Professor Deborah Sweeney

Professor Deborah Sweeney

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise & International,
Office of the DVC & VP, Research, Enterprise & Int

Office of the DVC & VP, Research, Enterprise & Int


In December 2016 Deborah was appointed the Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation. As of January 2020 this portfolio was expanded to include International and Enterprise and Deborah is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Enterprise and International. Prior to this Deborah was appointed as Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), following her position as Associate Pro Vice Chancellor Health and Science which she held since 2011.  As Pro Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) she provides leadership and guidance to achieve the University’s strategic priorities for research and innovation and focusses on quality assurance and enhancement.  In addition, she is responsible for supporting the research portfolios within the Schools and Institutes.

Deborah joined UWS in 2009 as the Director of Research for the College of Health and Science and has more than 20 years’ experience in research and research management.  She received her Bachelor of Optometry from UNSW in 1980, subsequently joining the Cornea & Contact Lens Research Unit within the School of Optometry, UNSW.  Since completing her PhD in 1992, she has held various executive roles within the Cornea and Contact Lens Research Unit and Vision CRC and its predecessor the CRC for Eye Research and Technology, including five years as Chief Executive Officer of Vision CRC.

Deborah is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and continues to be active in national and international organisations, holding executive positions in the CRC Association and VisionCare NSW.  Her major research area has been corneal physiology, and her work has been instrumental in developing an understanding of the physiology of the human cornea and the effects of contact lens wear and refractive surgery on corneal function characteristics and the development of alternative forms of vision correction.  Deborah has published over 100 refereed articles and several book chapters, and is a co-inventor on two patents.

Deborah is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

This information has been contributed by Professor Sweeney.


  • PhD University of New South Wales

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Office of the DVC & VP, Research, Enterprise & Int
  • Office of the DVC & VP, Research, Enterprise & Int


Phone: (02) 9685 9822
Mobile: 0414339206
Location: EB

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Chapters in Books

  • Papas, E., Sweeney, D., Fonn, D. and Swarbrick, H. (2019), 'Extended and continuous wear lenses', Contact Lenses, Elsevier 9780702071683.
  • Evans, M. and Sweeney, D. (2009), 'Synthetic corneal implants', Biomaterials and regenerative medicine in ophthalmology, Woodhead 9781845694432.
  • Sweeney, D., Stretton, S., Fonn, D., Swarbrick, H. and Holden, B. (2007), 'Extended and continuous-wear lenses', Contact Lenses 5/e, Butterworth-Heinemann 9780750688185.
  • Sweeney, D., Carnt, N., du Toit, R., Stretton, S., Skotnitsky, C., Stern, J., Keay, L. and Holden, B. (2005), 'Silicon hydrogel lenses for continuous wear', Clinical Contact Lens Practice, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 9780781737050.
  • Sweeney, D., du Toit, R., Keay, L., Jalbert, I., Sankaridurg, P., Stern, J., Skotnitsky, C., Stephensen, A., Covey, M., Holden, B. and Rao, G. (2004), 'Clinical performance of silicone hydrogel lenses', Silicone Hydrogels: Continuous Wear Contact Lenses, Butterworth-Heinemann 9780750687799.

