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What do you do?

Mr Vivek Labhishetty (BLSO 2011) after scoring a perfect CGPA of 10 in the history of  Bausch and Lomb School of Optometry, is now pursuing his PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada, under the guidance of Dr. William Bobier. In 2015, he won the Day Tech Award for the best graduate student presentation at Waterloo’s Vision Science research conference. During the spring convocation that year, the Dean of Science then presented him with the Award for Best Master’s Thesis for his research on redesigning an instrument known as a photorefractor.

In 2016, Vivek completed an optometry hat-trick, by winning the Dr. Emerson Woodruff Scholarship in Paediatrics for the third time in a row.  This scholarship valued at approximately $1,000 CAD, is awarded annually to full-time graduate students enrolled in the Masters/Doctoral program in the School of Optometry Vision Science graduate program whose research provides basic or clinical information pertaining to the developing visual system in infants and children. His scholarship recognizes his leadership role in the establishment of the School’s Vision Science program and his passion for paediatrics research. Vivek is interested in teaching and educating people about the importance of eye care and currently working as research consultant at Eye – Check, a start-up company that aims to eliminate correctable blindness.

Please tell us about yourself. How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?

Vivek Labhishetty, a PhD student, is on a mission to explore unanswered questions in the field of Vision Science. Inspired by his father, an optometrist himself, Vivek set out to become the best clinical optometrist he can be. His passion is reflected in his pursuits, including his latest research on children with myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness.

What did you do at University of Waterloo?

Since beginning work at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Vivek has distinguished himself from his peers.

It was quite challenging. The main goal was to build a high speed instrument that can accurately measure the focus response of the eye in children with a limited attention span.

I’m interested in teaching and educating people about the importance of eye care. I work as a part-time research consultant at EyeCheck, a startup company that aims to eliminate correctable blindness. They are building miniaturized optical technology easily accessible to everyone. It has been a great learning process so far; I am able to test myself in other areas of optometry rather than focusing merely on my research.

What did you study?

Before making his way to UWaterloo, Vivek completed his undergraduate degree in India. At the L V Prasad Eye Institute, he secured a perfect GPA – a feat of excellence that had never been achieved in the history of the institution.

For students thinking about further education, the entrepreneurial student leaves a few words of wisdom:

If you are really passionate about something, just go for it. Don’t do something just because you have to.