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Faculty List

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Nicole Quinn, Associate Professor of Optometry
Nicole Quinn, Associate Professor of Optometry
Email: quinnn@neco.edu
Phone: 6172662030
Type: Full-time
Degrees: O.D.
Bio:

Dr. Quinn is an associate professor of optometry and has been at the College since 2002. She is the instructor of record for Pediatric Optometry. She also is the assistant director of residencies and the residency supervisor for the NECO’s pediatric optometry residency. In addition to her responsibilities at the College, Dr. Quinn is an attending optometrist at the Tufts Medical Center Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Clinic, where she provides primary eye care and contact lens services to pediatric patients, as well as vision therapy services to pediatric and adult patients.  Her treatment and research interests include strabismus, amblyopia, convergence insufficiency, and mild traumatic brain injury.

After earning a doctor of optometry degree from the New England College of Optometry in 2001, Dr. Quinn completed the pediatric optometry residency at the College for which she earned the Vistakon Terrance Ingraham Pediatric Optometry Residency Award. She has been a member of the American Academy of Optometry since 1998 and earned a AAO fellowship in 2002. She is also a member of the American Optometric Association.

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Jack Richman, Professor Emeritus
Jack Richman, Professor Emeritus
Email: jack.richman@comcast.net
Phone: 6172662030
Type: Emeritus
Degrees: O.D.
Bio:

Dr. Richman, professor emeritus, has been a faculty member of the College since 1984. During his tenure at the College, he has served as chief of pediatric optometry and binocular vision services and has taught courses in binocular vision, pediatric optometry, strabismus, and pharmacology. Prior to joining the College, he held academic and clinical positions as the chief of the pediatric optometry and binocular vision service at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University. Dr. Richman earned an undergraduate degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and later earned a doctor of optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1968.

Dr. Richman’s primary clinical research interests are in children’s vision, eye movements and reading, the effect of nervous system impairment on eye movements, visual attention dysfunction, and vision therapy and rehabilitation. He has lectured widely on these subjects both in the United States and internationally and has published over 50 articles and book chapters on these subjects. Dr. Richman serves as an editorial reviewer for Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association, Optometry & Vision Science, The Journal of Behavioral Optometry, and The Journal of Forensic Science.

In July 2010, Dr. Richman retired from full time teaching and clinical practice. Presently, he practices privately on a limited basis in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Additionally, he remains on the consulting staff at several hospitals including the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Traumatic Brain Injury Unit and the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands.

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Frances Rucker, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Disease
Frances Rucker, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Disease
Email: ruckerf@neco.edu
Phone: 6175875680
Type: Full-time
Degrees: M.Sc. Ph.D.
Bio:

Dr. Rucker is an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Science and Disease and is currently teaching Human Anatomy and Ocular Physiology. Dr. Rucker joined the faculty in 2009 as part of the College’s initiative to become a leading myopia research institution. She brought with her several years of clinical experience as an optometrist as well as research experience as a vision scientist.

Dr. Rucker studies the signals that provide cues for focusing the eye during ocular accommodation and during post-natal development. She has also studied how near-sighted people and far-sighted people differ in their use of these signals. In 1996, Dr. Rucker received a five-year K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Training Award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute for the study “Short-wavelength Sensitive Cones and the Neural Pathways for Accommodation.” This was the basis of future work on cone signals in emmetropization and for her work on the environmental triggers for myopia.

Dr. Rucker maintains a professional membership with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and with the British College of Optometry. She has been published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science, Vision Research, and the Journal of Vision and Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. Dr. Rucker earned a BSc in ophthalmic optics from Aston University, England, in 1980 and became a member of the College of Optometry in 1981. She has gained valuable clinical experience in the UK and in the Middle East. She earned a PhD in vision science from the State University of New York, New York, in 2004. Dr. Rucker held a postdoctoral position in Josh Wallman’s myopia laboratory at City College of the City University of New York for five years from 2004 to 2009.
 

