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ARU professor awarded prestigious optometry medal

Published: 27 March 2024 at 13:04

Professor Shahina Pardhan receives the Silver Fincham Medal from Liz Shilling

Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers awards Silver Medal to Shahina Pardhan

Anglia Ruskin University’s Professor Shahina Pardhan has become the first female recipient of the prestigious Silver Fincham Medal – awarded by the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers for the contribution she has made in the field of optometry throughout her career.

Professor Pardhan, who was the first female professor of optometry in the UK, received the medal during a recent ceremony at the historic Apothecaries Hall, London.

The Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM), was founded by Royal Charter in 1629. It is the oldest existing optical organisation in the world and the only City Livery Company entirely dedicated to eye health. The WCSM awards gold, silver and bronze medals. It is just the sixth time the Silver Fincham Medal has been awarded.

Director of ARU’s Vision and Eye Research Institute (VERI), Professor Pardhan’s research has made a significant contribution to reducing the risk of diabetic retinopathy in South Asians in the UK and other parts of the world, and her other research achievements are in the areas of low vision and visual short-term memory.

Professor Pardhan has authored more than 200 publications and is associated with more than 5,000 research citations. In 2021, she received the College of Optometrists’ Arthur Bennett Prize for her work on the global visual impact of diabetic retinopathy on eye health and vision, and how vision loss affects navigation through environments.

Professor Pardhan said:

“I am delighted and honoured to have received the prestigious Silver Fincham medal from the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. I am really keen to reduce eye health inequality where it exists – whether in communities in the UK or in other parts of the world.”

The Master of WCSM, Liz Shilling, said:

“We were delighted to present this Medal to Professor Pardhan. It is only the sixth time that the Medal has been awarded. Professor Pardhan has demonstrated sustained, career-long commitment to our founding principle of working for better vision for all, not just in terms of her personal record of achievement, but also as an inspirational advocate and mentor of research colleagues and as a champion for greater diversity and inclusion.  

“We hope to see more Medal winners of this calibre in the next few years, reflecting the huge strides being made in vision science by a more inclusive and diverse research community, working together and harnessing the power of multi-disciplinary conversations.”