The eye lens – an optobiological synchrony – 26 January


Date:                   Monday 26th January 2015

Time:                   3.00-4.00pm

Venue:                 PRMB3009

(drinks reception at 4.00-5.00pm in PRMB2021 Doctoral School)

Speaker: Barbara Pierscionek, Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing

Title: The eye lens – an optobiological synchrony


The visual system is a complex biological system with many neurophysiological processes that are still not understood. The eye is an integral part of this and comprises the optical system which constructed from biological cells creates a very sophisticated and complex structure. The lens of the eye is remarkable in its ability to adjust the focus of the eye to allow for clear vision over a wide range of viewing distances. The layered structure of the lens is linked to its function.  The breakdown of this structure/function relationship leads to cataract. The lecture will describe the structure/ function synchrony of the eye lens, what may be occurring when this is disrupted and cataract formation begins and what the future holds for cataract treatments.


Barbara Pierscionek qualified with clinical and scientific degrees (PhD in protein chemistry and optics) from the University of Melbourne in Australia and after post doctoral appointments at the Department of Medicine at the University of Melbourne and subsequently the National Vision Research Institute, Barbara became the youngest recipient of the WDWright NHMRC fellowship and established an innovative program in eye research supported by NHMRC grants at La Trobe University (Engineering School) and Monash University (Department of Medicine). Returning to UK in 1998 she worked at the University of Bradford as Senior Lecturer and then Senior Research Fellow in Biomedical Sciences before moving to the University of Ulster to take up a Chair in Vision Sciences.

Barbara is currently working at Kingston University as the Associate Dean of Research and Enterprise in the Faculty Science, Engineering and Computing. She manages a diverse research and enterprise portfolio and conducts a program of research in vision science with colleagues from across the faculty and she is a scientific advisor for the Safer Medicines Trust and a member of the Employment Tribunals (South London). Barbara’s research has been supported by the NHMRC, EPSRC, industry funding (Essilor International), charities (RNIB, Ulster Foundation, Fight for Sight), Royal Society, British Council, DEL(NI), CARA and the Institute of International Education and the EU.

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