Researcher

Dr Blanka Golebiowski

Field of Research (FoR)

Biography

Dr Blanka Golebiowski is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS).  Her research examines ocular symptoms in dry eye and contact lens wear and the influence of innervation and sex hormones.  This work aims to improve understanding of the causes of dry eye and exascerbating conditions such as ocular allergy, and to inform the development of future treatments.
Dr Golebiowski also has an active interest in...view more

Dr Blanka Golebiowski is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Optometry and Vision Science (SOVS).  Her research examines ocular symptoms in dry eye and contact lens wear and the influence of innervation and sex hormones.  This work aims to improve understanding of the causes of dry eye and exascerbating conditions such as ocular allergy, and to inform the development of future treatments.
Dr Golebiowski also has an active interest in public health optometry, specifically in access to eye care and asylum seeker and refugee eye health.

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 a research optometrist and principal investigator liaising with industry on clinical trials of contact lenses.  She has substantial expertise in design, conduct and management of clinical trials and in specialised ocular surface examination techniques including confocal microscopy, nerve morphology assessment, aesthesiometry, impression cytology, meibomian gland and tear function assessment as well as measurement of ocular symptoms.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

Ocular Surface:  innervation of the cornea and conjunctiva,  ocular surface sensitivity,  ocular surface symptoms,  dry eye,  contact lenses,  sex hormones in dry eye,  ocular allergy,  ocular surface inflammation,  dry eye treatment.

Public Health:  refugee and sylum seeker eye care,  utilisation of eye care services.

As a clinician wanting to help patients who report chronic eye discomfort and pain, Dr Golebiowski's research is chiefly devoted to understanding the ocular symptom response in dry eye and in contact lens wear.  This work examines the relationship between ocular discomfort and clinical signs and biomarkers of dry eye.  Her investigation of ocular surface sensitivity and nerve morphology has shown that symptoms experienced in marginal dry eye are not directly related to the neural sensitivity of the ocular surface, and highlighed the need for more advanced techniques for assessment of ocular surface innervation.

Her current projects examine symptoms and ocular surface innervation in ocular allergy, during contact lens wear, after refractive surgery, and the effects of adolescence, nutrition and obesity.  A key research direction involves investigation of the role that sex hormones, including oestrogen and testosterone, play in dry eye. 

Dr Golebiowski has a strong interest in public health through her projects investigating the utilisation of eye care by the general community and by patients with glaucoma, access to eye care and eye health status of asylum seekers and refugee groups.

A member of key international associations including the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society and the International Society for Contact Lens Research, Dr Golebiowski is honoured to form part of the Sex Hormones and Dry Eye sub-committee of the TFOS Dry Eye Workshop II (DEWS II) and recently the Neurobiology sub-committee of the TFOS International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort.

For more detail on specific research projects see http://www.optometry.unsw.edu.au/research/current-research

STUDENT RESEARCH

As Postgraduate Research Director, Dr Golebiowski heads higher degree student education and training at SOVS.  She is a member of the Faculty of Science Research Training Committee and chair of the SOVS Higher Degree Research Review Panel and is dedicated to enhancing students' experience of higher degree study through increased engagement with students and supervisors.

Dr Golebiowski supervises students in the research areas provided below. If you are interested in undertaking an Honours, Masters or PhD research project with Dr Golebiowski, please contact her by email.

Current Student Research (PhD, Masters and Honours)
" Do oestrogen levels in tears affect evaporative dry eye?"
" The role of systemic oestrogen in dry eye; the menstrual cycle and IVF treatment."
"A new instrument to measure sensitivity of the eye."

" Handheld devices and digital eyestrain and discomfort."
" The effect of age on the human corneal immune response."
" Use of ocular therapeutics, complementary and alternative medicines by optometry patients."
" Pathways to eye care for asylum seekers"

Available Student Projects
Neural markers of ocular allergy.
Corneal and conjunctival innervation in dry eye and ocular discomfort.
Inflammatory response during dry eye, allergy,
contact lens wear, and after LASIK – corneal dendritic cells.
Improving eye care for asylum seekers.
Eye health of asylum seekers and recent migrants in Sydney.

Completed PhD Projects
" Measurement of clnical, bio- and neuro-markers of ocular surface and tear film in subjects with itchy eyes." (S.Kolanu 2016)
" Sex hormones, ocular surface sensitivity and dry eye symptoms and signs in postmenopausal women." (N.Badarudin 2014)
" The impact of overnight orthokeratology on sub-basal nerve plexus morphology and corneal sensitivity." (E.Lum 2013)
" Structural and functional changes in corneal innervation after LASIK and their relationship with dry eye." (C.Chao 2014)
" 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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Location

School of Optometry and Vision Science
Room 3.005
Rupert Myers Building
UNSW
NSW 2052

Contact

+61 2 9385 4502
+61 2 9313 6243