Professor Barbara Krystyna Pierscionek graduated from Melbourne University in Australia with a PhD on the protein chemistry and optics of the eye lens and was awarded a prestigious NHMRC research fellow (MRC equivalent) shortly after graduating to start an independent research program on the optics of the eye. Barbara was supported by the NHMRC at Monash University and La Trobe University before returning to the UK. She led the Vision Research group in Biomedical Science at Ulster University and worked as the Associate Dean (Research and Enterprise) in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing in Kingston University. Subsequently Barbara held dual roles at Nottingham Trent University: Associate Dean Research in the School of Science and Technology and pan-Institutional Head of Health and Wellbeing. More recently Barbara led research in two Schools as Associate Dean Research in the School of Life Science and Education and in the School of Health and Social Care at Staffordshire University.
Barbara has continued as an active researcher in the areas of optics and biomechanics of the eye, ageing of the eye and eye disease, bioinformatics, sports and binocular vision, nanotechnological applications to the eye and ethico-legal aspects of Big Data. She has received support for her research with funding from Research Councils (EPSRC, BBSRC), EU, Fight for Sight, Royal Society and industry (Essilor International and Zeiss Meditec) as well as being awarded beam time grants for work in Japan at SPring-8 the world’s largest synchrotron.
In addition to qualifications in science, Barbara has an MBA and legal degrees including an LLM in cybersecurity. She has also worked in the criminal justice system and as a lay judge in employment tribunals.
Barbara has published over 160 peer reviewed papers, four book chapters and a book on law and ethics for the eye care practitioner.
Professor Pierscionek researches in: developmental optics and ageing of the eye, making advanced measurements of refractive index and protein density of eyes in eyes from various species at the world leading synchrotron in Japan (SPring-8); biomechanics of the eye using Finite Element Analysis to study changes that occur with presbyopia, myopia and other refractive errors; bioinformatics of cataract and an emerging interest in glaucoma; novel therapeutics for cataract and related protein-folding diseases using nanotechnologies and innovative pharmaceutical agents. She also researches on how ethical principles and the law need to adapt to rapid advances in technology and the use of personal data.
EU MSCA-ITN-ETN “OBERON” Opto-Biomechanical Eye Research Network proposal number 956720, Total value 3.88 million euro (2021-2025).
EU Co-operation in Science and Technolog, (COST) action: Network on Privacy-Aware Audio- and Video-Based Applications for Active and Assisted Living: Goodbrother: (value dependent on networking and events) (PI Florez, Pierscionek: UK co-investigator) value dependent on networking activities .
EU Co-operation in Science and Technology (COST) action: International Interdisciplinary Network on Health and Wellbeing in an Age-friendly Digital World NET4AGE-FRIENDLY: (PI Dantas, Pierscionek: UK co-investigator) value dependent on networking activities.
SPring-8 synchrotron beam time: grant 2020A1193 Changes in functional properties of the eye lens with development, age and disease ”. 5,760,000 Yen circa £42,854.
Cheng, C., Wang, K., Hoshino, M., Uesugi, K., Yagi, N., Pierscionek, B., 2022. EphA2 affects development of the eye lens nucleus and the gradient of refractive index. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 63(2). doi: 10.1167/iovs.63.1.2
Pierscionek, B., 2021. Anti-cataract therapies: is there a need for a new approach based on targeting of aquaporins? Expert Opinion On Therapeutic Targets, 25, pp. 1027-1031. doi: 10.1080/14728222.2021.2017423
Sobczak, M., Asejczyk, M., Kalinowski, K., Pierścionek, B., 2021. Comparative analysis of the corneal birefringence pattern in healthy children and adults. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. doi: 10.1111/opo.12835
Hanafy, B. I., Cave, G. W. V., Barnett, Y., Pierscionek, B. K., 2021. Nanoceria prevents glucose-induced protein glycation in eye lens cells. Nanomaterials, 11(6), pp. 1473. doi: 10.3390/nano11061473
