Dr Sally Hayes (née Dennis)

Dr Sally Hayes (née Dennis)

Research Associate

School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

After graduating from Aberystwyth University in 2000 with a First Class Honours in Animal (Equine) Science, I took up a 5-year MRC funded Research Assistant post within the Structural Biophysics Group at Cardiff University to investigate the relationship between corneal structure and function. In 2005 I was awarded a PhD for my research into the structural organisation of collagen in the corneas of primates and other animals and the stromal changes associated with the disease keratoconus. Since then, I have continued to follow this line of research as a post-doctorate scientist.

Education

2001-2005 - PhD Structural Biophysics: The structural organisation of collagen in the corneas of primates and other mammals and the stromal changes associated with the disease keratoconus, Structural Biophysics Group, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University.

1997 - 2000 - First Class Honours in Animal/Equine Science Aberystwyth University

Career history

2016-present   Research Fellow, Structural Biophysics Group, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University

2005 - 2016     Research Associate, Structural Biophysics Group, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University

2001-2005       Research Assistant, Structural Biophysics Group, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University

Honours and awards

Finalist in the Royal Institute Science Graduate of the Year Award, 2004

Cardiff University outstanding contribution award, 2014

Speaking engagements

2016    Invited speaker at the CXL Experts meeting, Zurich, Switzerland

2015    Invited speaker at the 11th International Congress of Corneal Cross-linking, Boston, USA

2012    8th International Congress of Corneal Cross-linking, Geneva, Switzerland

2007    European Society of Veterinary Ophthalmology, Genoa, Italy

2004    Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

Committees and reviewing

2016-present       School Ethics Committee

2014-2016           School Research Committee

2012-2016           Chair of the Research Staff Forum

2009-2011           International Stakeholders Committee

2009-2011           School Charity Committee

2005-2007           Post Graduate Teaching Committee

2001-2013           School Safety Committee

  • Supervision of final year undergraduate written and practical projects.
  • Supervision of work experience students from local schools.
  • STEM engagement activities in local schools

My current research is aimed at further understanding the relationship between structure and function in normal and diseased corneas. I am particularly interested in keratoconus, a disease characterised by progressive thinning and steepening of the cornea and severe irregular astigmatism. Keratoconus is one of the leading causes of corneal transplant surgery in the UK.

During my doctoral studies I used a combination of videokeratography to assess corneal shape, and synchrotron x-ray diffraction to gain quantitative structural information about the organisation and distribution of collagen in normal and keratoconus corneas, to examine the link between corneal structure and specific keratoconus shape changes. The findings of this study supported the theory that lamellar slippage is involved in the progressive thinning and steepening of keratoconus corneas. In recent years a therapeutic treatment has been developed to strengthen corneal tissue and halt the progressive steepening of keratoconus corneas. The treatment involves the combined use of UVA and riboflavin to stabilise corneal collagen and its surrounding matrix. I am currently investigating the mechanism by which the treatment strengthens the cornea and the ways in which the treatment can be modified to minimise patient treatment time and maximise patient comfort.

I am also  interested in human corneal development, in particular the structural changes that lead to the cornea becoming strong, transparent and precisely curved. Recently granted access to the MRC/Wellcome Trust-funded Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR) has provided a unique opportunity to examine structural changes occurring at key stages of foetal development.

Recent Research Seminars

2016   Invited speaker at the CXL Experts meeting, Zurich, Switzerland

2015   Invited speaker at the 11th International Congress on Corneal Cross-linking, Boston, USA

2015   ARVO, Denver, USA

2012   8th International Congress on Corneal Cross-linking, Geneva, Switzerland

2012   XIVth Bowmans Club Annual meeting, Newcastle, UK