Our staff numbers expanded during 2022 and I welcome all of the new staff that have joined and warmly thank staff whom we farewelled throughout the year.
New Staff, New Roles & Farewells:
We had several Part-time Associate Lecturers who joined the School in 2022 to support our course convenors. We welcomed Gauri Shrestha, Melinda Toomey, Charles Chung, Radha Govind, Rebecca Dang, Wilson Luu, Ngozi Chidi-Egboka, Sidra Sarwat, Fatima Iqbal and Adam Samuels.
We thank Associate Professor Maria Markoulli for stepping in as Acting Director of Learning and Teaching whilst Dr Pauline Kang is on maternity leave.
Dr Jerome Ozkan now holds the position of Higher Degree Research Coordinator and Dr Vinod Maseedupally, Undergraduate Coordinator.
We farewelled long-standing employee Dr Alex Hui in 2022. Alex was the course convenor for our postgraduate ocular therapeutics who returned to Canada and we thank him for his outstanding service to the School. Associate Professor Sieu Khuu has taken on the role of Ethics and Grievance Officer following Alex’s departure and Dr Angelica Ly will be the course convenor for the Graduate Certificate in Ocular Therapeutics.
Matthew Walker and Dr Mick Gleeson commenced as Education Focussed Lecturers for our popular postgraduate coursework program – Graduate Diploma in Orientation and Mobility.
Dr Peter Wagner joined the Sensory Processes Research Laboratory as a Research Associate under the guidance of Associate Professor Juno Kim for Terms 1&2 of 2022.
Dr Shyam Tummanapalli joined Associate Professor Maria Markoulli’s team as a Postdoctoral Researcher investigating ocular surface biomarkers for dry eye in patients with systemic neurodegenerative diseases.
During Term 2 we welcomed back Grant Hannaford as an Education Focussed Lecturer who was assisting Dr Nayuta Yoshioka with Dispensing Teaching.
Akshay Rai joined Jessie Huang-Lung in the Public Health team to work as a Research Assistant across a diabetic eye disease project and other projects in the social impact of age-related macular degeneration.
Ha Duong commenced at SOVS in a part-time capacity as a Research Associate working with Associate Professor Blanka Golebiowski.
Samrat Sankar joined Dr Pauline Kang’s team part-time in 2022 to work as a Research Associate on myopia control projects.
Fiona Stapleton had Judy Nam join her team as a research coordinator.
Angelica Ly commenced in August 2022 as a Senior Lecturer at the School. She comes to the School with a wealth of experience and has assisted with the Ocular Therapeutics program following Alex Hui’s departure in 2022 and will be teaching Stage 4 Therapeutics and the Posterior Eye course during 2023.
At the end of 2022, we welcomed Mimi Nguyen and Annita Duong (commencing in January 2023) as part-time Research Optometrists for Professor Isabelle Jalbert and Dr Angelica Ly.
We bid goodbye to the following staff: Alex Hui, Gail Van Heerden, Peter Wagner, Danny Kho, and Mahjabeen Khan
We were delighted this year to have Dr Jerome Ozkan promoted to Senior Lecturer and Isabelle Jalbert promoted to Professor, effective 1 January 2023. They are both very much deserving of their promotions and on behalf of the School we congratulate them.
During 2022 we were successful with several grants totalling $2.95M.
We congratulate Dr Matt Trinh and Dr Lisa Nivison-Smith who received a grant from the Future Vision Foundation, Dr Jerome Ozkan was successful with an International Society for Contact Lens Research Grant, Professor Mark Willcox was part of a team that received an NHMRC MRFF grant for their work on “Aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 experimentally and in an intensive care setting”. I was also successful along with colleagues Konrad Pesudovs and Sheela Kumaran with a Macular Disease Foundation Grant.
We also congratulate Jack Phu, Fiona Stapleton, Ingrid Jiminez-Barbosa, Ann Webber, Melinda Toomey, Parthu Kalaiselvan, Muhammad Yasir, Simin Masoudi and Jackie Tan-Sowyin on their grant success throughout the year.
