AAOF Announces 2019 Joe and Janet Barr Early Career Cornea and Contact Lens Research Award Recipients

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ORLANDO, Fla.—The American Academy of Optometry Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2019 Joe and Janet Barr Early Career Cornea and Contact Lens Research Award. This award provides an MS, PhD, vision science, or physiological optics student attending a school or college of optometry seed funding for a research project in cornea/ocular surface or contact lenses. This year, due to the joint meeting of the American Academy of Optometry and the World Council of Optometry, two awards were given to include students who study outside the United States.

This year’s winners are Pabita Dhungel and Rabia Mobeen, who will both receive a $2,000 award as well as a $750 travel fellowship to attend Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry, which runs from October 23 to 27, 2019.


Pabita Dhungel is an MS/PhD Candidate at Pacific University College of Optometry. Her project is called the Impact of Scleral Lens Wear on Intraocular Pressure and Posterior Ocular Perfusion. Patrick J. Caroline, FAAO, associate professor at Pacific University said, “Pabita embodies that extremely rare mix of scientific researcher and skilled clinician. I look forward to her future contributions to our profession.”

Rabia Mobeen is a PhD Scholar at the University of New South Wales School of Optometry and Vision Science. Her project is on the Corneal Immune Response in Children, Adolescents, and Adult Contact Lens Wearers. Professor and head of school, Lisa Keay, PhD, MPH, BOptom, at University of New South Wales School of Optometry and Vision Science said, “Rabia is a talented emerging scientist with a very bright future.”