Nathan Branjerdporn, a fourth year student at Queensland University of Technology’s School of Optometry and Vision Science, has been awarded the annual mivision Media Communication Award. The award was presented by Head of the School, Professor Sharon Bentley.
Mr Branjerdporn received the award in recognition of an infographic he created to generate public awareness of the environmental risk factors for myopia (pictured).
“We focussed on environmental risk factors of myopia, including near work behaviours and outdoor activity as our main modifiable risk factors. Inevitably, some of the information/ statistics may be incomprehensible to younger children, so we designed the visual habits section to be most eye-catching,” he explained. “We put that section at the bottom of our infographic as we thought it could be torn off and taken home to be displayed around the house. It was a really unique and fun task to do as part of our Bachelor of Vision Science course, especially compared to big hurdle exams, reports and essays.”
Mr Branjerdporn said he has been fascinated by the massive increase in prevalence of myopia…
Mr Branjerdporn said he has been fascinated by the massive increase in prevalence of myopia and its association with the environment and lifestyle.
“The projection that half the population will be myopic by 2050 is jarring, and it’s already a major health concern in East Asia where it affects 80–90% of high school graduates. However it’s great to see the continually increasing number of options for myopia control, for example, the MiyoSmart D.I.M.S lens which launched last year.”
With a long held interest in health and a desire to enhance people’s quality of life, Mr Branjerdporn said he is looking forward to pursuing his professional career in optometry.
“There are plenty of interesting specialties to delve into, like contact lenses, myopia control, paediatrics, therapeutics, and options beyond primary eye care, such as professional affairs, running your own practice and getting involved academically.”
In the meantime, as part of his fourth year of study, he said seeing patients in the clinic and conducting research projects with academic supervisors is providing “truly rewarding opportunities to start applying the theory we learnt in the Bachelors to actual patients”.
The prize winners were:
Year 1: Optometry Queensland Northern Territory First Year Prize: Nathan Lau,
Year 3: mivision Media Communication Award: Nathan Branjerdporn,
Year 4: School of Optometry and Vision Science Brian Brown Research Award: Lauren Beecher,
Year 4: CooperVision Australia Contact Lens Award: Wendy Nguyen,
Year 5: Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Prize: Cassy Versteeg, and
Year 5: Optometry Queensland Northern Territory Prize: Lachlan Munro.