Professor Fiona Stapleton has been appointed President of the International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR). The Society comprises 100 global experts from all aspect of contact lens research, including optometrists, ophthalmologists, material scientists, cell biologists, engineers, biochemists, optics and vision experts, and members of the contact lens industry, all of whom are elected on the basis of their meaningful contributions to contact lens research.
The aim of the Society, which meets every two years with a rotating location around the Americas, Europe and Asia, is to address key challenges and identify future research needs to advance the contact lens field.
“Our meetings differ from clinical conferences and CPD meetings in that they are heavily discussion focussed and the topics are wide ranging,” said Prof Stapleton.
Examples of topics discussed include myopia control, preventing contact lens dropout, optimising comfort, vision and optics, lens materials and solutions.
Typically, a five minute presentation will be followed by ten minutes of discussion that aims to develop an understanding around a contact lens related issue and set the agenda for further research.
The most recent meeting of the ISCLR took place in Singapore from 18-23 August this year. Professor Stapleton said one area of discussion she found personally interesting was myopia control from a contact lens perspective.
“We discussed where we are in terms of what we know, the questions we still have to find answers for, and what we need to do to take the next step forward. I was also very interested in discussions about inflammatory responses that occur when using contact lenses for myopia control in children. We know there is a subclinical inflammatory response, but we don’t know whether that is good or bad, and neither do we know what we need to do to modulate the response.
Another topic that garnered significant interest was contact lens compliance.
“We haven’t managed to progress very far in this area so we talked about new ways to try to move the dial on compliance,” said Prof Stapleton.
The ISCLR is not a research funding organisation, however it hopes that by engaging experts from a wide range of disciplines in diverse discussions about contact lens related issues, new areas for research will be identified then pursued by the Society’s research partners.
Professor Stapleton’s term as president of ISCLR runs through until August 2021.