Research Training Program

The T35 Summer Research Program is sponsored by the National Eye Institute. The goal of the program is to engage six optometry students in a three-month summer research program to spark interest in graduate studies and potentially guide them toward a career in vision science. Participants receive a stipend to conduct research with a faculty mentor during the summer between their first and second year of optometry school.


Participants spend the summer evaluating literature, conducting research, attending vision science seminars, participating in brown bag luncheons, observing research, and interacting with mentors. At the end of the summer, the participants present their work to The Ohio State University College of Optometry faculty and graduate students.


Applications are available in the beginning of the spring semester, due about a month later, and students are notified about acceptance in late February. The 2016 participants and mentors are:


Student   Mentor Project Title

Carolyn Chakuroff

Bradley Dougherty

The effect of complement factor H Y402H polymorphism and C-reactive protein on outcomes of anti-VEGF treatment of exudative AMD
Christina Locke Nathan Doble and Stacey Choi Variance in cone photoreceptor density within myopic children
Lida Zeinalpour Andy Toole, Nick Fogt, Cayti McDaniel The role of proximal vergence and accommodation during sustained reading
Elizabeth Galko Andy Hartwick Measuring the Cholinergic Response of ipRGCs through Pupillary Testing                             
Aimee Violette Delwin Lindsey Cross-cultural comparison of color space perception and emergence of color categories
Dayla Qaisi TJ Plageman The role of Cdc42 on lacrimal gland development

For more information, email


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