Professor Fiona Stapleton has been recognised as one of Australia’s top 250 health and medical researchers and, “One of the most influential women in optometry globally”.
The Scientia Professor in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of NSW was recognised by The Australian for her work in health and medical sciences to research the prevention of eye disease.
Prof Stapleton has published 247 peer-reviewed papers, 21 book chapters and one textbook. Additionally, she has raised AU$11m in funding from government, industry and nongovernment organisations.
Her research has been credited with influencing clinical practice in the areas of contact lens-related disease and corneal infections across the globe. One area of Prof Stapleton’s research is the growing rate of infections across Asia caused by cosmetic and novelty lenses.
“We are trying to understand how often they are used in the community, and (for) the people who wear them, to understand what the real risk factors are,” she told The Australian. “With the research, we are trying to translate it into policy change and education, and working with practitioners to try and reduce the problem.”
Prof Stapleton is also internationally renowned for her research into dry eye disease and has won a grant to look at the influence of the hormone oestrogen on dry eye, because of its prevalence among post-menopausal women.
The award was announced in a Special Report published by The Australian newspaper in September.