At the end of 2022 were excited to share the news that Associate Professor Juno Kim was awarded an ARC Discovery Project Grant for his VR research to commence in 2023.
International and National Awards
We are extremely proud to share our award successes for 2022. We have been lucky to have our staff acknowledged with international and national awards for the School.
Associate Professor Maria Markoulli was awarded a special commendation for the 2022 Australian Council of Graduate Research Award for Excellence in Graduate Research Leadership. Maria stepped down as the HDR coordinator this year to take up the position of Acting Director of Learning and Teaching and this award epitomises Maria’s dedication to the HDR program over the years.
Maria was also recognised with an UNSW Arc PGC Research Supervisor Award in 2022.
Professor Isabelle Jalbert was acknowledged with a 2021 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning as part of the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT). An awesome acknowledgement of Isabelle’s dedication to ensuring that our students have an outstanding educational experience.
Scientia Professor Fiona Stapleton was named the top researcher in Opthalmology and Optometry by the Australian newspaper for the third year running based on publications and citations.
Fiona was also the recipient of the 2022 Richard and Lenora Hill Medal and gave the address at the Ohio State College of Optometry titled “how to make contact lens wear safer”.
We congratulate Grant Hannaford who was named the International Optician of the Year, an amazing achievement!
Dr Jack Phu received the Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award from the American Academy of Optometry. "The Borish Award recognizes an outstanding young scientist or clinician scientist who shows exceptional promise in conducting independent research directly related to etiology, prevention, detection, diagnosis or management of clinical ocular disorders."
He also received the J Lloyd Hewett Award from CXO for his paper authored with Professor Michael Kalloniatis, Dr Michael Hennessy, Dr Matthew Spargo and Dr Samuel Dance titled ‘A collaborative pathway for patients with suspected angle closure glaucoma spectrum disease’.
Professor Mark Willcox is the 2022 recipient of the International Society for Contact Lens Research Ruben Medal. The Ruben Medal is the highest honour of the Society and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the field of contact lens-related research.
Finally, we congratulate Dr Parthu Kalaiselvan and Dr Muhammad Yasir were successful in receiving a fellowship as part of the Bridge and Bridge Tech Industry Fellowship program.
At the start of December 2022, we held our end-of-year lunch with all of our staff and higher degree research students.
We held it at the Coogee Beach Club where we enjoyed a meal together and played some lawn bowls.
The following staff were recognised with School awards:
Kerrie Ren – Demonstrates Excellence
Vanessa Honson – Demonstrates Excellence
Anthony Chapman-Davies – Drives Innovation
Jessie Huang-Lung - Builds Collaboration
Ajay Vijay - Embraces Diversity
Wilson Luu - Displays Respect
Juno Kim - Academic Excellence: Research
Sharon Oberstein - Academic Excellence: Education
Maitreyee Roy - Social Engagement
Nicole Carnt - Global Impact
Emilie Ross - Student Experience
On 14 December 2022 the Faculty of Medicine and Health held their awards and we congratulate the following SOVS staff members who were acknowledged with awards:
Juno Kim: Educational Excellence Award
Vanessa Honson: Education Innovation Award
Michelle Bonanno: Highly Commended: Enabling Educational Excellence Award
Nicole Carnt: Community Engagement Award
Values in Action
Sharon Oberstein: Excellence Award
Maitreyee Roy: Community Impact Award
Ajay Vijay as part of the Faculty Elevate Team: Hero’s Award
I would like to echo my sentiments again and sincerely thank our staff for their continued and sustained efforts over 2022.
As you can see we are making extremely valued contributions as part of the Faculty of Medicine & Health and these have been recognised accordingly.
I look forward to leading our excellent team of researchers, academics, lecturers, and professional and technical staff through 2023 and beyond.
Professor Lisa Keay
Head of School