Dr Cecilia Chao is an Associate Lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney and is currently conducting her post-doctoral work at Tufts Medical Center in Boston USA. She was previously trained as a translational post-doctoral fellow in the State University of New York, College of Optometry with Associate Professor Kathryn Richdale.
Dr Chao's current research in Professor Pedram Hamrah’s lab in Boston focuses on corneal and lacrimal gland conventional dendritic cells morphology and kinetic properties in vivo after environmental dry eye exposure using multi-photon microscopy. She is also investigating the selective blockade of chemokine receptors and/or integrins from HSV-1 primed CD4 T cells on their homing to the cornea, which will lead to the development of the treatment for HSV-1 keratitis. Her other research expertise includes contact lens induced sub-clinical inflammatory responses on the ocular surface, post-LASIK induced neuropathic dry eye, corneal subbasal nerve regeneration and its association with corneal dendritic cells and tear neuropeptides.
Dr Chao currently co-supervises research projects of PhD students in the fields of corneal antigen-presenting cell using in vivo confocal microscopy and tear cytokines during contact lens wear at UNSW in order to enhance the student experience and maximise learning whilst conducting their research.