Researcher

Associate Professor Blanka Golebiowski

My Expertise

Blanka Golebiowski is an optometrist and Associate Professor in the School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS).  Her research aims to advance understanding of the mechanisms causing dry eye and eye pain, in order to inform the development of new, effective, and ultimately curative treatments.  In addition, her work in public health aims to improve eye care for disadvantaged populations.
A/Prof Golebiowski is keen to translate her research into real world solutions, in collaboration with industry and organisations outside of academia

Prior to commencing her academic career, she worked as an optometrist in private practice in rural and metropolitan regions of Australia and New Zealand, and as a principal investigator liaising with industry on clinical trials of contact lenses. 

OCULAR SURFACE & TEAR FILM RESEARCH AREAS:
   ►  causes of ocular surface dysfunction and eye irritation
   ►  dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction, ocular allergy, contact lens wear, refractive surgery (LASIK)
   ►  corneal innervation
   ►  neuro-immune modulation, in vivo assessment of dendritic cells
   ►  sex, gender and hormone effects on the eye and tears
   ►  climate change, the environment and the eye, effects of bushfire smoke
   ►  ocular surface health in children and adolescents, effects of smartphone use and contact lens wear
   ►  real-life blink assessment

Methodological expertise:
   ►  design, conduct and management of clinical trials
   ►  specialised ocular surface clinical techniques including confocal microscopy, corneal nerve analysis, examination of dendritic cells, aesthesiometry, meibomian gland and tear function assessment, blink assessment
   ►  measurement of ocular symptoms and eye pain
   ►  measurement of sex hormones in the tear film using ultrasensitive mass spectroscopy
   ►  meibomian gland cell culture

Keywords: innervation of the cornea and conjunctiva,  corneal and conjunctival sensitivity,  dry eye symptoms, eye pain, corneal dendritic cells, tear film, dry eye,  contact lenses,  sex hormones,  ocular allergy,  ocular surface inflammation, dry eye treatment, tear film, meibomian glands, smartphones, digital devices, environmental health, bushfire smoke.
 

PUBLIC HEALTH OPTOMETRY:  A/Prof Golebiowski has an active clinical and research interest in eye health and access to eye care by disadvantaged populations, including asylum seekers and refugees. She co-ordinates the UNSW Eye Clinic based at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown, and has received the AMP Tomorrow Fund award for this work.
Keywords: refugee and asylum seeker eye care, eye health of disadvantaged populations,  utilisation of eye care services.

RESEARCH GROUPS:
•  Ocular surface research (incl. dry eye and contact lenses)
•  Myopia research group
•  Public health and health systems research group

Field of Research (FoR)

Biography

HONOURS & AWARDS

HONOURS & AWARDS

  •  Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence: Postgraduate Research Supervision and Leadership in Supervision (2018)
  •  AMP Tomorrow Maker (2018)
  •  Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research, SOVS (2017)
  •  Sex, Gender and Hormones sub-committee - TFOS International Dry Eye Workshop II (DEWS II) (2017)
  •  Neurobiology sub-committee - TFOS International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort (2013)
  •  Elected member of the International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR)
  •  Academic Women in Leadership, UNSW (2015)

 

POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH & SUPERVISION

A/Professor Golebiowski is highly committed to endowing students with research skills to take to their future careers in academia or as optometric clinicians.  Her teaching approach encourages collaboration and inspires student ownership of their projects, and she has been recognised with the highest UNSW Award for Teaching Excellence in research supervision (2018).   A/Prof Golebiowski has supervised 15 PhD and >70 Honours and Masters students, and servfed as the Postgraduate Research Director at SOVS from 2007-2017.

A/Prof Golebiowski supervises students in the research areas below. If you are interested in undertaking PhD, Masters or Honours research with A/Prof Golebiowski, please contact her via email.

Current Student Research (PhD, Masters, Hons)
" The ocular surface and tear film in children."  Ngozi Chidi-Egboka
" Eye discomfort and blinking during smartphone use."
" The smoke in your eyes: Impact of the Australian bushfires on the ocular surface."  Sukanya Jaiswal
" In vivo assessment of corneal epithelial dendritic cells."
" Ocular allergy: Corneal and conjunctival epithelial dendritic cell distribution, density and morphology."  Zahra Tajbakhsh
" Effect of age and contact lens wear on inflammatory status of the cornea."  Rabia Mobeen
" Do sex hormones regulate tear production by the meibomian gland?  Suhyun Kweon
" Ocular effects of air pollution."
" Improving eye care for asylum seekers, refugees and recent migrants." 
Albert Lee

Available Student Projects
-  Measurement of sex hormones in tears using ultrasensitive mass spectrometry.
-  Sex and gender influences on ocular pain and discomfort.
-  Neurobiology of the ocular surface in dry eye, eye pain and discomfort.
-  Climate change and the eye.

Please contact me to suggest a topic of your interest.

Completed PhD Projects
" The role of oestrogen in dry eye; the menstrual cycle and IVF treatment." (A.Boga 2020)
" Sex hormones, tears and dry eyes." (E.Gibson 2018)
" Measurement of clinical, bio- and neuro-markers of ocular surface and tear film in subjects with itchy eyes." (S.Kolanu 2016)

" Applications of holograms for spherical refractive error measurements." (N.Nguyen 2016)
" Sex hormones, ocular surface sensitivity and dry eye symptoms and signs in postmenopausal women." (N.Badarudin 2014)

" Structural and functional changes in corneal innervation after LASIK and their relationship with dry eye." (C.Chao 2014)
" The impact of overnight orthokeratology on sub-basal nerve plexus morphology and corneal sensitivity." (E.Lum 2013)

" Contemporary evaluation of ocular discomfort, clinical indicators and biomarkers of ocular surface health." (M.Gokhale 2013)
" A clinical description of ocular response analyser parameters." (W.Lau 2011)
" Issues pertaining to recruitment and retention of rural and remote optometrists in Australia." (MSc, R.Main 2009)

 


My Grants

 

Golebiowski B, Stapleton F, Madigan M, Willcox M, Sullivan DAS. Do sex steroids regulate tear lipid production in human meibomian glands? ARC Discovery Project 2019-2021.

Maseedupally V, Golebiowski B, Keay L, Watt K, Chao C. UNSW Optometry and Vision Science enhancing partnerships with India, China and Taiwan." UNSW Science Faculty International Seed Funding 2019.

Golebiowski B, Tan-Showyin J, Kang P, Jalbert I, Stapleton F, Boon MY, Swarbrick H, Madigan M, Kim J, Arthur P, Dutta D, Carnt N, Hui A, Pye D, Roy M. Anterior Eye Assessment Suite. UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme 2019.

Golebiowski B. Providing access to eye care for asylum seekers in the community in Sydney. AMP Tomorrow Fund 2019-2020.

Stapleton F, Golebiowski B, Sullivan DAS, Willcox M, Dear R. Modulation of oestrogen at the ocular surface and the effect on meibomian glands, tear lipids and dry eye. UNSW Goldstar Award 2018.

 

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Location

School of Optometry and Vision Science
Rupert Myers Building


Videos

Dry Eye: Sex, Gender and Hormones
Eye care for asylum seekers