11 March 2021

The College of Optometrists celebrates researchers at Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize event

The College of Optometrists presented the prestigious Research Excellence Awards today as part of Optometry Tomorrow Bitesize 2021.

The College’s awards, which celebrate outstanding contributions to research in the fields of optometry, optics and vision science, were presented by the Chair of the College’s Research Committee, Prof Ed Mallen MCOptom.

The researchers were presented with four of the College’s Research Excellence Awards:

  • Dr Rebekka Heitmar MCOptom was awarded the Neil Charman Medal for her cross-disciplinary approach to ocular haemodynamics and a commitment to dissemination beyond the field of optometry
  • The George Giles Postgraduate Research Prize was awarded to Dr Reena Chopra MCOptom for her PhD looking at the development of artificial intelligence in optometry and ophthalmology, and its application to AMD
  • The Philip Cole Prize for excellence in practice-based research was awarded to Dr Shelley Black MCOptom and Dr Emma McConnell MCOptom jointly for research that has impacted on paediatric optometry and children with learning disabilities
  • The Bernard Gilmartin OPO Award was awarded for the paper; Chua, SYL, Sabanayagam, C, Cheung, Y‐B, Chia, A, Valenzuela, RK, Tan, D, Wong, TY, Cheng, C‐Y, Saw, S‐M. Age of onset of myopia predicts risk of high myopia in later childhood in myopic Singapore children. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2016; 36: 388–394. The award was accepted on the authors’ behalf by Prof Ed Mallen.

Speaking during the webinar, Prof Ed Mallen MCOptom, Chair of the College’s Research Committee, said: “It is such a pleasure to honour and celebrate the success of those who have made a significant contribution to the profession and practice of optometry through the awarding of the Research Excellence Awards. I would like to congratulate all recipients and thank them for their contribution to the body of research on behalf of the profession.”

More information on the Research Excellence Awards


Notes to Editors

  1. The College is the professional body for optometry. It qualifies the profession and delivers the guidance and training to ensure optometrists provide the best possible care. We promote excellence through the College’s affixes, by building the evidence base for optometry, and raising awareness of the profession with the public, commissioners, and health care professionals.
  2. The College’s awards recognise achievement and celebrate outstanding contributions to research in the fields of optometry, optics and vision science.

Related further reading

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