CooperVision reveals FORCE 2022 winner

Muskaan Hussain, from the University of Bradford and representing the UK and Ireland, took home the title for her research project

FORCE winners

CooperVision has revealed the winner of its 10th Future Ocular Research Creativity Event (FORCE), with a delegate from the UK and Ireland taking home the title for the second year in a row.

Muskaan Hussain, from the University of Bradford, was named 2022 Student of the Year.

University and college students from nine countries across Europe showcased their contact lens or anterior eye-related research projects as part of the annual competition, which was held in September at CooperVision’s Centre of Innovation in Budapest, Hungary.

Hussain’s winning project, which was supervised by Dr Neema Ghorbani Mojarrad, investigated whether extended depth of focus (EDOF) and dual-focus (DF) soft contact lens designs affected accommodative microfluctuations and eye movements during reading tasks in a prospective, double-masked, cross-over study.

Through the study, 23 participants with normal binocular vision and accommodation were fitted with three lenses in a randomised order within a single visit: EDOF, a DF lens design, and a single vision contact lens as a control.

Muskaan Hussain
Muskaan Hussain

Hussain’s research found no significant differences in low- and high-frequency accommodative microfluctuations between the three lenses, but significant differences in fixations per row, fixations per minute, mean regressions per row, and the total number of regressions.

Post-hoc analysis of the data indicated the results of the EDOF lens design were significantly different from DF and single vision lenses, suggesting EDOF lens design may cause changes to eye movements which are different to other lenses – particularly regressions, which appeared to increase significantly.

Speaking about the competition, Hussain said: “Winning the 2022 FORCE final has been my best career experience so far. Networking with like-minded people from across the globe has developed my horizons, and this process has reminded me that if you believe in yourself and are open to learning, incredible opportunities can come your way.”

Hussain went on to thank her family, and supervisors at the University of Bradford: Dr Mojarrad, Dr Matthew Cufflin and Dr Aleks Mankowska.

Hussain will present her findings at the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Clinical Conference and Exhibition in June 2023, in Manchester.

This process has reminded me that if you believe in yourself and are open to learning, incredible opportunities can come your way

Muskaan Hussain, University of Bradford student and 2022 FORCE Student of the Year

The FORCE event sees students spend six to eight weeks conducting a research project in the field of contact lens or anterior eye.

Students had 30 minutes to present the findings of their research projects to a panel of judges including Elena García Rubio, from the Instituto Nacional de Optometría in Spain, Dr Stefan Bandlitz, of Cologne School of Optometry in Germany, Dr Houda Baïz of Ophtalys in France, and chair of the judging panel, Professor James Wolffsohn from Aston University, UK.

During the competition, chair of judges, Wolffsohn, explained that the event “is all about opportunities, and this is a fantastic chance to engage with others in the industry,” adding that networking at the event can lead to new career opportunities.

Co-winner of last year’s FORCE, Ishvinder Bahra, also shared her experience since winning the competition with her research partner, Charis Hedges. Read OT’s interviews with both Bahra and Hedges, about their inspirations to study optometry, future goals, and what winning FORCE meant to them.

Banner image: (L-R) Elena Garcia Rubio, Muskaan Hussain, James Wolffsohn, Fabio Carta and Stefan Bandlitz