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Clifford Scott, President, Professor of Optometry
Clifford Scott, President, Professor of Optometry
Email: scottc@neco.edu
Phone: 6172662030
Type: Full-time
Degrees: M.P.H. O.D.
Bio:

Dr. Clifford Scott was named the College’s 12th president in December of 2009. Prior to his appointment as president, Dr. Scott was the dean of academic affairs and also held the position of chair of the Department of Community Health at the College for eight years. He has been a faculty member at the College since 1970 and has been a professor of optometry since 1990.

Dr. Scott has extensive experience in teaching contact lenses as well as 38 years of clinical experience in hospital-based optometry. As the chief optometrist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Roxbury, his responsibilities included both the supervision of all residents and students in the optometry section of the hospital as well as the provision of direct eye care to patients. He has lectured nationally and internationally on topics related to eye disease and is an experienced clinical researcher.

Dr. Scott earned a doctor of optometry degree from the Massachusetts College of Optometry, now the New England College of Optometry, in 1968. He earned a master of public health degree in health care policy and management from Harvard University in 1984. He was the 2001 recipient of the Dupuis-Pellerin Award for Faculty Excellence and was named a diplomate in the Cornea and Contact Lens Section of the American Academy of Optometry in 1993. Dr. Scott maintains a professional affiliation with the American Optometric Association. He is a member of the board of directors of the Boston Foundation for Sight, the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, and OneSight. Dr. Scott is also on the board of advisers for the Asian American Civic Association.
 

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David Shein, Assistant Professor of Medicine
Email: sheind@neco.edu
Phone:
Type: Part-time Adjunct
Degrees: M.D.
Bio:

Dr. Shein has been a member of the faculty at the New England College of Optometry since 2004. He currently teaches Clinical Medicine to second year optometry students at the College.  This course covers the human body in states of health and disease, with a focus on relationships to the ocular system. Dr. Shein is currently an associate professor of medicine at NECO.

Dr. Shein is medical director at Mount Auburn Cambridge IPA in Boston, on the active medical staff at the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, and an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Shein previously worked at Verisk Health in Waltham, Massachusetts, as medical director. Previous to that, he held roles of internist, urgent care medical director, and physician coordinator for Clinical Information Systems at MIT Medical. Dr. Shein graduated from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his internship in internal medicine and primary care residency at Harvard Medical School's Deaconess Hospital in Boston.

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William Sleight, Associate Professor of Optometry
William Sleight, Associate Professor of Optometry
Email: sleightw@neco.edu
Phone: 6172662030
Type: Full-time
Degrees: O.D.
Bio:

Dr. Sleight, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Disease, has been a faculty member at the College since 1983. He is the instructor for Ocular Pharmacology taught to second year optometry students and for the Advanced Ocular Disease I and II courses taught to third year optometry students at the College. He also teaches four computer-based training electives on ocular disease. Dr. Sleight brings 25 years of experience as a clinician to the classroom and is currently a private practitioner in Waterboro, Maine.

Dr Sleight’s is interested in using educational technology to enhance teaching and learning.  In 2004, he was awarded a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, which provided funding for the development of the Ocular Disease Diagnostic Tutor, which is currently part of the elective program. Dr. Sleight has developed several blended learning modules which students take concurrently with face to face lectures.

Dr. Sleight earned a doctorate of optometry degree from the College in 1982 and subsequently completed a residency in hospital optometry at the VA Medical Center of Vancouver, Washington. During this residency, he was the first optometry resident in the VA system to participate in the Interdisciplinary Team on Geriatrics. As a member of the college faculty, Dr. Sleight was the 2004, 2011, 2012, and 2013 recipient of the Foster Namias Award for excellence in didactic instruction, and the 2005 recipient of the Carroll Martus Award for outstanding clinical instruction. Dr. Sleight is a member of both the American Optometric Association and the Maine Optometric Association and has been so for the past 25 years.

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Gayathri Srinivasan, Assistant Professor of Optometry
Gayathri Srinivasan, Assistant Professor of Optometry
Email: Gayathri_Srinivasan@neco.edu
Phone:
Type: Full-time
Degrees: M.S. O.D.
Bio:

Dr. Srinivasan joined the NECO faculty as an assistant professor in 2012 in the Department of Primary Care.

