This month’s issue is dedicated to original research focused on the longstanding problem of contact lens discomfort. In the early stages of planning and consideration, this issue was conceived as a rather specific topic and we wondered if it might not be too narrow. As you will see, it was not; there are 25 original articles covering a wide range of topics (e.g. dry eye, survey instruments, tear film evaluation, contact lens care solutions, and much more) from authors around the globe.
A world-class team of invited Guest Topical Editors has helped bring this feature issue to life. This team was led by our Feature Issue Guest Editor, Dr. Jason Nichols. I want to publicly acknowledge the effort and expertise of each member who has contributed to this valuable addition to this topic. Thank you!
Barbara Caffery is a Diplomate of Cornea and Contact Lenses and a member of the American Academy of Optometry Board of Directors. She graduated from the New England College of Optometry in 1977. In 2009, she completed her PhD program in Vision Science at the University of Waterloo upon defending her thesis entitled Sjogren’s Syndrome: A Clinical and Biochemical Analysis. Barbara presently practices at Toronto Eye Care clinic in downtown Toronto. She also participates in two hospital-based clinics: the University Health Network Multidisciplinary Sjogren’s Syndrome Clinic and the Therapeutic Contact Lens Clinic at Kensington. Her areas of expertise are dry eye disease and contact lenses. She has done several clinical trials in dry eye disease and has published widely in the areas of contact lenses, dry eye, and Sjogren’s syndrome.
Associate Professor Dr. Murat Dogru acquired his PhD on corneal diseases from Kobe University, Japan in 1999. After serving as an associate professor of Ophthalmology at Uludag University School of Medicine during 2000 to 2002, he started working with Professor Kazuo Tsubota from 2002 as a visiting assistant professor in Tokyo Dental College and was appointed as an associate professor of Ophthalmology at Keio University conducting dry eye research and educating PhD scholars. In 2013, Dr. Dogru became the first European scholar in Japan passing the Japanese medical license examinations. Dr. Dogru is a scientific advisory board member of TFOS who has actively served in all of the international workshops organized by TFOS.
Lyndon Jones is a Professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University Research Chair and Director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research at the University of Waterloo. He graduated in Optometry from the University of Wales in 1985 and gained his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Biomaterials Research Unit at Aston University, Birmingham, UK in 1998. His research interests primarily focus on the interaction of novel and existing contact lens materials with the ocular environment, dry eye, and ocular drug delivery. He has authored over 300 refereed and professional papers, 1 text book, given over 900 invited scientific and continuing education lectures at conferences worldwide, in over 30 countries, and has been awarded over 30 national and international awards.
Dr. Meng C. Lin is an Associate Professor at the School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley. She is also Director of the Clinical Research Center, Chief of the Ocular Surface Imaging Clinic, Co-Chief of the Dry Eye Clinic, and Co-Director of the Translational Research CORE facility at UC Berkeley. Dr. Lin leads a research team of more than 20 members composed of clinician scientists, a chemist, a biomedical engineer, biostatisticians, and study coordinators and PhD students and postdoctoral scholars. Over the years, she has secured substantial levels of funding sources and used a multidisciplinary approach to further our understanding in the following areas of research: (1) Effect of contact lenses and lens care solutions on ocular surface integrity, (2) Factors affecting post-lens aqueous tear mixing under soft contact lenses, (3) Mechanisms responsible for tear film stability, (4) Improvement of diagnostic methods for evaporative dry eye, and (5) Effects of race/ethnicity on ocular surface integrity.
Dr. Nichols is the Assistant Vice President for Industry Research Development in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is Director of the Office of Industry Engagement. He received his Doctor of Optometry, Master’s in Public Health (epidemiology), and PhD (vision science) all from the Ohio State University. Dr. Nichols is a dual diplomate in both the American Academy of Optometry’s (AAO) sections of Public Health and Environmental Optometry and Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technology. He is also the Chair of the AAO’s Research Committee and is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Optometric Foundation—the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Optometry.
