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UNSW researcher claims American Academy of Optometry award

University of New South Wales (UNSW) PhD student Ms Rabia Mobeen has received a major American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) award for her corneal and contact lens research.

Mobeen was the recipient of the Joe and Janet Barr Early Career Cornea and Contact Lens Research Award, which grants her $2000 in research project seed funding, as well as $750 to cover travel expenses to attend the AAOF annual meeting in Florida in October to receive the award.

“The funding received from this award will be used to conduct a research project to examine the difference in corneal immune response among children, adolescents and adults,” she said.

“This will help us to make contact lens wear safe and will ultimately help in controlling the progression of short-sightedness.”

Attracting applicants from institutions across the world, the AAOF award was established in 2012 and provides funding for a student entering first or second year masters, or a PhD student working in the area of cornea/ocular surface or contact lenses.

Mobeen’s PhD project is titled ‘The effect of age and contact lens wear on corneal inflammatory response’, which she is conducting at UNSW under the supervision of Professor Fiona Stapleton, Dr Blanka Golebiowski and Dr Cecilia Chao.

Stapleton added: “She has been proactive in all aspects of her project, she is thoughtful, considered and innovative in her approach. I have no doubt that she will complete an excellent PhD and will make a significant contribution to the body of knowledge in this important area.”

Mobeen is also teaching undergraduate students of optometry and has been supervising research projects of master’s students in UNSW since 2017. She is affiliated with the School of Optometry and Vision Science and Kind Edward Medical University, Pakistan, where she has seven years of clinician and teaching experience of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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