The Optometrist of the Year international award was presented to the researcher Padmaja Sankaridurg at the UPC-FOOT

On 7 October, the Optometrist of the Year international award was presented at the UPC’s Terrassa School of Optics and Optometry (FOOT) to Padmaja Sankaridurg, a professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, and a researcher at the Brien Holden Vision Institute, as part of the opening ceremony of the 2020-2021 academic year, which was broadcast live on YouTube.

Oct 07, 2020

The prevalence of myopia has increased globally to alarming levels. By 2050, almost one in two people is expected to be short-sighted, and one in 10 will be very short-sighted, with values above five dioptres. What will be the consequences of the widespread increase in myopia? What role do genetics and the environment play in the onset and progression of myopia? What myopia management strategies can be adopted to minimise its impact?

Professor Padmaja Sankaridurg, the head of the Myopia Program at the Brien Holden Vision Institute and a professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, devotes herself to trying to answer all these questions. She received the 2020 Optometrist of the Year award on Wednesday 7 October in recognition of her valuable academic and research work. Professor Sankaridurg sponsors first-year students who are starting the 2020-2021 academic year at the Terrassa School of Optics and Optometry (FOOT). The opening ceremony of the academic year at the FOOT and the researcher’s lecture were broadcast live on YouTube. You can see further details by clicking on this link.

15 years studying myopia
Professor Padmaja Sankaridurg graduated in optometry from the Elite School of Optometry in India in 1989 and received her doctoral degree from the UNSW in 1999. She has been researching myopia for 15 years, focusing on strategies to slow myopia and refractive error development. She has also overseen the translation of this research into optical products to manage myopia.

Professor Sankaridurg participated as an expert at the WHO-BHVI global meeting on myopia in 2015. She is also a member of the advisory board and of the Interventions and Harmonisation Committee of the International Myopia Institute. Additionally, she is an advisory board member of Review of Myopia Management, an online journal focused on myopia; the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology; and the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. Vision Monday named her as one of 2018 most influential women in optical in the Innovator category.

Professor Sankaridurg has over 85 articles in indexed, peer-reviewed journals and is a co-inventor on many patents. She has authored several book chapters and supervised master’s and doctoral theses. She also serves on the editorial board of a few scientific journals and has delivered numerous talks and presentations at national and international conferences.

Professor Sankaridurg participates actively in myopia education by developing guidelines and practical guides, such as the Myopia Calculator and the Brien Holden Institute of Vision Guidelines for Myopia Management.

She is involved in research programmes on optical devices and pharmaceutical strategies for controlling myopia. In addition, she is involved in projects aimed at understanding environmental influences and risk factors in the onset and progression of myopia through longitudinal and multiethnic studies with myopic and non-myopic children.