Jennifer P. Craig (University of Auckland, New Zealand)

Therapeutic optometrist, Jennifer P. Craig is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Auckland, where she heads the Ocular Surface Laboratory. Her main research interest is in dry eye and tear film dysfunction. She regularly delivers continuing education and research lectures internationally and publishes in both the scientific and clinical press. She is co-author of the book ‘The Tear Film’ and has contributed to the TFOS International Workshops on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Contact Lens Discomfort and has most recently served as Vice-Chair of the second Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society’s Dry Eye Workshop (TFOS DEWS II), published in 2017.

Kate Gifford (Co-founder and Lead Educator – Myopia Profile Pty Ltd)

Dr Kate Gifford is an internationally renowned clinician-scientist and peer educator from Queensland, Australia, and a Visiting Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Graduating from QUT in 2003 with First Class Honours and a University Medal, Kate completed her PhD on contact lens optics and binocular vision in myopia in 2018, holds four professional fellowships, over 70 peer reviewed and professional publications and has presented over 150 conference lectures across the world. Kate is co-founder of the world-leading educational platform Myopia Profile, which assists practitioner management and raises public awareness of childhood myopia. Kate is also the Chair of the Clinical Management Guidelines Committee of the International Myopia Institute and lead author on the landmark white paper published in 2019.

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Paul Gifford (Co-founder and Lead Educator – Myopia Profile Pty Ltd)

Dr Paul Gifford is a research scientist and industry innovator based in Queensland, Australia, and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Paul graduated from City University, London, England in 1995; completed his Masters in 2005 and was awarded his PhD in hyperopic orthokeratology and contact lens optics in 2009 from UNSW. Paul’s experience includes every facet of the optometry profession, from clinical practice to academia, research and industry. He holds three professional fellowships, more than 50 peer reviewed and professional publications, has been conferred several prestigious research awards and grants, and has presented more than 60 international conference lectures. Paul consults to industry on projects relating to product and systems design and software solutions including machine learning, and is co-founder of the world-leading educational platform Myopia Profile which supports practitioner management and raises public awareness of childhood myopia.

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Philip Morgan (Eurolens Research, University of Manchester, UK)

Philip Morgan is Professor of Optometry, Head of Optometry and Director of Eurolens Research at The University of Manchester. Philip is President of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and Vice President of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators. He is an honorary member of the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and of the British Contact Lens Association, and a member of the UK College of Optometrists. Philip was the BCLA Medallist in 2014 and BCLA Pioneer’s Lecturer in 2015.

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Tannin A. Schmidt (University of Connecticut Health Center, USA)

Dr. Schmidt’s research interests in bioengineering lie within biomaterials, biomechanics, biotribology, and biochemistry. The goal of his research program is to understand the fundamental mechanisms and properties of PRG4, also known as lubricin (a critical lubricating protein found throughout the human body, recently discovered to also have anti-inflammatory properties), at relevant biointerfaces and biomaterials, and to apply that knowledge to the development of PRG4-containing biotherapeutics and biomaterials.

He is a scientific co-founder of a clinical stage biotech company Lubris BioPharma, LLC, that out licensed their recombinant human lubricin to Novartis for ophthalmic indications worldwide (outside Europe) including the treatment of dry eye.

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Mirjam van Tilborg (Private practice, Netherlands)

Mirjam van Tilborg completed a Bachelor of Optometry at the University of Applied Science, Utrecht and her Master of Sciences at City University, London. She also has a full education degree. In 2017 she gained her PhD at Cardiff University, Wales. She is a highly experienced optometrist, specialist in the anterior segment and especially in allergies and dry eyes. She is a researcher at Research Centre Health and Sustainable Life, Research Group Technology for Healthcare innovations, and is a Senior Lecturer in the Optometry Department. She also works in her own private practice as a specialist in dry eye disease.

She is Fellow of the AAO and EAOO. Her focus in research at this moment is the role of primary health care for better care for patients with dry eye disease.

Mark Willcox (University of New South Wales, Australia)

Professor Willcox’s laboratory focuses on contact lens research, specifically understanding the etiology of adverse events and comfort during contact lens wear. His research includes adhesion and biofilm formation of ocular pathogenic microbes (most notably Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and development of novel antimicrobial surfaces. He has established several animal and cell-based models for studying contact lens adverse events and biomaterial infections. His research has also encompassed proteomic, glycomic and lipidomic studies of the tear film and its interaction with contact lenses. He has also investigated the use of tears as the source of biomarkers for diseases such as diabetes, breast and prostate cancer. These research studies have led to the publication of 14 patents. He has published over 400 peer reviewed papers during his career. He has trained many graduate students (55 PhD and 2 MSc), and 15 postdoctoral and clinical fellows. He currently supervises 12 students studying for a PhD.

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James Wolffsohn (Aston University, UK)

Following a 1st class Optometry degree from Manchester, a pre-registration year at Moorfield’s Eye Hospital, London, a PhD at Cardiff University and a clinical/research fellowship at the University of Melbourne, Australia, Professor Wolffsohn was appointed by Aston University in 2000, where he was Head of Optometry 2004-9 and Deputy Executive Dean for Life and Health Sciences 2009-16, being awarded a personal Chair in 2007. He is now associate Pro-Vice Chancellor. James has published over 195 peer reviewed academic papers and given numerous international presentations. His main research areas are the development and evaluation of ophthalmic instrumentation, contact lenses, intraocular lenses and the tear film. He is the academic Chair of the British Contact Lens Association, having been a past president, was a harmoniser and sub-committee chair for TFOS DEWS II and joint-Chair of the International Myopia Institute reports.

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Craig Woods (Deakin University, Australia)

Craig Woods is Professor of Optometry, Head of Clinical Placements (Optometry) and Head of Research (Optometry) at the School of Medicine, Deakin University. Vice President of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and a member of the editorial boards for both Contact Lens & Anterior Eye and Eye & Contact Lens. He graduated with an optometry degree from The City University (London, UK), was awarded his PhD while at Eurolens Research at UMIST (Manchester, UK) and gained his graduate certificate in Ocular Therapeutics from the University of Melbourne. He has authored over 150 refereed and professional papers and 11 textbook chapters, in topics related to dry eye, contact lenses and associated adverse ocular responses.

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