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Eberhard Dodt Memorial Award

Congratulations to SOVS PhD student Safal Khanal for receiving the prestigious Eberhard Dodt Memorial Award for 2018. Safal is the first person from New Zealand to win this award.

The award commemorates the life and work of Eberhard Dodt for his help and encouragement of young scientists working in the field of clinical electrophysiology of vision (measurement of eye’s electrical responses). It is given to the young scientist who makes the best presentation at the Annual Symposium of the 56th International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV) held in Reims, France. Safal presented his PhD study, which utilizes visual electrophysiology to explain where atropine eye drops might be acting to control myopia (near-sightedness).

The €3,000 award comprises a travel fellowship of €1,500 to be used for attending one of the next three ISCEV symposia, plus an honorarium of €1,500 to be used at the discretion of the recipient for furthering his work in the field.  In addition, Safal was awarded the ISCEV travel grant to attend the scientific meeting and course on electrophysiology.

Centre for Brain Research Knowledge Exchange Grant for Optometry

Safal was also recently awarded the $5,000 Centre for Brain Research Knowledge Exchange Grant for his collaborative research activity in the United Kingdom.

With the support of this grant, Safal recently visited Prof Michael Chappell’s lab at the University of Oxford to learn the theory and practice of functional and structural brain image analysis using Functional MRI of the Brain Software Library (FSL) – a widely used software for MRI data analysis.

During his trip to the UK, Safal also visited Dr Manbir Nagra at City, University of London, and Dr Nicola Logan at Aston University for collaborative MRI projects. These studies demonstrate how blood perfusion is affected in ischemic eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, and how the human brain responds to blur.