Treating ocular allergies in rural settings
"Eyes are my passion. Learning is a lifelong pursuit and a QUT HDR scholarship has enabled me to continue on that path.
My clinical research MPhil on ocular allergies in a rural setting aims to shed light on the specific challenges participants encounter and possible causes unique to a regional area. The results should help to fine tune my professions' understanding of ocular allergy and its impact on patients' quality of life in a rural area."
- Andrew Christiansen, regional optometry practice owner and MPhil student
Making connections for childhood myopia
"My PhD research investigated the optical and structural changes that accompanied focusing at near distances in children's eyes. The results show significant ocular changes that suggest potential mechanisms for the association between near work and childhood myopia development.
I had a great experience at QUT in an incredibly collegial laboratory environment, with a supportive and knowledgeable supervisory team. Scholarships enabled me to focus on my research, and supported travel to international conferences in Canada and the USA to present my research."
-Rohan Hughes, Optometrist and PhD student
Deeper understanding of scleral lenses
“With the help and support from supervisors, faculty and government scholarship I was able to transition to a PhD after spending many years in clinical practice.
Undertaking a PhD has broadened my scientific skills and helped me to delve deeper into the physiologic effects of scleral lenses on the eye.”
- Damien Fisher, Optometrist and PhD student, pictured right applying a scleral contact lens to his own eye
Improving eye health for remote Indigenous Australians
"My research aims to improve understanding of vision conditions impacting Australian Indigenous children, and develop insight into characteristics that influence ocular diseases in later life. Through my research we provided eye exams to almost 300 school children from a rural area where access to optometry services is limited.
Completing my PhD will open up a range of career opportunities in the future, either in the world of research, teaching, or industry."
- Rebecca Cox, Optometrist and PhD student
Applying biomedical engineering to clinical care
“Doing a PhD in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at QUT has given me the opportunity to grow in my career as a biomedical engineer through my research. This would not have been possible without a scholarship, which helped me set up my life in Brisbane early in the program.
My research focuses on developing efficient automatic deep learning algorithms (based on AI) that analyse optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) images of the outer layers of the eye. I aim to enhance clinical decision making through improved image analysis.”
- Yoel Garcia Marin, Biomedical Engineer and PhD student
Improving visual impairment later in life
“I investigated falls by people with Age-Related Macular Degeneration. I gained an in-depth understanding of the functional impact of visual impairment in later life, which is an area of personal interest, and also clinically relevant to my profession as an Optometrist. I got to meet delightful participants who taught me so much about the challenges they faced every day due to their vision loss.
Studying part-time allowed me to fit my studies around a young family. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of a PhD and the personal growth gained from these studies.”
- Ursula White, Optometrist and PhD graduate
Developing clinical skills and research techniques
“As an Optometrist, I always had a keen interest in clinical research and wanted to pursue a PhD. My dream came true when I was accepted into QUT's PhD program along with a full scholarship for my studies on ocular surface disease.
QUT's research facilities and training are world-class, with a multicultural and friendly environment. I am greatly supported by my supervisors, which enabled me to publish my first research paper in a high quality scientific journal. I have developed many new skills that I am confident will help my future employment prospects.”
- Pradipta Bhattacharya, Optometrist and PhD student
Interventions for short-sightedness in children
"I will always be thankful for the scholarship assistance whilst completing my higher research degree studies at QUT. I have been able to remain focused on my research tasks and not be distracted by financial worries and pressures.
My current research focuses on understanding the potential impact of limiting visual details which underpin the development of short-sightedness. It is hoped my research outcomes will provide better insight into understanding eye growth and will potentially facilitate improved interventions to control the development and progression of short-sightedness in children."
Swee Chai Teoh, Optometrist and PhD student
Understanding the effect of chemotherapy on the eye
"I am so grateful to be offered an Australia Research Training Program and QUT HDR scholarship to pursue my PhD in Optometry. It allows me to embark on research that aims to understand the effect of chemotherapy on the ocular surface.
In the second year of my study, my abstract was accepted for one of the largest vision science conferences in the world, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2020, USA. Another achievement that I am proud of is the acceptance of a review paper in the journal Ocular Surface, on which I am the joint first author. These achievements were made possible by the support and guidance of my supervisory team and the positive environment throughout QUT."
Ilyanoon Zahari, Optometrist and PhD student