Wang, K., Vorontsova, I., Hoshino, M., Uesugi, K., Yagi, N., Hall, J. E., Schilling, T. F., Pierscionek, B.K., 2021. Aquaporins have regional functions in development of refractive index in the zebrafish eye lens. Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science, 62(3), pp. 23. doi: 10.1167/iovs.62.3.23
Jóźwik, A., Asejczyk-Widlicka, M., Kurzynowski, P., Pierscionek, B. K., 2021. How a dynamic optical system maintains image quality: self-adjustment of the human eye. Journal of Vision, 21, pp. 6. doi: 10.1167/jov.21.3.6
Abdelkader, H., Pierscionek, B., Wertheim, D., Alany, R. G., 2020. Curcumin in situ gelling polymeric insert with enhanced ocular performance. Pharmaceutics, 12(12), pp. 1158. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12121158
Hanafy, B. I., Cave, G. W. V., Barnett, Y., Pierscionek, B., 2020. Treatment of human lens epithelium with high levels of nanoceria leads to Reactive Oxygen Species mediated apoptosis. Molecules, 25, pp. 441. doi: 10.3390/molecules25030441
Wang, K., Vorontsova, I., Hoshino, M, Uesugi, K., Yagi, N., Hall, J. E., Schilling, T. F., Pierscionek, B. K., 2020. Optical Development in the Zebrafish Eye Lens. FASEB. doi: 10.1096/fj.201902607R
Jaimes-Nájera, A., Gómez-Correa, J. E., Coello, V., B. K., Pierscionek, B. K., Chávez-Cerda, S., 2020. Single function crystalline lens capable of mimicking ciliary body accommodation. Biomedical Optics Express, 11, pp. 3699-3716.
Wang, K., Hoshino, M., Uesugi, K., Yagi, N., Young, R. D., Frost, B. E., Regini, J. W., Quantock, A. J., Pierscionek, B. K., 2020. Cell compaction is not required for the development of gradient refractive index profiles in the embryonic chick lens. Exp Eye Res. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2020.108112
Gaballa, S. A, Kompella, U. B., Elgarhy,O., Alqahtani, A. M., Pierscionek, B., Alany, R. G., Abdelkader, H., 2020. Corticosteroids in ophthalmology: drug delivery innovations, pharmacology, clinical applications and future perspectives. Drug Delivery and Translational Research. doi: 10.1007/s13346-020-00843-z
Kayyali, R., Funnell, G., Odeh, B., Sharma, A., Katsaros, Y., Nabhani-Gebara, S., Pierscionek, B., Wells, J., Chang, J., 2020. Investigating the characteristics and needs of frequently admitting hospital patients - A cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 10, e035522. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035522
Wang, K., Pierscionek, B. K., 2019. Biomechanics of the human lens and accommodative system: Functional relevance to physiological states. Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, 17, pp. 114-131.
Asejczyk-Widlicka, M., Jóźwik, A., Kasprzak, H., Sobczak, M., Pierscionek, B. K., 2019. Data analysis of the ocular response analyzer for improved distinction and detection of glaucoma. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis, 36, B71-B76.
Wang, K., Hoshino, M., Uesugi, K., Yagi, N., Pierscionek, B. K., 2019. Contributions of shape and stiffness to accommodative loss in the ageing human lens: a finite element model assessment.J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis, 36, B116-B122.
Hanafy, B. I., Cave, G. W. V., Barnett, Y., Pierscionek, B., 2019. Ethylene glycol coated nanoceria protects against oxidative stress in human lens epithelium. RSC Advances, 9, pp. 16596-16605.
Rumbold, J. M. M., O’Kane, M., Philip, N., Pierscionek, B. K., 2019. Big Data and diabetes: the applications of Big Data for diabetes care now and in the future (invited review). Diabetic Medicine. doi: 10.1111/dme.14044
Wang, K., Venetsanos, D. T., Hoshino, M., Uesugi, K., Yagi, N. Pierscionek, B. K., 2019. A modelling approach for investigating opto-mechanical relationships in the human eye lens. Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2019.2927390
Cheng, C., Parreno, J., Nowak, R. B., Biswas, S. K., Wang, K., Hoshino, M., Uesugi, K., Yagi, N., Moncaster, J. A., Lo, W-K., Pierscionek, B., Fowler, V. M., 2019. Age-related changes in eye lens biomechanics, morphology, refractive index and transparency. Aging, 11, pp. 12497-12531.
Grzybowski, A., Schachar, R.A., Gaca-Wysocka, M., Schachar, I.R., Pierscionek, B. K., 2018. Maximum human objectively measured pharmacologically stimulated accommodative amplitude. Clinical Ophthalmology, 12, pp. 201-205.
Grzybowski, A., Schachar, R. A., Gaca-Wysocka, M., Schachar, I. H., Kamangar, F., Pierscionek, B. K., 2018. Mechanism of accommodation assessed by change in precisely registered ocular images associated with concurrent change in auto-refraction. Graefes Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 256, pp. 395-402.
Rumbold, J. M. M., Pierscionek, B. K., 2018. What are data? A categorization of the data sensitivity spectrum. Big Data Research, 12, pp. 49-59. doi: 10.1016/j.bdr.2017.11.001
Abdelkader, H., Fathalla, Z., Moharram, H., Ali, T. F. S., Pierscionek, B. K., 2018. Cyclodextrin enhances corneal tolerability and reduces ocular toxicity caused by diclofenac. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, pp. 1-13. doi: 10.1155/2018/5260976
Laibe, J., Caffrey, A., Broutin, M., Guiglion, S., Pierscionek, B. K., 2018. Coil conversion to β-strand induced by dimerization. Proteins: structure, function and bioinformatics, 86, pp. 1221-1230.
Contreras, J. L., Rumbold, J. Pierscionek, B., 2018. Patient data ownership. JAMA, 319(9), pp. 935. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.21672
Wang, K., Venetsanos, D. T., Wang, J., Pierscionek, B., 2018. Combined use of parallel-plate compression and Finite Element Modelling to analyse the mechanical properties of intact porcine lens. Journal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology, 18, 1840013.
Rumbold, J., Pierscionek, B., 2018. Contextual anonymization for secondary use of big data in biomedical research: proposal for an anonymization matrix. JMIR Medical Informatics, 6, e47. ISSN 2291-9694
Asejczyk-Widlicka, M., Srodka, W., Pierscionek, B. K., 2017. A Comparative Analysis of Goldmann Tonometry Correction. Journal of Glaucoma, 26, pp. 233-240.
Trease, C. H., Longman, M. R., Augousti, A. T.,Foot, P. J. S., Pierscionek, B. K., 2017. Cell morphology and growth observation studies on novel, chemically unmodified and patterned polymer surfaces for advanced tissue culture applications. Polymer, 109, pp. 13-24.
Rumbold, J. M. M., Pierscionek, B., 2017. The effect of the General Data Protection Regulation on Medical Research. J Med Internet Res, 19(2), e47.
Rumbold, J. M. M., Pierscionek, B., 2017. A critique of the regulation of data science in healthcare research in the European Union. BMC Medical Ethics. doi: 10.1186/s12910-017-0184-y
Rumbold, J., Pierscionek, B., 2017. Does your electronic butler owe you a duty of confidentiality? Computer Law Review International, 2, pp. 48-52.
Giovanzana, S., Evans, T., Pierscionek, B., 2017. Lens internal curvature effects on age-related eye model and lens paradox. Biomed Optics Express, 8, pp. 4827-4837.
Wang, K., Venetsanos, D., Wang, J., Augousti, A. T., Pierscionek, B. K., 2017. The importance of parameter choice in modelling dynamics of the eye lens. Scientific Reports, 7, 16688. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16854-9
Sobnath, D. D., Philip, N., Kayyali, R., Nabhani-Gebara, S., Pierscionek, B., Vaes, A. W., Spruit, M. A., Kaimakamis, E., 2017. Features of a Mobile Support App for Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Literature Review and Current Applications. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 5(2), e17.
Bahrami, M., Haidari, A., Pierscionek, B. K., 2016. Alteration in refractive index profile during accommodation based on mechanical modelling. Biomedical Optics Express, 7, pp. 99-110.
Rumbold, J., Pierscionek B. K., 2016. Why patients shouldn’t “own” their medical records. Nature Biotechnology, 34, pp. 586.
Abdelkader, H., Longman, M., Alany, R. G., Pierscionek, B., 2016. Phytosome-hyaluronic acid systems for ocular delivery of L-carnosine. International J Nanomedicine, 11, pp. 2815-27.
