The American Academy of Optometry Foundation, in collaboration with the Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society, has awarded a Beta Sigma Kappa (BSK) Research Fellowship to Australian optometrist and academic Dr Jack Phu.
Dr Phu is an Associate Lecturer at the Centre for Eye Health, School of Optometry and Vision Science at University of New South Wales.
The fellowship, designed to support early career optometric and vision science faculty research, will directly help fund Dr Phu’s research project, Phenotyping open-angle glaucoma subtypes to determine disease prognosis.
“The research supported by this fellowship builds upon some work that I published earlier this year on statistical methods that distinguish between glaucoma suspects and manifest glaucoma patients,” Dr Phu explained to mivision. “We will be applying statistical clustering methods to a range of clinical parameters measured as part of the glaucoma examination in glaucoma patients. These methods can then potentially reveal subgroups of glaucoma patients (phenotypes) that may ultimately progress differently, which may allow us to better personalise the management approach for individual patients. We hope that by doing so we will be able to provide clinicians with the tools to individualise patient care.”
Dr Phu said he plans to use the US$4,000 funding to support a research student or assistant to help in data collection, curation and analysis. “By being able to support a research student for a period of time, I also hope to develop in them an interest in pursuing a research career in the future,” he said.