Research Team

ROK Team

Dr Helen Swarbrick - Professor

Professor Helen Swarbrick gained her optometric qualifications at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, completing a Diploma in Optometry in 1974 and an MSc in Psychology in 1978. Following eight years in private optometric practice in New Zealand and England, Professor Swarbrick settled in Australia, taking up a position as Research Optometrist at the Cornea and Contact Lens Research Unit, School of Optometry, University of New South Wales. In 1991 she received her PhD degree for a thesis on the topic of rigid gas-permeable contact lens adherence during overnight lens wear. In 1995 Professor Swarbrick was appointed to the School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW, with responsibility for contact lens education at the School, and she has recently received promotion to Professor. Professor Swarbrick’s current primary research interest is the corneal response to orthokeratology (or corneal refractive therapy) for the correction of refractive errors. In 2004, at the Second Global Orthokeratology Symposium (GOS) in Toronto, Professor Swarbrick was awarded the Rodger Kame Memorial Award in recognition of her efforts, innovation and research in the field of orthokeratology and corneal reshaping.  In 2011 Professor Swarbrick was the Alan Bott Memorial Award at the New Zealand Optometric Vision Research Foundation.  Recently, Professor Swarbrick was awarded the Don Noack Award presented by the Orthokeratology Society of Oceania and the Kenneth W Bell Award by the International Cornea and Contact Lens Congress, both in 2012, for her outstanding contributions to corneal and contact lens research and education. 

Professor Swarbrick has received three consecutive research grants from the Australian Research Council (2004, 2007 and 2010), based on the significant findings of research in orthokeratology that she has published and presented at international meetings, to conduct further studies in different aspects of orthokeratology. The recent ARC Linkage Grant was designated to develop a greater understanding of the visual optics of orthokeratology

Dr Paul Gifford - Research Fellow

Paul Gifford is an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales and visiting consultant to the ROK Group. He graduated in optometry from City University, London, England in 1994. Over the next ten years he worked in private practice specialising in contact lenses, during which he gained Fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry and an MSc in Clinical Optometry from City University in 2005. Paul then moved to Sydney, Australia to take up full-time research at the ROK Group where he was awarded his PhD in 2009 for research investigating the corneal response to hyperopic orthokeratology. In the same year Paul gained Fellowship of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and received the BCLA Da Vinci Award. Paul returned to the ROK Group in 2009 to take up a full time post-doctoral position researching OK correction of presbyopia and during this period was jointly awarded the prestigious BCLA Dallos Award with Prof Swarbrick. He left the ROK Group at the end of 2012 to take up a part-time academic position at QUT, Brisbane and industry consultancy position at Capricornia Contact Lens Pty Ltd. Paul’s primary research interest is the visual optics and psychophysics of orthokeratology, particularly in relation to the correction of hyperopia and presbyopia, and use in myopia control. He also has research interests in refractive surgery correction of hyperopia and presbyopia.

Dr Vinod Maseedupally - Research Fellow

Vinod was graduated from the Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry, in Hyderabad, India in 2005. He is an experienced clinician having worked for Contact Lens department at L V Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, where he discovered his interests in clinical research. Vinod soon enrolled into a PhD program at the the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales. Presently he is concluding his PhD thesis titled ‘Regional corneal topographic responses in overnight orthokeratology and their influence on treatment zone decentration’. He presented parts of his work at various international and national conferences. He has published papers on contact lens complications and corneal topography. His present interests include effects of centration of corneal topography on orthokeratology outcomes. He is also extending his PhD work to develop new OK lens designs for better centration of OK effect on moderately toric corneas. Preliminary research is currently underway to investigate the performance of OK lenses on eyes that have moderate degrees of corneal toricity. Results from these preliminary studies will guide the development of lens designs to correct astigmatism through corneal reshaping.

 Dr Gavin Boneham - Consultant

Gavin Boneham completed a BSc 1982 (University of New South Wales), BOptom 1986 and PhD 1997. He works four days at his Sydney CBD practice which specialises in contact lens work especially orthokeratology. The other day is spent lecturing and coordinating a distance learning Master’s course at the University of New South Wales. He is a member of the Optometrists Association of Australian and the Contact Lens Society of Australia and is President of the Orthokeratology Society of Australia. He has published papers on the limbal vasculature, electrophysiology of lymphatic endothelial cells and corneal topography.

Other ROK Group Members/Collaborators

  • John Mountford