Wang, K., Venetsanos, D., Wang, J., Pierscionek, B. K., 2016. Gradient moduli lens models: how material properties and application of forces can affect deformation and distribution of stress. Scientific Reports, 6, 31171. doi: 10.1038/srep31171
Abdelkader, H., Longman, M., Alany, R. G., Pierscionek, B. K., 2016. On the anti-cataractogenic effects of L-carnosine: Is it best described as an antioxidant, metal chelating agent or glycation inhibitor? Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, article ID 3240261, pp. 1-11. doi: 10.1155/2016/3240261
Kayyali, R., Savickas, V., Spruit, M. A., Kaimakamis, E., Siva,R., Costello, R. W.,Chang, J., Pierscionek, B., Davies, N., Vaes, A. W., Paradiso, R., Philip, N., Perantoni, E.,D’Arcy, S., Raptopoulos, A., Nabhani-Gebara, S., 2016. Qualitative investigation into a wearable system for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: The stakeholders’ perspective. BMJ Open, 6, e011657.
Kayyali, R., Odeh, B., Spruit, M. A., Frerichs, I., Davies, N., Perantoni, E., D’arcy, S., Vaes, A. W., Chang, J., Deering, B., Philip, N., Siva, R., Kaimakamis, E.,Chouvarda, I., Pierscionek, B., Weiler, N., Wouters, E .F. M., Raptopoulos, A., Nabhani-Gebara, S., 2016. COPD care delivery pathways in five European Union countries: mapping and healthcare professionals’ perceptions. International Journal of COPD, 11, pp. 2831-2838.
Abdelkader, H., Alany, R. G., Pierscionek, B., 2015. Age-related cataract and drug therapy: opportunities and challenges for topical antioxidant delivery to the lens. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 67, pp. 537-550.
Alany, R. G., Abdelkader, H., Pierscionek, B., Carew, M., 2015. Critical appraisal of alternative irritation models: three decades of testing ophthalmic pharmaceuticals (Review). British Medical Bulletin, 113, pp. 59-71.
Al-Kinani, A., Naughton, D. P., Calabrese, G., Vangala, A., Smith, J. R.,Pierscionek, B. K., Alany, R. G., 2015. Analysis of 2-oxothiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography: application for ocular delivery using chitosan nanoparticles. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 407, pp. 2645-2650.
Klein, H., Pierscionek, B. K., Lauritzen, J., Derntl, K., Grzybowski, A., Zlatkova, M. The effect of cataract on early stage glaucoma detection using spatial and temporal contrast sensitivity tests. PLoS ONE, 10(6), e0128681.
Evanger, K., Pierscionek, B. K., Vaagbø, G., Thorsen, E., Haugen, O. H., 2015. Myopic Shift during Hyperbaric Oxygenation Attributed to Lens Index Changes. Optometry and Vision Science, 92, pp. 1076-1084.
Abdelkader, H., Swinden, J., Pierscionek, B. K., Alany, R. G., 2015. Analytical and physicochemical characterisation of the senile cataract drug dipeptide alanyl-L-histidine (carnosine). Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 114, pp. 241-246.
Gómez-Correa, J. E., Balderas-Mata, S. E., Pierscionek, B. K., Chávez-Cerda, S., 2015. Composite Modified Luneberg model of human eye lens. Optics Letters, 40, pp. 3739-3742.
Bahrami, M., Hoshino, M., Pierscionek, B. K., Yagi, N., Regini, J., Uesugi, K., 2015. Refractive index degeneration in older lenses: a potential functional correlate to structural changes that underlie cataract formation. Experimental Eye Research, 140, pp. 19-27.
Pierscionek, B. K., Bahrami, M., Hoshino, M., Uesugi, K., Regini, J., Yagi, N., 2015. The eye lens: age-related trends and individual variations in refractive index and shape parameters. Oncotarget, 31, pp. 30532-30544.
Rai Udo, J., Young, S. A., Thrimawithana, T. R., Abdelkader, H., Alani, A. W., Pierscionek, B., Alany, R. G., 2015. The suprachroidal pathway: a new drug delivery route to the back of the eye. Drug Discovery Today, 20(4), pp. 491-495.
Abdelkader, H., Pierscionek, B., Alany, R. G., 2014. Novel in situ gelling ocular films for the opioid growth factor-receptor antagonist-naltrexone hydrochloride: fabrication, mechanical properties, mucoadhesion, tolerability and stability studies. International Journal of Pharmaceutics, 477, pp. 631-642.
Bahrami, M., Goncharov, S., Pierscionek, B. K., 2014. Adjustable internal structure for reconstructing the gradient index of the crystalline lens. Optics Letters, 39(5), pp. 1310-1313.
