Dr David Wilson Memorial Scholarship to support research into myopia

Matthew Lowe, Tara McCabe, Nicole Xiao Liu, Amanda Davis, Fiona Stapleton, Tim Thurn, Neilsen De Souza

Sydney, Australia, 19 July 2018Today we proudly announce Nicole Xiao Liu, a PhD candidate studying at Brien Holden Vision Institute, is the successful recipient of the Dr David Wilson Memorial Scholarship.

The Dr David Wilson Memorial Scholarship is an initiative between Brien Holden Vision Institute, Essilor Australia and University of NSW, as a philanthropic response to advance research in optometry mutually supported by the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW.

Dr Wilson was one of Australia’s leading educators in optical dispensing and he was very passionate about training educators and enabling them to evolve as the best mentors for their students. He took his teaching skills to more than 20 countries through his work as an educator at Brien Holden Vision Institute, where he also authored a 32-week ophthalmic lenses curriculum, lectures and educational modules on progressive lenses and ophthalmic lenses.

He ran the optical dispensing course for the Open Training and Education Network (OTEN) for over 20 years, where he received an award for the quality of his teaching by the NSW Government’s Education Minister. Later, he became a Senior Research Fellow for Brien Holden Vision Institute,

Ms Liu is a high achieving student who has already achieved a Bachelor of Clinical Medicine (optometry and ophthalmology) at a distinction average, a Masters of Optometry with high distinction in visual neuroscience. She is currently undertaking her PhD in optometry with a focus on myopia progression.

The scholarship will support Ms Liu’s research studies in Australia, China, India and Vietnam, which will include investigating whether environmental factors on circadian rhythms influence the onset and progression of myopia.

“We are interested in determining if environmental factors such as light, amount of indoor/outdoor work , type of activity and sleep/awake pattern have a role to play in the onset and progression of myopia.  The Institute in collaboration with industry partners will be monitoring children of various ethnicities and I plan to study the influence of the above mentioned factors for their role in the onset and progression of myopia,” Nicole said.

“It is a great honour to be the first recipient of the Dr David Wilson Memorial Scholarship. My supervisor, Professor Padmaja Sankaridurg, told me that Dr Wilson had a particular interest in myopia. I hope with this scholarship, and the guidance and support from my supervisors, the Institute, the School and my family and friends, I will do him proud.”

Dr Wilson’s family attended the presentation ceremony at the Institute showing their support for the memorial scholarship. Attending was David’s wife Jan, his father and mother-in-law, his son Andrew and his wife, Rebecca, and baby son.

More about Dr David Alan Wilson
Dr David Alan Wilson, one of Australia’s leading educators in optical dispensing, who took his expertise to many countries, passed away in Sydney in 2016. During his life, Dr Wilson was a Senior Research Fellow at Brien Holden Vision Institute, where he authored several significant papers.

One such paper, which he co-authored, was a landmark paper predicting that myopia will affect 50% of the world’s population by 2050. Commenting on this work, the late Professor Brien Holden said, Dr Wilson’s expertise saw him in the role of president of the International Opticians Association and a member of the Australian Standards committees for spectacles and safety spectacles, and an assessor for the National Association of Testing Authorities.

He was also a Visiting Fellow at the University of New South Wales and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

In 2011, Dr Wilson was awarded his PhD on ‘The efficacious correction of refractive error in developing countries.

Dr Wilson co-wrote two textbooks in optical dispensing, Practical Optical Dispensing, now in its third edition, and Practical Optical Workshop, now in its second edition

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