She earned a bachelor of science degree in optometry from Elite School of Optometry (India) in 2005. After practicing for a brief period in India she received a master’s of science in physiological optics from the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry in 2009. She graduated with a doctor of optometry from The New England College of Optometry (NECO) in 2011 and completed a residency program in pediatric optometry in 2012.

Her clinical expertise is in pediatrics. She holds clinical positions at New England Eye (NEE) affiliated sites – Roslindale and Renaissance School Vision Center. In addition, she is one of the course instructors and lab instructors for Principles and Practice of Optometry 1a. Her research interests include investigating first-order and second-order spatial vision and effects of crowding in amblyopia.

Dr.Srinivasan is part of the admissions committee at NECO and is a member of Vision Science Society and American Academy of Optometry.

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Joshua Stefanik, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Science and Disease
Joshua Stefanik, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Science and Disease
Email: stefanik@bu.edu
Phone:
Type: Part-time Adjunct
Degrees: Ph.D.
Bio:

Dr. Stefanik is the primary lab instructor for the Anatomy/Physiology I and II courses.  He received his BS and MS in physical therapy from Northeastern University, after which he attended the Commissioned Officer Training School and Squadron Officer School at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. He has since worked as a physical therapist at the David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California, the Air Force Theatre Hospital at Balad Air Base in Iraq, and the Therapy Resources Management in New Bedford, MA, and currently works at Teamwork Physical Therapy in Quincy, MA. Dr. Stefanik is also a lecturer in the physical therapy department at Northeastern University and a post-doctoral fellow in the clinical epidemiology research and training unit at the Boston University School of Medicine.  He serves on the Advisory Committee for Young Anatomists at the American Association of Anatomists.

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Mitch Strominger, Adjunct Faculty
Email:
Phone:
Type: Part-time Adjunct
Degrees: M.D.
Bio:

Dr. Strominger is a preceptor to pediatric optometry residents from the college in his clinic at the New England Eye Center in Boston, where he is the director of the pediatric ophthalmology and ocular motility service and a member of the neuro-ophthalmology service. He has been an adjunct faculty member at the college since 2002. Dr. Strominger is an associate professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine and is also the director of medical student education. He is also an assistant in ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Dr. Strominger’s research interests center on eye movement and visual pathway disorders in both adults and children, including strabismus and amblyopia. He is a principal investigator of the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group of the National Eye Institute. Consumers Research Council of America recognized him as one of America’s top ophthalmologists for four years in a row (2004-2008) and he was the 2003 recipient of the Tufts-New England Medical Center Oliver Smith Award for extraordinary service and caring.

Dr. Strominger is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, serving on its Ophthalmic Knowledge Base Panel for Pediatric Ophthalmology. He is on the Continuing Medical Education Committee of the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society and is a member of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and the article review board of theJournal of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Dr. Strominger earned his MD degree from Washington University in 1986. He completed his residency training in ophthalmology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York City. He then completed his neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami and his pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. Back to Top
Yu Su, Assistant Clinical Professor of Optometry
Yu Su, Assistant Clinical Professor of Optometry
Email: suy@neco.edu
Phone:
Type: Full-time
Degrees: O.D.
Bio: Dr. Su is a graduate of Fujian Medical University in China and received her Doctor of Optometry degree from Pacific University College of Optometry in 2008. In 2009 she completed a residency in primary care at The Eye Institute of Pennsylvania College of Optometry and became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry in 2010.  Dr. Su is one of the clinical preceptors at The Dimock Center in Roxbury and provides mobile vision screening with students to low-income families through The Boston Housing Authority. Back to Top
Frank Thorn, Professor of Vision Science; Director, Accelerated OD Program; Director, International Research & Development
Frank Thorn, Professor of Vision Science; Director, Accelerated OD Program; Director, International Research & Development
Email: thornf@neco.edu
Phone: 6172662030
Type: Full-time
Degrees: O.D.
Bio:

Dr. Frank Thorn was first trained as a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester Center for Brain Research (PhD) and the UCLA Brain Research Institute (NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship), where he studied neural responses in the visual systems of several animal models.  He continued this work at the Pacific University College of Optometry, where he also taught a wide range of vision science courses.  He then came to The New England College of Optometry Accelerated Optometric Degree Program, received his OD in 1979, and stayed at the college.  He teaches courses focused on the neural basis of vision, the development of vision, amblyopia, and the testing of patients with visual deficits.

