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Myopia research

OT  speaks to full-time PhD student, Katherine Franklin, about her experience working in the field of myopia research

Katherine Franklin

Tell us about what you do

I am a full time PhD student at Aston University working in the field of myopia. I am also a clinical demonstrator and supervisor in the second and third year optometry clinics there. I run the Nottingham and Derby Optical Society, which provides CET for local optometrists and dispensing opticians. Finally, I still enjoy working in practice as a locum optometrist when I have time.  

What is your professional passion?

My research is centred around exploring how our environment and lifestyle can influence our refraction, primarily myopia development. The prevalence of myopia is increasing rapidly worldwide and so currently this is a very prominent area of research. My research focuses on school-aged children, which is an area of practice which I particularly enjoy.

"I have previously been involved in the training of some pre-registration students and seeking them grow over the year into great optometrists is something that I love"

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of seeing my second and third-year students develop their skills and knowledge. I have previously been involved in the training of some pre-registration students and seeing them grow over the year into great optometrists is something I love.

What is the one thing you couldn’t live without? 

Most people who know me know that I am quite an organised person and an enthusiastic list maker. So I would definitely say my notebook as it contains all my to-do lists.

How do you manage a work/life balance? 

I work best in the morning so I tend to start work early and, as much as possible, leave my evenings free. However, as a PhD student this is definitely easier said than done as there is always that feeling that you could do a bit more.

What do you do to unwind? 

I have never been one to sit down for too long; I am always doing something, whether it be taking my two dogs, Harry and Charlie, on walks in the countryside or heading to the gym. I also absolutely love spending time with my family, especially my nephew, Oscar. 

You have won the OT lottery. What are the first three things you would do with the £1m jackpot?

I would book a holiday down the Californian coast as I have always wanted to do it. I’d get VIP tickets to Wimbledon to see the final and a lifetime supply of chocolate biscuits.

Tell us about your next holiday? 

My next holiday is to Iceland with my husband, and we are hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.