Ali Alghamdi

Ali Alghamdi

PhD Candidate
Supervisors: Scientia Professor Fiona Stapleton, Associate Professor Isabelle Jalbert, Co-Supervisors: Associate Professor Blanka Golebiowski
Neuroimmunology in ocular allergy


Ocular surface dendritic cells (DC) are a subtype of antigen-presenting cells that play a crucial role in the immune response to ocular allergies. They initiate immune responses by capturing and processing antigens and migrate to the lymph node in the direction of chemokine gradients to present antigens to T cells. The prevalence of allergic conjunctivitis (AC) has increased worldwide in the past few decades with one-fifth of the Australian population having at least one type of allergy. AC affects many individuals’ quality of life and causes a socioeconomic burden. Appropriate AC management often includes pharmacological agents such as topical vasoconstrictors, antihistamines, mast cell stabilisers, corticosteroids, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and immunosuppressive agents. These medications have different mechanisms of action and time-course effects of the symptoms and signs of AC. Previous studies have demonstrated an alteration of ocular surface DC density, morphology, and distribution in various ocular diseases with these changes possibly being indicative of the inflammatory status of the eye. Only two studies have investigated the effect of anti-allergy treatment with corticosteroid and immunosuppressor agents on DC, and this is only vernal keratoconjunctivitis. We hypothesise that ocular treatments (e.g., topical antihistamines / mast cell stabilisers / corticosteroids) have differing effects on ocular surface DC density, morphology, and distribution in various forms of AC (allergic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis and vernal keratoconjunctivitis).

There is a lack of evidence about the effect and time course of anti-allergy pharmacological treatments on ocular DC density, morphology, and topographical distribution in various forms of AC. Understanding these effects will enhance our knowledge about the treatment paradigm of ocular allergy


Ali Alghamdi is an optometrist, who holds a master’s degree in Optometry from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Ali worked as an optometrist for 3 years at a general hospital in Saudi Arabia. He obtained the Saudi Ministry of Health scholarship to do the master’s degree in 2019. After graduating in 2021, he obtained the University International Postgraduate Award (UIPA) scholarship from UNSW to undertake PhD in optometry.


PhD candidate (current) - University of New South Wales – Australia.

Master of Optometry – University of New South Wales – Australia (2021).

Bachelor of Optometry – King Saud University, Saudi Arabia (2014).



  1. Alghamdi, A., Tajbakhsh, Z., Jalbert, I., Stapleton, F., & Golebiowski, B. (2021). Repeatability and reliability of density and morphology measurements of corneal and conjunctival epithelial dendritic cells using in vivo confocal microscopy. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science62(8), 889-889.
  2. Tajbakhsh, Z., Jalbert, I., Stapleton, F., Alghamdi, A., Gray, P., Altavilla, B., & Golebiowski, B. (2021). Minimal persistent inflammation during the silent phase of allergic conjunctivitis observed with in vivo confocal microscopy. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science62(8), 408-408.


  1. 2021 - University International Postgraduate Award (UIPA) scholarship.
  2. 2019 - The Saudi Ministry of Health scholarship.



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