Ha Duong

Ha Duong

PhD Candidate

PhD Candidate

Research title: Impact of environmental factors on meibomian gland function and tear film lipid production

Supervisors:  A/Prof. Blanka GolebiowskiA/Prof. Michele MadiganDr Minh Phan

Email Address: ha.duong@unsw.edu.au

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/hallieduong90/

Research Abstract                 

Dry eye disease is a chronic condition affecting up to 30% of Australians and as many as 50% of people globally. Dysfunction of the eyelid meibomian glands, which produce tear film lipid, is the most common cause of dry eye. Clinical and epidemiological studies have indicated a consistent relationship between meibomian gland dysfunction, poor tear stability and environmental factors, including ambient temperature, humidity, air quality, and atmospheric pressure. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these associations are incompletely understood. This research will investigate the effects of environmental factors on meibomian gland biology at the cellular level using immortalised and primary human meibomian gland epithelial cells. Cell morphology, proliferation and viability, cell differentiation and lipid production and changes in the expression of relevant biomarkers, including inflammation-related molecules, will be evaluated under various simulated environmental conditions. The outcomes of this research will advance our understanding of molecular mechanisms of meibomian gland dysfunction and provide recommendations for the management and therapeutic treatment of dry eye disease.


Ha Duong is a molecular biologist, who holds a Master of Biological science degree from the University of Western Australia and Bachelor of Biotechnology from Vietnam National University. Alongside research skills, she also has profound experiences in project management and administration. Her current study focuses on the influence of environmental factors to dry eye in vitro at cellular level.


2021- current: PhD candidate Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney

2014-2015: Master of Biological Science, University of Western Australia

2008-2012: Bachelor of Biotechnology, Vietnam National University/Hanoi University of Science


Le MD, McCormack TEM, Hoang HV, Duong HT, Nguyen TQ, Ziegler T, Nguyen HD, Ngo HT (2020) Threats from wildlife trade: The importance of genetic data in safeguarding the endangered Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata). Nature Conservation 41:91-111.

R. C. Firman, F. J. Young, D. C. Rowe, H. T. Duong, C. Gasparini (2015) Sexual rest and post-meiotic sperm ageing in house mice. Journal of Evolution Biology, 28(7):1373-82.

Le, D.M, Duong, T.H., Dinh, D.L., Nguyen, Q.T., Pritchard, P., McCormack, T. (2014) A phylogeny of softshell turtles (Testudines: Trionychidae) with reference to the taxonomic status of the critically endangered, giant softshell turtle, Rafetus swinhoei. Organism Diversity & Evolution, 14(3): 279-293.

Le, D.M., Duong, T.H., Nguyen V.T., Nguyen, M.H., Dinh, D.L., Do, T., Nguyen, D.H. (2013) Methods for extracting and sequencing DNA from low-quality samples to aid biodiversity research. Vietnam Journal of Biology, 35: 116-124.


2021 Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship

2014 Australian Government Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship

2013 Best Presentation Award, Symposium on East Asian Vertebrate Species Diversity

2011 Undergraduate Research Program Scholarship by Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)