Three outstanding post-graduate students from the Institute for Eye Research have been acknowledged for their research in winning two prestigious international optometric awards.
Nicole Carnt has won the 2010 Dallos Award from the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) and Maria Markoulli and Ravi Bakaraju have each been awarded the Ezell Fellowships by the American Optometric Foundation (AOF). The awards will provide substantial funding for their research projects.
The Dallos Award, presented to only one recipient each year, provides funding worth 5,000 pounds towards a research project furthering the scientific community’s understanding of a topic related to contact lenses or the anterior eye. Ms. Carnt jointly won the award with Professor Fiona Stapleton, Head of School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The grant will provide funding over the next year for the project: ‘Risk-taking behaviour: relationship with contact lens complications and compliance’. Nicole will present the findings from this research at the 2010 BCLA conference.
The Ezell Fellowships, which support postgraduate research in the areas of physiological optics, vision science and related fields, were this year awarded to only ten postgraduate students internationally. Maria Markoulli, a graduate of the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW, is undertaking a PhD project focused on identifying the underlying causes and predisposing factors of corneal erosions in contact lens wear. Maria’s previous research on myopia was presented at the American Academy of Optometry’s (AAO) Annual meeting in 2008, where it was selected as one of the most noteworthy presentations.
Ravi Bakaraju is a graduate of the Bausch & Lomb School of Optometry, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, in Hyderabad, India. His PhD thesis investigates the optical performance of multifocal contact lenses with the use of schematic and physical model eyes. In 2008 and 2009, Ravi was presented with the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia Award.