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Research Topics and Related Projects

My PhD project deals with investigating the role of ocular fibroblasts in determining tissue biomechanics in healthy and diseased eyes. Mechanical deterioration of the eye can lead to permanent vision loss in conditions such as myopia and glaucoma. Ocular biomechanics is governed by the load-bearing extracellular matrix, with dynamic control by mechano-sensitive fibroblast cells. While the role of the extracellular matrix in determining ocular tissue mechanics has been extensively researched, cellular contributions remain largely unknown. A better understanding of these cellular aspects will help to drive the development of new eye treatments.

Educational and Professional Qualifications

2014-2016: MSc, Biophysics (1 Hons), Sofia University / Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC)
2010-2014: BSc, Molecular biology (1 Hons), Sofia University

Honours and Awards

2017 – Student Ambassador / Moderator, “15th International Congress in Vision Science and Eye”, London, UK
2015-2016 –
Erasmus mobility grant, University of Strasbourg, France

Conference/seminar presentations

2017 – CITER Network Showcase and Annual Scientific Meeting, Cardiff, UK – Talk
2017 – 15th International Congress in Vision Science and Eye, London, UK – Talk
2017 – Vision Researchers Colloquium, Bath, UK – Talk
2017 – Speaking of Science, Cardiff, UK – Talk

Innovation and Engagement

2017 – Diamond Light Source Media Event – Oxford Digital Media, Association of Optometrists, The Oxford Times
2017 – Diamond Light Source Open Day


Research interests


EPSRC DTP PhD Studentship (ENGIN/OPTOM/BIOSI), 2016-2020

Research Collaborators

Prof. Ahmed Elsheikh, School of Engineering, University of Liverpool.


Han Xing Zhu

Dr Han Xing Zhu

Senior Lecturer - Teaching and Research

Dr Emma Blain

Dr Emma Blain


Craig Boote

Dr Craig Boote

Reader, Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research

External profiles