McGlade, D., McClenahan, C., Pierscionek, B. K., 2014. Pro-donation behaviours of nursing students from the four countries of the UK. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091405
Mahendiran, K., Elie, C., Nebel, J-C., Ryan, A., Pierscionek, B. K., 2014. Primary sequence contribution to the optical function of the eye lens. Scientific Reports, 4. doi: 10.1038/srep05195
Bahrami, M., Hoshino, M., Pierscionek, B. K., Yagi, N., Regini, J., Uesugi, K., 2014. Optical properties of the lens: an explanation for the zones of discontinuity. Exp Eye Research, 124, pp. 93-99.
Laibe, J., Broutin M., Caffrey, A., Pierscionek, B., Nebel, J-C., 2017. Data Mining the Protein Data Bank to Identify and Characterise Chameleon Coil Sequences that Form Symmetric Homodimer β-Sheet Interfaces In: Rojas I., Ortuño F. (eds.), 2017. Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (Cham: Springer), pp. 118-126. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-56154-7_12
Florez-Revuelta, F., Padilla-Lopez, J. R., Dinsmore, J., Pierscionek, B., 2016. Chapter 19: Privacy and ethical issues. In: Florez-Revuelta, F., Chaaraoui, A. A. (eds.), 2016. Active and Assisted Living: Technologies and Applications (Stevenage: Institution of Engineering and Technology), pp. 389-408. ISBN: 978-1-84919-987-2
Development of refractive index in the embryonic chick lens. 6th International Conference on the Lens, Kona, Hawaii, USA, December 2019.
Future healthcare challenges in the EU from the ethico-legal perspective. Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, June 2019.
Optics of the Lens and Changes with Ageing. 24th International Society for Eye Research conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland, September 2018.
The influence of zonular angles on human lens accommodation. EMPVO IX Topical Meeting on Visual and Physiological Optics, Athens, Greece, August 2018.
Species variations in gradient index profiles. 5th International Conference on the Lens, Kona, Hawaii, USA, December 2017.
Mechanisms and models of the accommodative system. Presbyopia Club 21, Poznan, Poland, April 2017.
Modelling the physiological optics of the eye. ARVO ASIA, Brisbane, Australia, February 2017.
The eye lens: is it a crystal ball? Auckland University, Visiting Distinguished Professor lecture, January 2017.
Ethical principles as applied to eye care practice. Auckland University, Visiting Distinguished Professor lecture, January 2017.
Perspectives on eye research. Monash University, Australia, Invited Professor seminar. January (2017)
What next for British science? Assessing architectural changes to research funding and evaluating the impact of Brexit (invited speaker). Policy-UK Forum, December 2016.
Ageing changes in the refractive properties of the lens: How the biological lens can inform implant design. 22nd International Society for Eye Research conference, Tokyo, Japan, September 2016.
Models of zonular forces for presbyopia correction (keynote). International Society of Presbyopia, Copenhagen, Denmark, September 2016.
Modelling material properties in eye lenses: stress distributions and deformation. EMPVO VIII Topical Meeting on Visual and Physiological Optics, Antwerp, Belgium, August 2016.
Nanomaterials for the eye. International Forum of Nanomedicine, Changsha, China, July 2016.
The paradox and synchrony of the eye lens (plenary lecture). SPIE Student Chapter, Hamilton, Canada, December 2015.
Ageing variations in the refractive index gradient of human lenses. 4th International Conference on the Lens, Kona, Hawaii, USA, December 2015.
Phosphors in the eye. 3rd International Workshop on Persistent and Photostimulable Phosphores, Arlington, Texas, USA, November 2015.
Advances in eye research using nanotechnology. 1st International Conference on Advances in Pharmaceutical Science, Alexandria, Egypt, November 2015.
X-ray synchrotron interferometric measurement of eye lens media: evidence of a stepped gradient lens. Medical Applications of Synchrotron Radiation, European Synchrotron Research Facility, Grenoble, France, October 2015.
What structure can teach us about function in the eye. OPTO 2015 conference, Wroclaw, Poland, May 2015.
The paradox and synchrony of the eye lens. SPIE Student Chapter, Leuven, Belgium, February 2015.
TV appearances on The One Show (BBC1); Australian science program Quantum; RTÉ Ireland.
Published in The Age in Australia.
Founding member of the Australian Science Communicators.
Recently spoke on BBC Radio Stoke on the Perry Spiller show about need for a measured response to COVID-19.