His research interests relate to meibomian gland disease, dry eye, and contact lens–related eye conditions, and this work is funded by the NIH/NEI, contact lens industry partners, and private foundations. Dr. Nichols writes and lectures extensively on contact lenses and ocular surface conditions and has authored 113 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 75 clinical manuscripts, and 175 abstracts, and has given over 200 lectures worldwide on these topics. He is currently Editor of Contact Lens Spectrum and Contact Lenses Today, whose publications reach over 50,000 eyecare practitioners worldwide. Dr. Nichols also serves as an Associate Editor for Eye and Contact Lens, is a topical editor for Optometry & Vision Science, and is on the editorial board of The Ocular Surface. He also chaired the Tear Film and Ocular Surface (TFOS) Society’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Board, and the TFOS International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort (2013). He was awarded multiple Ezell Fellowships and the Borish Award from the American Academy of Optometry, and he was recently elected as a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.
Eric is a Professorial Visiting Fellow at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Most of his career has involved research related to contact lenses and the ocular surface, during which time he was one of the inventors of silicone hydrogel contact lenses and discovered the link between limbal hyperemia and oxygen. Formerly Executive Director of Research and Development at the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Vision CRC, he has worked with all the major companies in the contact lens field and has made valuable contributions to the development of several contact lens and lens care products. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters, holds 11 patents, has written over 160 confidential research reports, and mentored over 100 students in research projects at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. He has had a longstanding interest in the mechanisms of ocular discomfort and has published several papers in this area. In 2013, he chaired the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society workshop, subcommittee on the management and treatment of contact lens discomfort. He serves as Associate Editor for Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, Associate Topical Editor for Optometry & Vision Science, and sits on the Editorial Board of both Clinical and Experimental Optometry and Eye & Contact Lens. A Council Member of the International Society for Contact Lens Research, he is also a member of the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Center for Eye Health, UNSW and the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society. He recently received the Max Schapero Award from the section on Cornea, Contact Lenses & Refractive Technologies of the American Academy of Optometry.
Dr. Pucker earned his OD, MS, and PhD degrees from The Ohio State University, and he is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Pucker is the Principal Investigator of a National Eye Institute–funded project related to myopia development, and he manages numerous other projects related to refractive error, dry eye, and contact lenses. Dr. Pucker is a Contributing Editor for Contact Lens Spectrum and Contact Lenses Today, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, an invited reviewer for several peer-reviewed research journals, and the winner of numerous research and leadership awards, which includes two William C. Ezell Fellowships and Ohio State’s Outstanding Professional Student award.
Dr. Pult is an optometrist with about 20 years’ experience in clinical practice and research. He is CEO of clinical practices in Germany and an independent consultant and researcher at Dr. Heiko Pult—Optometry and Vision Research, Weinheim, Germany. He is Honorary Research Fellow at School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University; lecturer and module leader of the dry eye module at Welsh Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre, Cardiff; and Academic Fellow at Aston University, Birmingham. He is an author of numerous international publications and articles. Dr. Heiko Pult was subcommittee member of the International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort of the Tear Film Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) and is currently subcommittee member of the TFOS Dry Eye Workshop II. His interests are cornea, contact lenses, dry eye, tear film, and vision.
Professor Willcox’s laboratory focuses on contact lens research, specifically understanding the etiology of adverse events and comfort during contact lens wear. His research includes adhesion and biofilm formation of ocular pathogenic microbes (most notably Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and development of novel antimicrobial surfaces. This research involves the study of microbial pathogenesis, and mammalian tissue responses to microbes and biomaterials. He has established several animal and cell-based models for studying contact lens adverse events and biomaterial infections. His research has encompassed proteomic and lipidomic studies of the tear film and its interaction with contact lenses. He has applied new techniques that allow the quantification individual proteins and lipids that adsorb onto contact lenses, or are biomarkers for changes to the ocular surface. This allows researchers, for the first time, to be able to assess the contribution of particular proteins or lipids to the production of adverse responses and discomfort during lens wear. He has published over 360 peer-reviewed papers during his career and 12 patents. He has trained many graduate students (60 PhD and 2 MSc) and 15 postdoctoral and clinical fellows.
We hope that you will find the topics selected by this capable team of guest editors to be useful, challenging to existing thought, and informative in a way that will help advance the field and your clinical practice.
Michael D. Twa
Optometry and Vision Science