Journal Articles

  • Thomson, R., Mobeen, R., Ho, A., Fonn, D. and Sweeney, D. (2021), 'Lifetime corneal edema load model', Translational Vision Science and Technology, vol 10, no 2 .
  • Papas, E. and Sweeney, D. (2016), 'Interpreting the corneal response to oxygen : is there a basis for re-evaluating data from gas-goggle studies?', Experimental Eye Research, vol 151 , pp 222 - 226.
  • Sweeney, D. (2013), 'Have silicone hydrogel lenses eliminated hypoxia?', Eye and Contact Lens, vol 39, no 1 , pp 53 - 60.
  • Sweeney, D., Millar, T. and Raju, S. (2013), 'Tear film stability : a review', Experimental Eye Research, vol 117 , pp 28 - 38.
  • Petznick, A., Madigan, M., Garrett, Q., Sweeney, D. and Evans, M. (2013), 'Contributions of ocular surface components to matrix-metalloproteinases (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 in feline tears following corneal epithelial wounding', PLoS One, vol 8, no 8 .
  • Naidoo, K., Sweeney, D., Jaggernath, J. and Holden, B. (2013), 'A population-based study of visual impairment in the Lower Tugela health district in KZN, SA', South African Optometrist, vol 72, no 3 , pp 110 - 118.
  • Petznick, A., Evans, M., Madigan, M., Garrett, Q. and Sweeney, D. (2012), 'A preliminary study of changes in tear film proteins in the feline eye following nictitating membrane removal', Veterinary Ophthalmology, vol 15, no 3 , pp 164 - 171.
  • Evens, M., Prakasam, R., Vaddavalli, P., Hughes, T., Knower, W., Wikie, J., McLean, K., Johnson, G., McFarland, G., Xie, R. and Sweeney, D. (2011), 'A perfluoropolyether corneal inlay for the correction of refractive error', Biomaterials, vol 32, no 12 , pp 3158 - 3165.
  • Evans, M., Chaouk, H., Wilkie, J., Dalton, B., Taylor, S., Xie, R., Hughes, T., Johnson, G., McFarland, G., Griesser, H., Steele, J., Meijs, G., Sweeney, D. and McLean, K. (2011), 'The influence of surface topography of a porous perfluoropolyether polymer on corneal epithelial tissue growth and adhesion', Biomaterials, vol 32 , pp 8870 - 8879.
  • Petznick, A., Evans, M., Madigan, M., Markoulli, M., Garrett, Q. and Sweeney, D. (2011), 'A comparison of basal and eye-flush tears for the analysis of cat tear proteins', Acta Ophthalmologica, vol 89, no 1 , pp 75 - 81.
  • Thissen, H., Gengenbach, T., Du Toit, R., Sweeney, D., Kingshott, P., Griesser, H. and Meagher, L. (2010), 'Clinical observations of biofouling on PEO coated silicone hydrogel contact lenses', Biomaterials, vol 31, no 21 , pp 5510 - 5519.
  • Jalbert, I., Sweeney, D. and Stapleton, F. (2009), 'The effect of long-term wear of soft lenses of low and high oxygen transmissibility on the corneal epithelium', Eye, vol 23, no 6 , pp 1282 - 1287.
  • Sweeney, D., Holden, B., Evans, K., Ng, V. and Cho, P. (2009), 'Best practice contact lens care : a review of the Asia Pacific Contact Lens Care Summit', Clinical and Experimental Optometry, vol 92, no 2 , pp 78 - 89.
  • Sweeney, D., Vannas, A., Hughes, T., Evans, M., McLean, K., Xie, R., Pravin, V. and Prakasam, R. (2008), 'Synthetic corneal inlays : invited Review', Clinical and Experimental Optometry, vol 91, no 1 , pp 56 - 66.
  • Holden, B. and Sweeney, D. (2007), 'Corneal infection guidelines: Gguest Editorial', Clinical and Experimental Optometry, vol 90, no 6 , pp 404 - 0.
  • Stapleton, F., Stretton, S., Papas, E., Skotnitsky, C. and Sweeney, D. (2006), 'Silicone hydrogels and the ocular surface', The Ocular Surface, vol 4, no 1 , pp 24 - 43.
  • Xie, R., Evans, M., Bojarski, B., Hughes, T., Chan, G., Nguyen, X., Wilkie, J., McLean, K., Vannas, A. and Sweeney, D. (2006), 'Two-year preclinical testing of perfluoropolyether polymer as a corneal inlay', Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, vol 47, no 2 , pp 574 - 581.
  • Pandian, A., Sankaridurg, P., Naduvilath, T., O'Leary, D., Sweeney, D., Rose, K. and Mitchell, P. (2006), 'Accommodative facility in eyes with and without myopia', Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, vol 47, no 11 , pp 4725 - 4731.
  • Skotnitsky, C., Naduvilath, T., Sweeney, D. and Sankaridurg, P. (2006), 'Two presentations of contact lens-induced papillary conjunctivitis (CLPC) in hydrogel lens wear: Local and general', Optometry and Vision Science, vol 83, no 1 , pp 27 - 36.
  • Holden, B., Sankaridurg, P., Sweeney, D., Stretton, S., Naduvilath, T. and Rao, G. (2005), 'Microbial keratitis in prospective studies of extended wear with disposable hydrogel contact lenses', Cornea, vol 24, no 2 , pp 156 - 161.
