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Dr Katharine Evans 


Research Topics and Related Projects:

My primary research interest involves analysis of the tear film and ocular surface, particularly during contact lens wear or in conditions such as dry eye.  Dry eye is a very common and thought to affect up to 30% of adults over the age of 65 years.  Characterised by symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance and ocular surface inflammation dry eye has a significant impact on quality of life.  I am particularly interested in contact lens induced dry eye (CLIDE).  It is thought that the major cause of contact lens drop out is due to discomfort leading to limited consumer growth in this area.  My research aims to refine diagnostic methods to detect dry and CLIDE and assess various therapies or strategies used to treat or manage such conditions.  
In 2009 I completed a PhD that investigated visual function, ocular surface and tear film characteristics in children and adults with Cystic Fibrosis (CF).  CF is the most common, lethal inherited disease in the caucasian population and is caused by a defective epithelial membrane channel known as CFTR.  It is characterised by progressive pulmonary failure and premature death and further complicated by vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes (CFRD).  More recently, CFTR has been discovered in a number of ocular epithelia.  My research investigated if common ocular characteristics of the disease were caused by CFTR or secondary disease characteristics such as VAD or CFRD.  Due to modern disease management and therapeutic treatment CF survival rates are steadily increasing.  As eye care practitioners are more likely to encounter CF patients a detailed understanding of how the disease affects the eye is imperative.  
As an early career researcher I have been supported by grants from Laboratoires Thea and various contact lens companies including Alcon, Ciba Vision and CooperVision.  A further area of research includes investigating the behaviour of contact lens wearers Poor patient compliance is a major risk factor for microbial keratitis, a potentially devastating condition caused by pathogenic infection of the cornea.  It is hoped that a clearer understanding of wearer behaviour and the consequences of non-compliance will reduce the risk of such infections.  

 

Funding:

Project Partners (PI Highlighted), Amount, Grant Name, Funding Body, Active Years of the Funding
e.g. J Smith (PI) & M Jones, £1,000, Travel Grant, The College of Optometrists, 2013

K Evans (PI) & C Purslow, £2000, Summer Scholarship, CooperVision Ltd, 2012
C Purslow (PI) & K Evans, £2000, Summer Scholarship, Alcon Ltd, 2012
C Purslow (PI) & K Evans, £2000, Contract Research, Laboratoies Thea S. A. S., 2011
K Evans (PI) & C Purslow, £2000, Summer Scholarship, Cardiff Undergratuate Research Opportunities Programme, 2011
K Evans (PI) & C Purslow, £1500, Summer Scholarship, Laboratoies Thea S. A. S., 2011
K Evans (PI) & C Purslow, £2000, Summer Scholarship, CooperVision Ltd, 2011
C Purslow (PI) & K Evans, £1500, Summer Scholarship, Ciba Vision (UK) Ltd, 2011
K Evans (PI), £1550, Summer Project, The College of Optometrists, 2010
K Evans (PI), £750, Travel Award, The College of Optometrists, 2008
K Evans (PI), £500, Travel Award, Graduate School in Biomedical and Life Sciences, Cardiff University, 2007