Dr.Dimitra Makrynioti (Optician-Optometrist, BSc(Hons),MSc,PhD), is a Contact Lens Lecturer in the University of Patras (former T.E.I. of West Greece (Aegion subsidiary), Optics & Optometry Department, Greece). She is also a previous Research Assistant and Visiting Scientist within Eurolens Research, an Occasional Lecturer in the University of Manchester Optometry department, a chief Optometrist-CL Practitioner-Optician in national Eye Clinics and Practices, and a volunteer at the Manchester Eye Hospital, the Ophthalmology Clinic of the University Hospital of Patras, the Special Olympics Eye Clinic & more. She is a BCLA, IACLE, EAOO member and has presented her work in numerous national and international conferences. Her research interests are Contact Lenses & Optometry.
During her visit in the US as a Fulbright scholar she will be working in the myopia research lab at the SUNY College of Optometry. During this collaboration, she will have the chance to collaborate with the lab director Dr.Benavente, a twice awarded myopia scientist (Zeiss Young Scientist Award in Myopia Research/ Josh Wallman Memorial Award, International Myopia Conference, 2017; American Academy of Optometry: Career Development Award Jan 2019-Jan 2021), who - for the first ever time for Greece - will give to a Greek Scholar important and interesting insights of this research area. The title of the project is "Fighting dry eye syndrome in high myopia with novel contact lens materials developed in Greece". The purpose of this study is to test novel, Greek developed, soft CL materials for DES in the common marmoset, an established animal myopia model. What is more, during this visit she will have the chance to live and work in the most populous city of the world, New York, which will be a novel and unique challenge that excites any restless mind – who Dr Makrynioti definitely is, as her study/work experience in two different countries (Greece and UK) but also her hobbies show (travelling, member of a Sailing crew in Patras but also in Athens (racing team) and in her home city (Thessaloniki), member of a Patras Tango team and Greek folk-dancing, member of a Patras cycling community ("Free Cyclists of Patras"), member and Events’ Team Organiser of Α.S.Τ.Ο. club (a voluntarily club which supports many different team activities), member of the photographic club IDIFOS of Patras and finally a Greenpeace supporter).
Contact lens research in marmosets, while being well established in the U.S., is an unexplored but promising research area for Greece. During this collaboration, as previous mentioned, for the first ever time for Greece a Greek Scholar will gain important and interesting insights of this research area. This knowledge will expand Dr Makrynioti’s knowledge but also her area of research and bring something novel for Greece. This project will also expand reciprocal knowledge and establish and accelerate a transnational collaboration in between Greece and the USA. Last but not least, new materials that may accelerate contact lens comfort will be tested in order new more comfortable contact lenses to be available for the contact lens wear community.