Researcher

Dr Maria Markoulli

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

Dr Maria Markoulli is an Optometrist and Senior Lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW. Her research interests lie within tear film biochemistry and the ocular surface. In particular, her research goals are to:

  1. understand the impact that systemic disease, such as diabetes, can have on corneal nerves and tear film biochemistry
  2. characterise the impact of dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction on the ocular...view more

Dr Maria Markoulli is an Optometrist and Senior Lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW. Her research interests lie within tear film biochemistry and the ocular surface. In particular, her research goals are to:

  1. understand the impact that systemic disease, such as diabetes, can have on corneal nerves and tear film biochemistry
  2. characterise the impact of dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction on the ocular surface and identify effective treatments
  3. minimise contact lens-related adverse events

 

 Awards 

  • 2019 UNSW ARC Postgraduate Supervisor Award
  • 2019 UNSW Women in Maths and Science Champion
  • 2019 UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science Research Excellence Award
  • 2017 UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence
  • 2016 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation travel grant
  • 2015 Certificate for Teaching Excellence (Faculty of Science, UNSW)
  • 64th Meeting of the Nobel Laureates, Lindau, Germany: Selected by the Group of Eight and the Australian Academy of Science to attend, 2014
  • UNSW Early Career Researchers grant 2013
  • William C. Ezell Fellowship (American Optometric Foundation), 2009 & 2010
  • OVRF-Maki Shiobara Scholarship, 2010 
  • Tear Film and Ocular Surface Travel Award, 2010
  • Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia Scholarship, 2010
  • Postgraduate Research Scheme Scholarship, 2010
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (Australian Government), 2008-2011
  • Ciba Vision Pty Ltd Prize for Excellence in Contact Lenses, 2004
  • David Bard Scholarship (University of New South Wales), 2002
  • Faculty of Science Scholarship for 4 years (University of New South Wales), 2000-2003

Teaching

  • OPTM3133: Course convenor for ‘Vision Science in the Consulting Room’ in Term 2 (BVisSci students)
  • OPTM6400: Course convenor for 'Optometric Preclinical Practice' in Term 1 (MClinOptom students)
  • Academic lead for the UNSW Dry Eye Clinic
  • Dry eye lectures

Engagement and Leadership

  • Postgraduate Coordinator
  • Deputy Editor: Clinical and Experimental Optometry
  • Board member: The Optical Foundation
  • Tear Film and Ocular Surface (TFOS) Young Investigator committee member
  • TFOS International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort Subcommittee member
  • TFOS Dry Eye Workshop II Subcommittee member

Professional memberships

  • Optometrists Association of Australia
  • Ezell Club, American Optometric Foundation
  • Fellow and Member of the American Academy of Optometry
  • Fellow and Member of British Contact Lens Association
  • Member of the International Society of Contact Lens Researchers
  • TFOS
  • Association for researchers in vision and ophthalmology

Research Groups

Research Topics

  • Dry eye: contact lens wear, innervation and symptoms, sex hormones
  • Ocular surface disease: allergy, biomarkers, diabetes, keratoconus, obesity and nutrition
  • Tear film biochemistry, ocular homeostasis and pathology
  • Use of alternative and complementary medicines

My Research Activities

My research program exploits the accessibility of the tear film and the transparency of the cornea to research ways to better characterise, diagnose and monitor ocular and systemic diseases. Specifically, my research program aims to: 

  1. understand the impact that systemic diseases such as diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, chronic kidney disease and treatment with chemotherapy have on corneal nerves and tear film biochemistry, and to use these findings to produce improved diagnostic markers that will help monitor progression of disease and the effect of therapy.
  2. characterise the impact of contact lenses, dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction on the ocular surface and identify effective treatments to minimise these changes.
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Location

School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales
Level 3 North Wing Rupert Myers Building, Gate 14 Barker Street, UNSW Sydney NSW 2052 Australia


Contact

+61 2 9385 9229