The Dorothy Carlborg CCLSA Research Awards 2019 Winners

Azadeh Tavakoli

Postgraduate research student, School of Optometry and Vision Science



Azadeh is a PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales. She commenced her study in 2018, and her research interests are to characterise the impact of commensal human bacteria on the treatment of ocular inflammatory diseases. Her study aims to look at the effect of oral supplements (Probiotics and Prebiotics) on the symptoms of dry eye disease.

Before starting her education at the UNSW School of Optometry and Vision Science, she worked as an Optometrist and Technical In-Charge of Medical Glasses in different medical and ophthalmic centres in Iran.


Hari Kumar Peguda 


Hari Kumar Peguda completed his Bachelor of Science in Optometry from the Bausch and Lomb School of Optometry, India in 2006-2010. He worked as a consultant optometrist at L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), India (2010-2018). He was the key member in leading the Vitreo-Retinal services optometry team and was in charge of diagnostics at LVPEI. He has successfully completed the ‘’Young Leaders Program 2016-17’’ conducted by the India Vision Institute (IVI), India and ‘Short term Fellowship for Optometrists in Diabetic Retinopathy’ between the August 2016 – February 2017 at LVPEI. He has co-authored 15 publications in peer-reviewed journals. In 2018 he was awarded a Scientia PhD scholarship from UNSW. His PhD research involves developing novel diagnostic techniques for Acanthamoeba keratitis.


Ngozi C. Chidi-Egboka OD, MPH, FNCO 

School of Optometry and Vision Science

UNSW Sydney


Dr Ngozi Chidi-Egboka is an optometrist and has practised as a clinical Optometrist/Lecturer in Nigeria. She is a PhD candidate and postgraduate teaching fellow at School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW, Sydney, Australia. Ngozi’s passion for teaching and research, especially in anterior eye and public health optometry, prompted her to obtain a Master of Public Health and fellowship in cornea and contact lenses at Unilorin, Nigeria and Nigerian College of Optometrists, respectively. Ngozi is currently in early phase third year of her PhD on her research interest Ocular surface in children.

Ngozi’s research interest focuses on understanding the anterior eye health challenges and using model approaches to measure and identify effective therapeutic and/or corrective device interventions through translational academia-industry collaboration. Her current PhD project is focused on investigating eye blinking, ocular surface characteristics in children with the impact of smartphone use on children’s visual comfort and eye health.

Ngozi has recently been awarded the prestigious ‘2019 Dorothy Carlborg CCLSA Research Award’, to support her PhD research. Ngozi has also earned two conference travel awards so far in her PhD candidature to present her research in two scientific meetings; Scientific and Educators Meeting in Optometry (SEMO), Melbourne and The International Society for Contact Lens Research (ISCLR), the world’s leading scientists in contact lenses and related fields. She has published her PhD research papers so far in peer reviewed journals including the highest-ranking original research journal in ophthalmology, The Ocular Surface.

Ngozi has earned two other awards in her PhD candidature as a PhD champion for Women in Maths and Science, UNSW and a Mentee Award, Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS), Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. Ngozi has volunteered in UNSW ASPIRE programs in high schools across regional Australia to inspire and encourage young students to pursue University education, especially towards STEM careers. She is a member, American Academy of Optometry (candidate for fellowship) and student member, Australia’s Biotechnology Organisation, AusBiotech.


Twitter: @NChidiEgboka