
Office: Room 3.005 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

A/Professor Isabelle Jalbert

Role: Deputy Head of School

Phone: +61 2 9385 9816
Email: i.jalbert@unsw.edu.au
Office: Room 3.029 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Dr Maria Markoulli

Role: Senior Lecturer and Postgraduate Coordinator

Phone: +61 2 9385 9229
Email: m.markoulli@unsw.edu.au
Office: Room 3.058 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Dr Alex Hui

Role: Senior Lecturer

Phone: +61 2 9385 9228
Email: alex.hui@unsw.edu.au
Office: Room 3.059 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Dr Nicole Carnt

Role: Senior Lecturer

Phone: +61 2 9385 9974
Email: n.carnt@unsw.edu.au
Office: Room 3.010 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Dr Jerome Ozkan

Role: NHMRC Research Fellow

Phone: +61 2 9385 9227
Email: j.ozkan@unsw.edu.au
Office: Room 3.060 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

Professor Eric Papas

Role: Professor

Phone: +61 2 9385 9232

Email: e.papas@unsw.edu.au

Office: Room 3.046 Rupert Myers Building (North Wing) UNSW, Kensington 2052

We have been continuously supported by grants from the NHMRC and ARC for over 20 years. We are also supported by grants from industry (ophthalmic and non-ophthalmic).

Contact Us

If you are interested in joining this group as a postgraduate student contact Dr Maria Markoulli, Postgraduate Coordinator

If you are interested in joining this group as a postdoctoral scientist please contact Professor Mark Willcox, Director of Research