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Prof Konrad Pesudovs recognised with prestigious AAOF award

UNSW’s Professor Konrad Pesudovs has become the 12th Australian to be awarded the American Academy of Optometry Foundation Glenn Fry Lecture Award in its 50-year history.

Pesudovs said it was an honour to be selected as the awardee for 2021.

“To see my name on the same list as all of my heroes of optometry is shocking and humbling. I’m proud of what I have achieved so far in my career and I hope I can justify this award by continuing to do useful research and by making other valuable contributions to optometry,” he said.

The Glenn Fry Lecture Award recognises a distinguished scientist or clinician for their current research contributions.

Pesudovs, who is currently the highest-ranked optometrist globally for citations to his research work, joined UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science in 2020.  He went to UNSW from Flinders University in South Australia where he was the Foundation Professor of Optometry, charged with establishing and leading the accreditation of a new optometry school and Masters in Optometry program between 2009 and 2017.

In a statement announcing his American award, UNSW credited Pesudovs with changing how practitioners practise to deliver improved outcomes for patients.

“His expertise is in ophthalmic outcomes research to better understand the impact of visual correction, ocular disease and visual performance on a person’s quality of life and ability to function. He has raised the bar in this field through the rigour of his approach in applying Rasch analysis to outcomes measure questionnaires to improve their measurement qualities, interval scaling and utility,” the university’s optometry school said.

“We now have scales we can reliably use across a range of important conditions, including screening for cataract surgery, measuring cataract and refractive surgical outcomes, interventions in keratoconus, quality of vision in different refractive correction modalities, low vision, age related macular disease, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma surgery, uncorrected refractive error, hereditary retinal diseases and eye pain.”

UNSW noted the quality of Pesudovs’ research contributions is evidenced by the uptake of research outcomes in public health programs internationally using his outcomes measure tools in public cataract surgery.

“The Catquest 9SF tool is arguably the most widely used instrument internationally to reliably determine patient-reported outcomes of cataract surgery and it has been translated and revalidated in many populations and languages. His H-index is 60 and his work has been cited over 50,000 times, which illustrates the wide reach, impact and relevance of his research.”

The Glenn Fry award is the latest accolade to be bestowed on Pesudovs; he was awarded the H Barry Collin Meal from Optometry Australia in 2020 and was recognised as the International Optometrist of the Year in 2018. His research has been continuously funded from government competitive grants in Australia, USA and the UK.

Other Australian recipients of the Glenn Fry Award:

Fiona Stapleton (2018)
Eric Fletcher (2016)
Joanne Wood (2015)
David Atchison (2011)
Nathan Efron (2010)
Christine Wildsoet (2007)
Suzanne Fleiszig (2005)
Brien Holden (1988)
Ian Bailey (1986)
Geoffrey Henry (1975)
Anthony Adams (1970)

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