Dr. Thorn then refocused his research to working with human subjects to study the same problems that interested him in the animal models.  In 1983, he joined Drs. Richard Held and Jane Gwiazda in the Infant Vision Laboratory in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, where they revealed the processes involved in the development of vision in infants.  The laboratory became the Children's Vision Laboratory of The New England College of Optometry in 1995 and changed its focus to the development of myopia in children.  Dr. Thorn's publications span a wide range of topics and include more than 70 articles and 170 presentations at scientific meetings.  In 2000, he chaired the 8th International Conference on Myopia which was hosted by NECO.  Conference participants represented 16 nations and strengthened the prestige of the college as a serious research institution.

Dr. Thorn's current research is performed primarily with ophthalmologists and optometrists at Wenzhou Medical College in China where he has studied the vision of myopic people, the reading behavior of children and the refractive errors in newborn infants.  He is very excited about a new project involving researchers at the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Science and the new low vision center at the Wenzhou Medical College.  The researchers are using new cognitive and perceptual tests to reveal the visual abilities and disabilities of older children born blind due to cataracts who have later in life had cataract surgery and in a variety of patients with brain lesions.  These tests are now being used with stroke victims as well to try to specific brain sits involved in complex visual perception tasks.

Dr. Thorn has taught in Italy, China, Brazil, Spain, France, South Africa, and Israel.  He helped design the unique Chinese optometry curriculum for the Wenzhou Medical College and in 1994, traveled to Wenzhou with his colleague Dr. James Comerford to teach the first American optometry courses ever offered at a medical college in China.  Dr. Thorn presently holds faculty rank at the Wenzhou Medical College.  Dr. Thorn also directs the Accelerated OD Program for PhDs and MDs and is the director of International R & D. Back to Top
Sergey Urman, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor
Email:
Phone:
Type: Part-time
Degrees: M.D.
Bio:

Dr. Urman has been a preceptor for optometry students since 2008.  He is an assistant professor of Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine and also serves as a director of New England Eye Center in Brookline. 

Dr. Urman received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University in 1998 and doctor of medicine degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 2003.  He then completed his internship in Internal Medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in 2004.  Following the completion of his internship, Dr. Urman received training in ophthalmology at Boston Medical Center.

Dr. Urman is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Medical Society, and New England Ophthalmological Society.  Dr. Urman is a Comprehensive Ophthalmologist with a clinical interest in complex cataract surgery and medical and laser treatment of glaucoma.  Dr. Urman is fluent in both English and Russian.

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Fuensanta Vera-Diaz, Assistant Professor of Optometry
Fuensanta Vera-Diaz, Assistant Professor of Optometry
Email: vera_diazf@neco.edu
Phone: 6175875685
Type: Full-time
Degrees: O.D. Ph.D.
Bio:

Dr. Vera-Diaz is an assistant professor of optometry in the Department of Primary Care. Dr. Vera-Diaz is lecturer and lab instructor for the Principle and Practice of Optometry I, A and B courses as well as guest lecturer for the Low Vision course. Dr. Vera-Diaz has also lectured in numerous seminars and scientific meetings worldwide, including ARVO, VSS, BCVOS and the UNESCO International Congress on Visual Health and Development. 

Dr. Vera-Diaz is a primary eye care practitioner licensed in MA with specific interest in low vision, special populations, geriatric optometry and binocular vision. Dr. Vera-Diaz also has clinical experience in retail, private practice, hospital and academic optometry in Spain and in England, where she was a licensed optometrist. Dr. Vera-Diaz is clinical preceptor for the Pediatric Vision Screenings program at NECO. Prior to joining NECO, Dr. Vera-Diaz was an attending clinical supervisor at the University of Bradford and at the University of Murcia.

Dr. Vera-Diaz earned an Optics-Optometry degree from the University of Murcia (Spain), an OD from the New England College of Optometry, and a PhD from the department of Optometry at the University of Bradford (England). As a vision scientist, Dr. Vera-Diaz is focused on the development of techniques to be used for early detection of ocular disease, at the stage when therapy is most efficient. She is particularly interested in investigating the effect of image perception on visual functioning in ocular diseases affecting central and peripheral vision and in the progression of refractive errors. 

Her PhD work addressed optical and neural influences on the visual performance of myopic individuals with the goal of finding causative factors for myopization. Dr. Vera-Diaz investigated the effect of various oculomotor factors that may predict phenotypes at risk for myopia during her post-doctoral research position at NECO's Children’s Vision Lab with Dr. Gwiazda and Dr. Thorn. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School while working at the Schepens Eye Research Institute with Dr. Peli on the investigation of tolerance of blur and adaptation to blur in people with normal sight and patients with low vision. Her studies have significant clinical implications, for example, on the prescription of optical devices (e.g. multifocal lenses, IOLs) and vision enhancement aids for patients with visual impairment.

Dr. Vera-Diaz is a current member or the American Optometric Association, the American Academy of Optometry, the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, among others. She is an ad-hoc reviewer for a large number of scientific journals including Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Vision Research, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, Optometry and Vision Science, the Journal of the Optical Society of America, and Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. Dr. Vera-Diaz has volunteered with various organizations, such as Vision Aid Overseas (UK) and Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (US), and has been a volunteer field optometrist in Ghana and Mexico. Back to Top
Guang-Ji Wang, Professor of Optometry
Guang-Ji Wang, Professor of Optometry
Email: wangg@neco.edu
Phone:
Type: Part-time
Degrees: M.D. O.D.
Bio:

Dr. Wang has been a professor of optometry at the college since 2002. He is instructor of record for the course Optics A, which is taught to accelerated OD degree candidates. Prior to joining the faculty at the college as an associate professor in 1992, Dr. Wang was associate professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Wenzhou Medical College in China. Wenzhou Medical College is an international institution with whom the college has established collaborative partnerships, including the first international joint health care program to be approved in modern China. He is currently a clinical preceptor to optometry students in the rotation program at Wenzhou. In addition to his responsibilities at the college, Dr. Wang is a private practitioner in Boston.

Dr. Wang’s research focuses on the treatment of amblyopia, specifically on the vision disorder eccentric fixation associated with the condition. He conducts his research at Wenzhou Medical College alongside optometrists, ophthalmologists, and students pursuing both OD and MD degrees. As a result of his desire to aid in the development low vision specialists and to drastically improve the quality of care provided to low vision patients in his native China, Dr. Wang also maintains an interest in low vision and low vision rehabilitation in his research studies.

Dr. Wang earned his doctor of medicine degree from Zhejiang Medical University in 1968 and his OD degree from The New England College of Optometry in 1992. He is a member of the American Optometric Association and has manuscript referee responsibilities for the journal Optometry and Vision Science. Back to Top
Ronald Watanabe, Associate Professor of Optometry
Ronald Watanabe, Associate Professor of Optometry
Email: watanaber@neco.edu
Phone: 6172662030
Type: Part-time
Degrees: F.A.A.O. O.D.
Bio:

Dr. Watanabe, an associate professor in the Department of Specialty and Advanced Care, has been a faculty member at the college for 20 years. He is the director of the residency in cornea and contact lenses at the college and has responsibilities as an attending optometrist and clinical instructor at the New England Eye Commonwealth, the flagship clinic of the New England Eye Institute. He previously served for 12 years as the chief of cornea and contact lens service for NEEI. At the college, he teaches the course Contact Lenses to second-year optometry students in the spring semester and teaches an elective course in Advanced Contact Lenses. Dr. Watanabe is also a private practitioner with the Casazza Optometric Group in Andover.

Dr. Watanabe specializes in complex contact lens designs for patients with irregular ocular surfaces. He has conducted multiple research studies for and in collaboration with various contact lens companies on various contact lens materials and solutions. Dr. Watanabe has been an independent consultant and has served on speakers bureaus for several major contact lens companies as well.

Dr. Watanabe has been a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry since 1994 and earned the title of Diplomate in the American Academy of Optometry’s Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies since 2004. He is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, and is past chair of the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators, an organization dedicated to the advancement of contact lens education at all schools and colleges of optometry throughout North America. Dr. Watanabe is a manuscript referee for Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association and Optometry and Vision Science. He is also a contributing editor for Contact Lens Spectrum's Lens Design & Materials monthly column and the e-mail newsletter Contact Lens Today's Materials & Designs bi-weekly column.

Dr. Watanabe earned his doctor of optometry degree from the Southern California College of Optometry in 1991. He completed his residency with the Southern California College of Optometry in cornea and contact lenses and joined the faculty of The New England College of Optometry shortly after completing his residency in 1992. While at NECO, Dr. Watanabe has been a multi-year recipient of the Carroll Martus Award for outstanding clinical instruction and the Faculty Merit Award. He has also been a recipient of the Dupuis-Pellerin Award for Faculty Excellence. Back to Top
Erik Weissberg, Professor of Optometry
Erik Weissberg, Professor of Optometry
Email: weissberge@neco.edu
Phone: 6172662030
Type: Full-time
Degrees: F.A.A.O. O.D.
Bio:

Dr. Weissberg, the director of clinical education, is a professor of optometry in the Department of Specialty and Advanced Care and has been a faculty member at the college since 1998. He is the instructor of record for the course Strabismus and Amblyopia and is also a clinical instructor at the South End Community Health Center and the South Boston Community Health Center.

Dr. Weissberg’s clinical area of expertise is strabismus and amblyopia. The primary areas of interest for his research are myopia, amblyopia, and international eye care delivery. He is the prinicipal investigator for the Collaborative Observational Study of Myopia in COMET. Children, a longitudinal study on the progression of myopia within the cohort of children who participated in the Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial (COMET), which began in 1999, was a three-year, multi-center, randomized clinical trial to evaluate whether or not progressive additional lenses slow the rate of progression of juvenile-onset myopia in school-age children when compared to conventional single vision lenses. COMET/COSMICC is now entering its 12th year of data collection. Based on the findings from COMET, the rationale for an additional multi-site, randomized trial, COMET 2, emerged. Dr. Weissberg is the principal investigator for COMET 2, which compares progressive additional lenses to single vision lenses in their respective abilities to slow the progression of juvenile onset myopia within a subset population of children with poor accommodative responses and near esophoria. Both studies are funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health.

In the area of international eye care delivery, Dr. Weissberg is especially interested in how eye care is delivered to children in the developing world. He began his research on this subject by collecting prevalence data on the age ranges of patients served by eye care missions to Nicaragua and identified children as an underserved population. Starting in 2005, he became involved with the VERAS project, which was initiated by the chair of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to provide vision screenings to children in Central America. With the goal in mind of overcoming the lack of eye care professionals in rural areas of developing nations, Dr. Weissberg tested a procedure in northern Nicaragua for determining refractive error in the absence of an eye care professional. Additionally, he has mentored a master’s student at the college on a project comparing techniques that could be used to determine refractive error in the absence of eye care professionals.

Dr. Weissberg is a four-time recipient of the Foster Namias Award for excellence in didactic instruction. He was awarded the Carroll Martus Award for outstanding clinical instruction in 2003 and the Dupuis-Pellerin Award for Faculty Excellence in 2005. He has manuscript referee responsibilities for Optometry and Vision Science and is a book reviewer for the publisher Elsevier.

Dr. Weissberg is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member of Volunteer Optometric Services for Humanity. He is an alumnus of the college, having earned his doctor of optometry degree in 1997, and was the 2007 recipient of the alumni association’s Young Optometrist of the Year Award.

 

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Paul White, Adjunct Professor of Optometry
Email:
Phone:
Type: Part-time Adjunct
Degrees: O.D.
Bio:

Dr. White has been a faculty member at the college for 40 years. He was formerly the chief of the cornea and contact lens service for the New England Eye Institute, the college’s clinical teaching affiliate, and held this position for over 30 years. While serving in this role, Dr. White was in charge of the contact lens lecture and laboratory programs at the college. He has run an elective course, Advanced Contact Lenses, since 1999. Dr. White is also the founder and past director of continuing education at the college. He has presented over 300 continuing education lectures to practicing optometrists both in the United States and internationally. He has also been the editor of five professional journals and is presently continuing education editor of the journal Contact Lens Spectrum.

Dr. White specializes in contact lenses. Over the course of his career, he has consulted with many major contact lens and eye care companies, has authored and edited two textbooks on contact lenses, and has written over 150 scholarly articles on the subject and on other aspects of eye care. At the college, he is chair of the institutional review board and at any given time is in charge of the approval process of 50 or more distinct research studies. Dr. White was a co-founder of the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators, an organization dedicated to the advancement of contact lens education at all of the schools and colleges of optometry throughout North America. He is also one of the original 20 charter members of the International Contact Lens Research Association.

Dr. White earned both his BS and OD degrees from The New England College of Optometry in 1961. Over the course of his career as an educator, he has won multiple teacher of the year awards from the college. The Cornea and Contact Lens Section of the American Academy of Optometry has presented him with its Founders’ Award for lifetime achievement. Back to Top
Blair Wong, Professor of Ophthalmic Optics
Email: opticianma@aol.com
Phone: 6172662030
Type: Part-time Adjunct
Degrees: A.B.O.M. B.S.
Bio:

Blair Wong has been a formal educator for optometry and opticianry since 1985. He is a Massachusetts licensed optician with more than 30 years of experience. He is dedicated to both helping students to be successful in their role as an eye care professional, as well as the advancement of the profession.

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Darick Wright, Assistant Professor of Vision Rehabilitation
Email: darick.wright@perkins.org
Phone: 6179727355
Type: Part-time Adjunct
Degrees: CLVT/COMS M.S.
Bio:

Mr. Wright is a certified specialist in low vision therapy/orientation and mobility for blind and visually impaired populations. He has been a practitioner in these fields since 1986, has been affiliated with the College as an adjunct faculty member for the past five years, and has 21 years of professional experience in higher education. He is coordinator of the New England Eye Clinic at the Perkins School for the Blind. In this capacity, Mr. Wright works alongside optometrists, pediatric optometry residents, and fourth year interns from the College using a collaborative model of eye care. He is also on the adjunct faculty in the vision studies program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where he is a primary instructor for two courses. 

Mr. Wright has been instrumental in developing the curriculum for courses and in developing training for professionals in both India and Armenia. In addition to his international service to the profession as a speaker and lecturer, Mr. Wright is a review board member for the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. Mr. Wright provides leadership and support to the community of vision rehabilitation professionals in his service on the board of directors of the Northeast Chapter of the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired and as a member of International AERBVI. He was the 2003 recipient of Northeast Chapter of AERBVI Excellence in Education Award and was awarded a Citation of Excellence from the International AERBVI in 1992. He was presented with the New England Eye Institute Community Service Award in 2004. Mr. Wright earned a BA from Lyon College and MA in rehabilitation for the blind, with a specialty concentration in orientation and mobility, from the University of Arkansas.
 

