Vaegan Seminar: Dr Jerome Ozkan "Temporal Stability and Composition of the Ocular Microbiome"

Friday, 25 August, 2017 - 12:00


Dr Jerome Ozkan will kick of Semester 2, 2017 of the Vaegan Lecture Series with a presentation on his latest reseach "Temporal Stability and Compoisition of the Ocular Microbiome". All students, staff, peers and general public welcome.

Relevant details are as follows:

Date: Friday 25 August 2017

Time: 12.00pm - 1.00pm

Location: Rupert Myers Theatre, North Wing, Rupert Myers Building (next to UNSW Optometry Clinic), Gate 14 Barker Street UNSW Sydney (M15 on campus map)

Abstract: To determine if there is a core ocular surface microbiome and whether there are microbial community changes over time, the conjunctiva of 45 healthy subjects were sampled at three time points over three months and processed using culture-dependent and culture-independent (16S rRNA gene sequencing) methods. Both cultured cell counts and 16S rRNA sequencing indicated low microbial biomass on the ocular surface. No cultured species was found in all subjects at all times or in all subjects at any one time. After removal of contaminant taxa identified in negative controls using a statistical model, the most commonly detected taxon was Corynebacterium (11.1%). No taxa were found in all subjects at all times or in all subjects in any one time, but there were 26 taxa present in at least one or more subjects at all times including Corynebacterium and Streptococcus. The ocular surface contains a low diversity of microorganisms. Using culture dependent and independent methods, the ocular surface does not appear to support a substantial core microbiome. However, consistently present taxa could be observed within individuals suggesting the possibility of individual-specific core microbiomes.

Short Biography:Dr Ozkan is a currently an NHMRC Research Fellow at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales. His current research is in collaboration with the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Department of Ophthalmology, UNSW, and working with the Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics, looking at the microbial community characteristics of the conjunctiva and eyelid in terms of identity, complexity and biogeography, using culture-independent sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene to determine what constitutes the core and transient microbiome of the eye and how microbial communities change over time and after surgical and pharmaceutical intervention.