New England College of Optometry, NECO, recently welcomed eight students into the 2017 Summer Research Training Program. Funded by a a research training grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, T35, the program runs from May through August, 2017.
The Summer Research Program is led by director Dr. Jane Gwiazda and designed for first year optometry students from NECO, as well as other colleges of optometry across the nation. It is intended to encourage optometry students to pursue careers that include research. The 2017 program welcomes Jacqueline Albert from SCO-Ketchum and Lucia Yang from SCCO as well as NECO students Alex Hentschel, Zhongliang Ju, Enian Kallamata, Spencer Traxler, Gabriella Velonias, and Hannah Yoon.
During the summer research training program, participating students will gain research experience in the laboratory of a mentor during the summer and spend a minimum of 320 hours doing research. Weekly seminars will be held to introduce the students to all aspects of research. This year’s topics include:
Dr. Chris Taylor, NECO: Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis
Dr. Arthur Lage: Animal Care
Dr. Paul White: IRB
Dr. John Basl, Northeastern University: Ethical Conduct of Science
Dr. James Akula, Children's Hospital, Boston: Small-eyed Myopia: A Peculiar Consequence of Retinopathy of Prematurity
Dr. Srinivas Pundlik, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass Eye and Ear: A Wearable Collision Warning Device for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Dr. Jae-Hyun Jung, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass Eye and Ear: Prism Field Expansion/Visual Prostheses
Dr. Susana Marcos, Instituto de Optica, Madrid: Photo-activated Techniques in Eye Treatments
At the end of the program, the T35 students will present their findings to the other trainees and mentors and any other interested faculty and students.
2017 T35 Student Research Summer Training Program participants:
By participating in the T35 research program, these accomplished OD students experience hands-on research early in their academic careers, which leads many of them to obtain both an OD and MS degree in their four years at NECO. This early research exposure complements their clinical and didactic training, and helps to ensure that they will provide evidence-based eye care in the future.
Student Research Fellow: Jacqueline Albert, SCO-Ketchum Research Mentors: Alex Bowers, PhD
Student Research Fellow: Alex Hentschel, NECO Research Mentor: Frances Rucker, MSc, PhD, MCOPTOM
Student Research Fellow: Zhongliang Ju, NECO Research Mentor: Eli Peli, OD
Student Research Fellow: Enian Kallamata, NECO Research Mentor: Fuensanta Vera-Diaz, OD, PhD
Student Research Fellow: Spencer Traxler, NECO Research Mentor: Anne Fulton, OD
Student Research Fellow: Gabriella Velonias, NECO Research Mentors: Fuensanta Vera-Diaz, OD, PhD
Student Research Fellow: Lucia Yang, SCCO Research Mentor: Haiyan Gong, MD, PhD
Student Research Fellow: Hannah Yoon, NECO Research Mentor: Frances Rucker, MSc, PhD, MCOPTOM
About New England College of Optometry
New England College of Optometry, NECO, is an independent graduate college of optometry that educates students for careers in eye care delivery, research and education. For over 120 years, the New England College of Optometry has been educating optometrists and leaders in the field. Originally founded in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics, NECO prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, leaders, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. Through a vast network of clinical affiliations, our students put patient care first, providing vision care to children, older adults, the homeless, and individuals with disabilities through our mobile eye clinic, satellite clinics in schools, homeless shelters, community health centers, and VA medical centers.
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