The College’s third Research Symposium, in conjunction with the British Congress of Optometry and Vision Science, took place alongside Optometry Tomorrow at Aintree Racecourse on the 20th and 21st of March.
As in previous years, it brought together new research in the fields of optometry and vision science and provided a forum in which practitioners could learn more about the relevance of research practice and how they might become more involved in research.
The Symposium began on Sunday morning with a session looking at key issues for all optometrists, including how optometrists construct their professional identity and the need for further research into the implications of hand hygiene in practice. There was also a workshop session guiding attendees through the process of framing an initial research question.
Optometrists' professional identity - Andrew Millington - short lecture
Developing a research question - Dr Hancock and Prof Wolffsohn - workshop
The afternoon saw Professor John Marshall of St Thomas’ Hospital giving a Research Keynote lecture, in which he explained how parts of the ageing process could be reversed to help prevent the onset of AMD. It was followed by some more presentations of new research and a guide to getting your research published.
Biomechanical properties of the sclera in young adults - Dr Hetal Patel - short lecture
The human crystalline lens during accommodation - Dr Amy Sheppard - short lecture
How to get your research published - Prof David Elliott - lecture
Monday saw a thought provoking session on the questions surrounding research ethics, as well as further new research covering topics including refractive error change in children, the work of Vision Aid Overseas, albinism and ocular aberrations linked to Down Syndrome.
Refractive error change in children - Karen Breslin - short lecture
Refractive error and visual acuity in albinism and congenital nystagmus - Natasha Healey - short lecture
Cone-mediated dark adaptation - Allannah Gaffney - short lecture
Professor Neil Charman brought the programme to a close with his overview of the merits of present and possible future methods for correcting presbyopia, before the Symposium’s Oral Presentation Prize was awarded to Allannah Gaffney for her presentation on age-related maculopathy.
Commenting on the Symposium, Professor Bernard Gilmartin of Aston University and Chair of the College’s Research Committee, said, “in the current healthcare climate, building an evidence base for optometric practice is now more important than ever, and the Symposium has once again greatly helped to spread this message as well as providing optometrists with access to the evidence from research that will shape future practice”.
We would like to thank everyone who attended and presented at the Symposium. If you have any questions please contact Martin Cordiner by email or on 020 7766 4346.