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Guest Editorial: A ‘Thank You’ to My Continued Supporters

Guest editorial by Dr. Maryam Jabbar, Optometrist + Lecturer at The University of Faisalabad, Pakistan

Dr. Maryam Jabbar

I am a young optometrist and researcher from Pakistan. I graduated from The University of Faisalabad in 2023 and have continued my academic journey by enrolling in the MPhil program from 2021 to 2023, where I was honored with a Bronze medal. Throughout my studies and work, I have had an extensive team of people who have supported me through my endeavors. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. Thank you!

GROWING MY RESUME

Currently, I’m working as a lecturer in the optometry department at The University of Faisalabad, Pakistan. I am forever grateful to the institute for providing state-of-the-art facilities that helped me enhance my skills, and to my esteemed teachers who guided me and shaped my career to bring out the best in me.

The luckiest thing for me was to serve my parent institute. I feel fortunate to have started my professional journey as a Research Associate at the University of Faisalabad in November 2021. That was indeed the best tenure of my life, Alhamdulillah (God is great).

Dr. Jabbar receives a Shield from Dr. UbaidUllah at the National Optometry Conference 2023
Dr. Jabbar receives a Shield from Dr. UbaidUllah at the National Optometry Conference 2023

My academic and research endeavors are highlighted by my portfolio of 15 published original papers, with 11 recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as Y category journal contributions. Additionally, I have actively participated in 13 conferences, including both international and national platforms.

Dr. Jabbar receives her graduation cap from Research Supervisor Dr. Ayesha Kiran
Dr. Jabbar receives her graduation cap from Research Supervisor Dr. Ayesha Kiran

Thank you to Dr. Ayesha Kiran, my undergraduate supervisor, for imparting research skills. Additionally, thank you to Dr. Faisal Rashid, my mentor, for assisting in the article publication process.

Dr. Jabbar (center) receives a Letter of Appreciation from Prof. (Meritorious and Tenured) Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-Ur-Rehman and Madam Zahida Maqbool Registrar TUF
Dr. Jabbar (center) receives a Letter of Appreciation from Prof. (Meritorious and Tenured) Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-Ur-Rehman and Madam Zahida Maqbool Registrar TUF

I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a Gold Medal as the Best Presenter in the Verbal Competition at the 1st International Conference of Rehabilitation and Allied Health Sciences (RASCON-2022) in December 2022. Additionally, I was recognized with a Letter of Appreciation in 2022, signed by Prof. (Meritorious & Tenured) Dr. Muhammad Khaleeq-Ur-Rehman, and coordinated by the Offices of Research, Innovation, and Commercialization (ORIC) at TUF.

Dr. Jabbar receives a Gold Medal as the Best Paper Presenter at RASCON from Prof. Dr Naveed Babur
Dr. Jabbar receives a Gold Medal as the Best Paper Presenter at RASCON from Prof. Dr Naveed Babur

I also attribute my success to my father’s unwavering support, who consistently encouraged me with words like, “You can do it- go ahead!” My mother is the best, and she is my ultimate role model.

A proud TUFian and proud daughter
A proud TUFian and proud daughter

I was able to present my innovative prototype, “M Sight,” at the esteemed “See Pakistan – World Startup Championship August 2023.” When I reflect on that experience, I am grateful for Dr. Imran Arshad and Dr. Azeem Ahmad for their guidance on pitching the startup and effectively conveying my ideas.

M-Sight booth presented by Dr. Jabbar at the World Startup Championship 2023
M-Sight booth presented by Dr. Jabbar at the World Startup Championship 2023

Dr. Jabbar presents at the MSight at Expo Center Lahore, organized by the Punjab Higher Education Commission
Dr. Jabbar presents at the MSight at Expo Center Lahore, organized by the Punjab Higher Education Commission

I recently showcased an innovative prototype at the All Punjab Universities Innovation Expo in Lahore, organized by the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) in November 2023.

Dr. Jabbar presents at Ali Auditorium The University of Faisalabad
Dr. Jabbar presents at Ali Auditorium The University of Faisalabad

As optometrists, we do more than treat patients. We are involved in conducting research, mentoring students and leading innovative projects to generate new knowledge. Currently, I’m involved in three projects: JZ Optics, which enables users to select a frame with a single swipe; MuSAFAR Tech Cane, a smart cane designed to aid the visually impaired in navigating their surroundings independently; and Tea Tree Tonic, an organic product for treating Blepharitis.

The project supervised by Dr. Jabbar
The project supervised by Dr. Jabbar

I’m currently focused on researching myopia and its correlation with personality traits. My previous research includes exploring the relationship between myopia and iris color, myopia’s association with glaucoma and its connection to vitamin D levels. I am also interested in conducting a study on orthokeratology for myopia control in the future.

Optometry holds a special place in my heart. One of my fondest patient stories occurred at a screening camp organized by the University of Faisalabad, in line with their goal to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: Good Health and Well-being. I encountered a grade 7 student who wore glasses but needed a prescription change. When trying the new prescription, the student was delighted. This highlighted the importance of regular eye exams and raising awareness about myopia.

I recently made the decision to appear for the 2025 exam and, for now, pursue membership with the aim of attaining the Fellowship of IACLE, a prestigious credential to enhance my skills as an instructor. I want to express gratitude to Dr. Mutahir Shah (IACLE Ambassador, Pakistan) for introducing me to this esteemed course and guiding me on its significance and process.

Maryam Jabbar with Optometry Department Team -TUF Sports Gala 2024

 

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