Research Training Program

The College of Optometry is pleased to announce its summer 2018 NIH National Research Service Award (T35) trainees! These seven students have completed their first year of their study of optometry and spend the 12 weeks of summer working with College of Optometry faculty to explore their interest in research by completing a research study. The goal of the program is to encourage professional students to embark on a career in eye research.

 

Student:

Emma Stewart-Bates

Advisor:

Melissa Bailey

Title:

Effects of Ambient Lighting on Autorefraction

 

Why T35 is important to me:

This program is a great opportunity to learn about new and upcoming research in optometry and to determine if a career in research is the right choice for me.

 

My project:

We will be testing an ambient-light-based autorefractor in multiple lighting conditions. A calibration factor that corrects for various light spectra will be developed and tested for the autorefractor. Testing will include both pediatric and adult study subjects. The autorefractor will be compared to a gold-standard autorefractor as well as to subjective refraction.

 

Student:

Jaime Etterling

Advisor:

Andrew Hartwick

Title:

Effect of light wavelength on pupil responses to repeated stimuli

 

Why T35 is important to me:

I believe T35 is a great opportunity to explore my interests in a future career in research and academia. I am excited to be able to gain experience and insight into the field of research while being able to further expand my knowledge and passion for vision science.

 

My project:

I will measure pupil constriction in response to a flickering light stimulus of various wavelengths. The amplitude of the pupil flicker and the rate of redilation will be measured following a stimulus of flickering red light alternating with orange, green, or blue light.

 

Student:

Casey Ramirez Cortes

Advisor:

Don Mutti

Title:

The Effect of Seasons on Pupillary Responses in Adults

 

Why T35 is important to me:

I am so excited to have the opportunity to contribute knowledge that may help future generations better address the growing problem of myopia.

 

My project:

Light exposure has been shown to affect eye growth. Myopes and hyperopes respond differently to outdoor light, a difference which can be observed in their pupil responses. The goal of this project is to see if seasons affect those pupil responses.

 

Student:

Ben Cyphers

Advisors:

Jeff Walline and Jenny Huang

 

Title:

Side Effects of Atropine (SEA) Study

 

Why T35 is important to me:

I'm incredibly grateful to get a chance to perform clinical research this summer! I'm very interested in the idea of pursuing a career in research, and this project will help me decide if that's a path I will pursue.

 

My project:

I will measure the potential side effects associated with 0.01% atropine. We will measure vision, accommodation, light sensitivity, reading speed, and subjective assessment before and after nightly administration of 0.01% atropine for one week in young adults.

 

Student:

Kelly Lutmer

Advisors:

Heidi Wagner, Bradley E Dougherty, Aaron B Zimmerman 

Title:

Examining Soft Contact Lens Attitudes and Beliefs (SLAB)

 

Why T35 is important to me:

I am participating in the T35 project to enhance my knowledge of the research and process that leads to the development of evidence-based clinical practices. I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity!

 

My project: 

The aim of this project is to examine contact lens attitudes and practices in young adult soft contact lens (SCL) wearers. I will develop a beta version of a survey instrument to explain and predict SCL wear and care behaviors in the context of the Health Belief Model.

 

Student:

Emma Thompson

Advisors:

Teng Leng Ooi, Stacey Choi, Nathan Doble

Title:

How Structure of the Retina Affects Perception

 

Why T35 is important to me:

T35 is incredibly important to me because it is giving me a chance to explore the research side of Optometry. I am interested in research because not only do I want to work in the field of Optometry, I want to be a part of the constant evolution of our understanding of the way our eyes work.

 

My project:

I will create high resolution images of the cones in the retina using adaptive optics technology, then compare how the cells and structure of the retina relate to the psychophysical functions of our eyes. This project will further our understanding of how the structure of the retina affects sensation and perception.

 

Student:

Lindsey Hutchinson

Advisor:

Delwin Lindsey

 

Title:

Fundamental Color Sensation Study

 

Why T35 is important to me:

This is a great opportunity to be a part of innovative optometric research as well as learn new skills and tools that will help in my career.

 

My project:

The human experience of color qualia is thought to be governed by four fundamental color sensations – redness, greenness, blueness and yellowness. Using custom-programmed iPads, my T35 project will employ psychophysical testing of patrons of the local museum of science and industry (COSI) to examine the generality of this claim across a large sample of human subjects.

For more information, email walline.1@osu.edu

 

What’s it like to be a T35 Summer Researcher at Ohio State? Students explain ... 

 

“This summer I worked with Dr. Dougherty to genotype a complement factor H polymorphism in patients undergoing anti-VEGF injections at Havener Eye Institute. It was exciting to combine my past lab-based research experience with the opportunity to interact with patients clinically as I collected my data. I have definitely expanded my knowledge of how vision science research works and look forward to continuing learning how to be a clinician-scientist in the Combined OD/MS program.” – Carolyn Chakuroff

 

“The T35 program has shown me that the best way to learn something is by exploring it yourself. My project has pushed me to become more creative, flexible, and confident in my abilities as a scientist and future optometrist.” – Christina Locke

 

“This summer I studied lacrimal gland development. Being in the lab everyday allowed me to do hands on scientific learning. I learned to think like a researcher by setting up experiments and assessing data.” – Dalya Qaisi

 

“I learned so much this summer. I not only learned a lot about my specific project but I also learned a lot about conducting research and the vast amount of research that goes on at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.” – Kelsey Ferlin

 

“I learned about color science and used an iPad color sorting game to collect data from English speakers at COSI and Somali speakers at Care Point East.” – Aimee Violette

 

“I studied the role of proximal vergence and proximal accommodation during sustained reading. Our initial results indicated that there is a significant role played by proximal vergence and proximal accommodation during sustained reading.” – Lida Zeinalpour

 

“Aside from immersing myself in optometric research, the T35 program taught me more about myself than I ever expected. I was intrigued by research at the beginning of this summer, but those feelings have morphed into excitement and determination to continue participating in research and contributing to the profession of optometry. I am now entering my second year of optometry school and clinical education with more confidence in myself and my capabilities as a student and future optometrist.” – Elizabeth Galko