Research themes

Research Theme 1: Question- Does climate change affect ocular surface health, in particular dry eye? The most recent review on effect of environment to ocular health implied that climate change (in particularly humidity) could increase the risk of dry eye, however the study on this area is sparse. The aim of this research theme is to validate if climate change increases the risk of dry eye, and once the link is validated, to generate adaptive strategies to prevent the worsening of dry eye due to climate change.

Research Theme 2: Question- How to reduce CO2 emission in the medical/biological laboratory setting to develop a “green” laboratory? In this theme, cell culturing processes that requiring COwill be analysed. There are published works on “green” laboratory policy, however these mainly focus on energy use and there is limited research on net CO2 emission generated for cell culture process. The first aim of this research is to conduct mathematics analysis to produce a model to estimate the net CO2 emission for cell culture. The 2nd aim is to identify aspects that can be improved with existing technique such as adapting circular COtechnology to reach NZI for these procedures; and to identify aspects that cannot, which will lead to development of novel technology.

Research Theme 3: Question- How to reduce CO2 emission in the clinical environment? This theme will focus on emissions associated with surgical procedures including direct emissions of anaesthetic gases and CO2, emissions relating to energy use and indirect emissions such as those associated with instrument manufacture, transport and waste management. This theme will take similar approach as theme 2 to firstly generate a specific model for common surgical procedures and then examine how to reduce emissions using existing/emerging techniques with consideration to clinical regulations and working conditions.

Funding opportunities

Research theme 1: climate health research focused funding, vision focused funding (can be national or internationally), vision foundation funding (eg. Future vision foundation funding), NHMRC or ARC when it comes to developing technologies.

Research theme 2 and 3: NHMRC, ARC funding, climate technology related funding, industry funding, internal funding, local government funding, non-profit organisation funding, build into existing sustainable or new platform (eg. Better business partnership).

Short and medium-term goals and KPIS

Research Theme 1:

Short-term goals – validating the connection between climate change and dry eye; KPI: a literature review and/or a primary research paper

Medium-term goals – developing possible technique to reduce dry eye affected by climate; KPI: a research proposal, funding application, or a prototype

Research Theme 2 and 3:

Short-term goals – generate a model to calculate net COemission for cell culture and surgical procedures; KPI: a validated model that can be used by other researchers/clinicians or a paper.

Medium-term goals – 1. using developed technique or developing new technique to allow zero COemission for cell culture and/or surgical procedures. KPI: a research proposal, funding application, or a prototype; 2. generate a model to calculate the net COemission and show the emission difference when implementing the “green” laboratory strategies for laboratories to use; KPI: a model, a review paper on green laboratory strategy or a primary research paper.