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NECO Welcomes Students to 2018 T35 Summer Research Program

New England College of Optometry, NECO, welcomed 8 students into the Summer Research Training Program for 2018. The program is funded by a research training grant (T35) from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. It is open to students at NECO finishing their first year, as well as students from other schools and colleges of optometry around the country. The program encourages optometry students to seek careers upon graduation that include research.

This year, NECO welcomes three students from Berkeley College of Optometry and five students from NECO into the 2018 program.  Cynthia Huang, Johnny Cao-Nguyen and Michael Wong will be traveling to Boston from Berkeley and joining NECO students Nicole Adams, Matthew Barnes, Jonathan Elin-Calcador, Mia Klekos and Kathryn Kosteva in the summer program.  Many students in the group come to the program with research experience and are looking forward to doing some focused optometric research.  Additionally, NECO students in the T35 program often continue their research work throughout their studies and enroll in the dual OD/MS degree program at the College.Group of 7 T35 Research students

The T35 Research program runs from May through August and provides students an opportunity to engage in laboratory research with highly qualified vision researchers in the field. The researchers serve as mentors to the students as they gain strong skills in vision research.  The program also provides students the opportunity to conduct a critical literature review and explore experimental design, data collection and analysis  Students work closely with their mentors, conducting research in their labs and attending weekly seminars at the College.

This year’s topics include:

  • Dr. Tony Guarino, NECO: Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis
  • Dr. John Basl, Northeastern University: Ethical Conduct of Science
  • Dr. Steve Koevary: Animal Care
  • Dr. Paul White: IRB
  • Dr. Eleftherios Paschalis, Schepens Eye Research, Mass Eye and Ear
  • Dr. Alex Huang, Schepens Eye Research, Mass Eye and Ear: Impact of Headlight Glare When Driving with Cataracts
  • Dr. Barry Kran, NECO: Understanding pediatric brain-based vision impairment and implications for how vision impairment and blindness should be defined

Towards the end of the summer, the lectures will be flipped to allow T35 students to present their research 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.

2018 T35 Student Research Summer Training Program participants:

Student Research Fellow: Nicole Adam, NECO
Research Mentors: Nicole Ross, New England College of Optometry

Student Research Fellow: Matthew Barnes, NECO
Research Mentor: Frances Rucker, New England College of Optometry

Student Research Fellow: Jonathan Elin-Calcador, NECO
Research Mentor:  Deb Nickla, New England College of Optometry

Student Research Fellow: Cynthia Huang, Berkeley
Research Mentor: Rhea Eskew, Northeastern University

Student Research Fellow: Mia Klekos, NECO
Research Mentor: Thanasis Panorgias, New England College of Optometry

Student Research Fellow: Kathryn Kosteva, NECO
Research Mentors:  David Rio, New England College of Optometry

Student Research Fellow: Johnny Cao-Nguyen, Berkeley
Research Mentor: Haiyan Gong, Boston University School of Medicine

Student Research Fellow: Michael Wong, Berkeley
Research Mentor: Alex Bowers, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear