Field of Research (FoR)
Dr Blanka Golebiowski is an optometrist and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS). Her research uses new approaches to examine the causes of ocular surface dysfunction and eye irritation in dry eye, allergy, contact lens wear, refractive surgery (LASIK). Key areas of research focus include the role of corneal innervation and sex hormones (eg oestrogen) in ocular surface health. Dr Golebiowski is also...view more
Dr Blanka Golebiowski is an optometrist and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS). Her research uses new approaches to examine the causes of ocular surface dysfunction and eye irritation in dry eye, allergy, contact lens wear, refractive surgery (LASIK). Key areas of research focus include the role of corneal innervation and sex hormones (eg oestrogen) in ocular surface health. Dr Golebiowski is also interested in the effects of nutrition and obesity, and in ocular surface and tear function in children, especially with smartphone use. By advancing the understanding of mechanisms behind dry eye and eye pain, Dr Golebiowski aims to inform the development of new, effective, and ultimately curative treatments and management strategies.
Dr Golebiowski also has an active clinical and research interest in the eye health and access to eye care by disadvantaged populations, including asylum seekers and refugees. She is co-ordinator for the UNSW Eye Clinic based at the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown (https://asylumseekerscentre.org.au/healthcare-service/).
Dr 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, Dr Golebiowski 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. Dr Golebiowski has expertise in design, conduct and management of clinical trials and in specialised ocular surface examination techniques including confocal microscopy, corneal nerve analysis, examination of dendritic cells, aesthesiometry, meibomian gland and tear function assessment, blink assessment, and measurement of ocular symptoms and eye pain. She is developing techniques to identify and quantify sex hormones in the tear film using ultrasensitive mass spectroscopy.
She is an elected member of the International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR), and is honoured to form part of the Sex, Gender and Hormones sub-committee of the TFOS International Dry Eye Workshop II (DEWS II) (2017) and the Neurobiology sub-committee of the TFOS International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort (2013). She was selected to participate in the Academic Women in Leadership program at UNSW (2015) and received the SOVS Research Award for her services to research in 2017.
Ocular Surface: innervation of the cornea and conjunctiva, ocular surface sensitivity, ocular surface symptoms, eye pain, corneal dendritic cells, tear film, dry eye, contact lenses, sex hormones in dry eye, ocular allergy, ocular surface inflammation, dry eye treatment, tear film, meibomian glands, smartphones.
Public Health: refugee and asylum seeker eye care, eye health of disadvantaged populations, utilisation of eye care services.
For more detail on specific research projects see http://www.optometry.unsw.edu.au/research/current-research
Dr Golebiowski is highly committed to student research supervision and 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. As Postgraduate Research Director (2007-2017), Dr Golebiowski headed higher degree student education and training at SOVS. She has supervised 13 higher degree research and 50 honours students.
Dr Golebiowski supervises students in the research areas below. If you are interested in undertaking a PhD, Masters or Honours research project with Dr Golebiowski, please contact her by email.
Current Student Research (PhD, Masters and Honours)
" Do oestrogen levels in tears affect dry eye?"
" The role of oestrogen in dry eye; the menstrual cycle and IVF treatment."
" In vivo assessment of corneal epithelial dendritic cells using confocal microscopy."
" The ocular surface and tear film in children."
" Eye discomfort and tear function with smartphone use."
" The effect of contact lens wear on limbal stem cells."
" Pathways to eye care for asylum seekers."
" Access to eye care for marginalised populations in Australia, including asylum seekers, refugees, homeless people and offenders."
" Effect of youth and contact lens wear on inflammatory status of the cornea."
" Corneal and conjunctival epithelial dendritic cell distribution, density and morphology in ocular allergy."
Available Student Projects
A new instrument to measure sensitivity of the eye.
Measurement of sex hormones in tears.
Corneal and conjunctival neurobiology in dry eye and ocular pain and discomfort.
Improving eye care for asylum seekers.
Eye health of asylum seekers, refugees and recent migrants in Sydney.
Completed PhD Projects
" 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)
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