  • Jalbert, I., Stapleton, F., Papas, E., Sweeney, D. and Coroneo, M. (2003), 'In vivo confocal microscopy of the human cornea', British Journal of Ophthalmology, vol 87 , pp 225 - 236.
  • Sweeney, D., Jalbert, I., Covey, M., Sankaridurg, P., Vajdic, C., Holden, B., Sharma, S., Ramachandran, L., Wilcox, M. and Rao, G. (2003), 'Clinical characterisation of corneal infiltrative events observed with soft contact lens wear', Cornea, vol 22, no 5 , pp 435 - 442.
  • Sweeney, D., Xie, R., Evans, M., Vannas, A., Tout, S., Griesser, H., Johnson, G. and Steele, J. (2003), 'A comparison of biological coatings for the promotion of epithelialisation of a synthetic surface in vivo', Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, vol 44, no 8 , pp 3301 - 3309.
  • Snkaridurg, P., Sweeney, D., Holden, B., Naduvilath, T., Velala, I., Gora, R., Krishnamachary, M. and Rao, G. (2003), 'Comparison of adverse events with daily disposable hydrogels and spectacle wear: results from a 12-month prospective clinical trial', Ophthalmology, vol 110, no 12 , pp 2327 - 2334.
  • Stretton, S., Jalbert, I. and Sweeney, D. (2003), 'Corneal hypoxia secondary to contact lenses : the effect of high-Dk lenses', Ophthalmology Clinics of North America, vol 16, no 3 , pp 327 - 340.
  • Skotnitsky, C., Jalbert, I., O'Hare, N., Sweeney, D. and Holden, B. (2002), 'Case reports for three atypical keratitis events with high Dk soft contact lens wear', Cornea, vol 21 , pp 318 - 324.
  • Skotnitsky, C., Sankaridurg, P., Sweeney, D. and Holden, B. (2002), 'Case reports of general and local contact lens induced papillary conjunctivitis (CLPC)', Clinical and Experimental Optometry, vol 85 , pp 193 - 197.
  • Evans, M., Xie, R., Fabbri, M., Bojarski, B., Chaouk, H., Wilkie, J., McLean, H., Cheng, H., Vannas, A. and Sweeney, D. (2002), 'Progress in the development of a synthetic corneal onlay', Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, vol 43, no 10 , pp 3196 - 3201.
  • O'Hare, N., Stapleton, F., Jalbert, I., Sweeney, D. and Holden, B. (2002), 'Interaction between the contact lens and the ocular surface in superior epithelial arcuate lesions', Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 506 , pp 973 - 980.
  • Sweeney, D., Keay, L., Carnt, N. and Holden, B. (2002), 'Practitioner guidelines for continuous wear high Dk silicone hydrogel lenses', Clinical and Experimental Optometry, vol 85 , pp 161 - 167.
  • Keay, L., Willcox, M., Sweeney, D., Morris, C., Harmis, N., Corrigan, K. and Holden, B. (2001), 'Bacterial populations on 30-night extended wear silicone hydrogel lenses', The C L A O Journal, vol 27, no 1 , pp 30 - 34.
  • Covey, M., Sweeney, D., Terry, R., Sankaridurg, P. and Holden, B. (2001), 'Hypoxic Effects on the anterior eye of the high-Dk soft contact lens wearers are negligible', Optometry and Vision Science, vol 78, no 2 , pp 95 - 99.
  • Sweeney, D., Stapleton, F., Leitch, C., Taylor, J., Holden, B. and Willcox, M. (2001), 'Microbial colonization of soft contact lenses over time', Optometry and Vision Science, vol 78, no 2 , pp 100 - 105.
  • Evans, M., McLean, K., Hughes, T. and Sweeney, D. (2001), 'A review of the development of a synthetic corneal onlay for refractive correction', Biomaterials, vol 22 , pp 3319 - 3328.
  • Keay, L., Jalbert, I., Sweeney, D. and Holden, B. (2001), 'Microcysts: clinical significance and differential diagnosis', Optometry, vol 72 , pp 452 - 460.
  • Xie, R., Stretton, S. and Sweeney, D. (2001), 'Artificial cornea: towards a synthetic onlay for correction of refractive error', Bioscience Reports, vol 21, no 4 .
  • Jalbert, I., Sweeney, D. and Holden, B. (2001), 'Epithelial split associated with wear of a silicone hydrogel contact lens: A case report', The C L A O Journal, vol 27, no 3 , pp 1 - 3.

Previous Projects

Title: CRC Urban Bid
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Deborah Sweeney
Years: 2013-12-01 - 2014-12-01
ID: P00021885
Title: Major Open Data Collections Project - [via Monash Uni]
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (non ACRG)
Western Researchers: Deborah Sweeney
Years: 2014-06-12 - 2015-05-29
ID: P00022297
Title: Confocal Facility Manager
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Deborah Sweeney
Years: 2011-06-02 - 2012-05-17
ID: P00020356
Title: Materials Characterisation Facility Manager
  • University of Western Sydney
Western Researchers: Deborah Sweeney
Years: 2011-06-02 - 2012-05-17
ID: P00020355

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