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 Nada Aldahlawi

Nada Aldahlawi

Research student, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Research Overview

I completed my Master's degree by research in visual electrophysiology at the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia in 2010. In addition, One of my supervisors was from the Australian National University, one of the top-ranked research-intensive Universities in Australia and the world. I am currently pursuing a PhD project investigating different protocols to stabilise the cornea by crosslinking, in collaboration with Mr David O'Brart (St. Thomas' Hospital, London).

Honours and Awards 

2005:Reward from the vice dean of the college of applied medical sciences for superiority in the department of optometry at the first semester 2005, King Saud University.

2005 – 2006: Reward from the vice dean of the college of applied medical sciences as the best student in the college at the academic year 2005-2006, King Saud University.

Educational and Professional Qualifications

2008 -2010:           Master by research degree in Optometry and Vision Science, Electrophysiology 2010, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

2000 – 2005:         Bachelor of Science in Optometry 2005, from King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Academic Positions             

2010 – Present: Lecturer, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Collage of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University

Teaching Overview

I have been an Advisor or Supervisor for three undergraduate students with different special areas in King Saud Universit. The titles of their projects are:

  • Central Corneal Thickness and Corneal Endothelial Cell Changes Caused by Contact Lens Use
  • Ocular Parameters in Dominant Compared with Nondominant Eyes
  • A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Refresh Plus Vs. Viscotears In People Who Have a Computer Vision Syndrome

The first two were nominated to King Saud University Scientific research award out of 2000 students, one of them was awarded the second place in 2012.

My undergraduate teaching also included lectures and lab classes in the Optometry Department with different courses such as:

  • Anomalies of Binocular Vision
  • Clinical Methods I
  • Clinical Methods II
  • Visual Science II 
  • Optometric Practice
  • Contact Lenses I
  • Occupational Vision
  • Clinical Examination of the visual system III
  • Ophthalmic Optics and Dispensing I
  • Practice Management I


External Committees/Memberships

  • 2014-present: UK Cross-Linking Consortium
  • 2014-present: Member of Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair (CITER)
  • 2013-present: Member of Saudi Association of Optometry (SAO)
  • 2008-present: Member of International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV)
  • 2008: Member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
  • 2004-present: Member of Saudi Ophthalmological Society (SOS)

Innovation and Engagement  

  • Certificate from the vice dean of the college of applied medical sciences for being a part of the educational activities in the college 2005.
  • Certificate from the dean of the college of applied medical sciences for participation in the Arabian social week at the college.
  • Certificate from the head department of optometry for participation in the profession day at 2004.

Research interests

Research Topics and Related Projects:

A new method has been introduced for the treatment of progressive keratoconus using collagen crosslinking. Under topical anaesthesia, the epithelium of the cornea is removed or partially scratched, riboflavin is applied and the cornea is exposed to ultraviolet A-light (UVA, 365nm) for a duration of 30 minutes. This method results in crosslinking of the constituent molecules of the cornea, thereby increasing its strength by up to 300%. Despite its widespread clinical use, very little is known about how stability is conferred and, in particular, at what structural level crosslinking occurs. Some studies used X-ray scattering showed that molecular collagen structure is not affected by riboflavin/UVA crosslinking treatment. This led us to hypothesize that the crosslinking occurs between the surfaces of the collagen fibrils and the surrounding matrix. In addition, Meek and his colleague used absorption measurements to show that, contrary to some opinion, it is necessary to remove the epithelium to allow penetration of the riboflavin into the corneal stroma and that, although partial epithelial removal allows some penetration, this is uneven, and so is not a promising approach. This study will investigate other novel techniques to carry out crosslinking without epithelial removal.

Research Team:       

Dr Philip Lewis, Research Assistant, Cardiff University

Keith Meek

Professor Keith Meek

Head of Biophysics Research Group, Senior Mentor, Professor Keith Meek