 

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Meng Xu, Clinical Assistant Professor of Optometry; Director of Eyecare Services
Meng  Xu, Clinical Assistant Professor of Optometry; Director of Eyecare Services
Email: xum@neco.edu
Phone:
Type: Full-time
Degrees: O.D.
Bio: Dr. Xu is a clinical assistant professor at the New England College of Optometry and director of the Eye Care Services at the South Boston Community Health Center, one of the teaching affiliate centers of the New England Eye Institute. There, she serves as clinical preceptor to second, third and fourth-year students and works toward the expansion of the eye care department in the South Boston community. Previously at NECO, she taught contact lens laboratory classes to second year students, and worked as clinical preceptor at various homeless shelters in Boston. Her areas of specialties are primary eye care and ocular disease. 
Dr. Xu earned her OD at the University of Montreal in Canada. Subsequently, she completed a primary care residency at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University. In 2011-2012, Dr. Xu took a one-year sabbatical leave from NECO to work in Malawi, Africa as an optometry lecturer at Mzuzu Universisty through the International Center for Eyecare Education. While in Africa, she lectured in various topics ranging from advanced contact lenses to clinical medicine for optometrists. Her other duties included clinical supervision of second, third and fourth year interns at Mzuzu Central Hospital and Kamuzu Central Hospital and assisting with the management of the optometric program. She also liaised with the medical council of Malawi to define the laws and standards of optometric practice in Malawi. 

Dr. Xu earned her fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry in 2010. She is also a member of the American Optometric Association and the Massachusetts Society of Optometry. Back to Top
Elena Zaharova Biffi, Associate Clinical Professor; Staff Optometrist; Attending Optometrist
Email: BiffiE@neco.edu
Phone:
Type: Full-time
Degrees: M.Sc. O.D.
Bio:

Born in N. Novgorod, Russia, Dr. Biffi is currently an attending optometrist at South Community Health Center Eye Clinic and at the New England Eye Clinical Center. She received her bachelor of science from University of Massachusetts and earned a doctor of optometry degree and a master of science degree from the New England College of Optometry. Shortly after completing her advanced residency training in ocular disease at State University of New York College of Optometry, she joined New England Eye as an associate clinical professor.
 
As a student, Dr. Biffi studied dispensing optics at Aalen University in Germany and volunteered for a unique opportunity to provide care for indigent patients in El Salvador. As a doctor of optometry, she has been an invited lecturer at the American Academy of Optometry, Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, New England College of Optometry, and SUNY State College of Optometry. Dr. Biffi’s research work has generated multiple posters and oral presentations at national and international meetings, as well as peer-reviewed original articles. In October 2012, Dr. Biffi successfully defended her thesis to become a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.
 
Dr. Biffi is a member of the American Academy of Optometry, Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, and the American Optometric Association. Her professional interests include diagnosis and management of ocular diseases and the use of optical coherence tomography to aid in the differential diagnosis of various ocular abnormalities.
 

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Harry Zeltzer, Assistant Professor of Optometry
Email:
Phone:
Type: Part-time Adjunct
Degrees: O.D.
Bio: Back to Top
Michelle Zickel, Assistant Clinical Professor of Optometry; Director of Eye Care Services, Lynn Community Health Center
Michelle Zickel, Assistant Clinical Professor of Optometry; Director of Eye Care Services, Lynn Community Health Center
Email:
Phone:
Type: Full-time
Degrees: O.D.
Bio: Dr. Zickel is a clinical assistant professor at the New England College of Optometry and serves as the director of Eye Care Services and attending optometrist at the Lynn Community Health Center, a teaching affiliate site of New England Eye. Dr. Zickel graduated from the University of Iowa before earning her optometry degree at the Illinois College of Optometry. After practicing in the Chicago area, she moved to Boston to complete an ocular disease residency at the West Roxbury VA Medical Center. 
 
Dr. Zickel’s professional interests include the study, diagnosis, and management of ocular manifestations of systemic disease and teaching second, third and fourth year students as a preceptor at LCHC.   Back to Top
Brandon Zimmerman, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Science and Disease
Brandon Zimmerman, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Science and Disease
Email: zimmermanb@neco.edu
Phone:
Type: Part-time Adjunct
Degrees: Ph.D.
Bio:

Dr. Brandon Zimmerman is the primary instructor for General Pharmacology for second-year students, as well as General and Ocular Pharmacology in the ASIP/AODP program.  Dr. Zimmerman earned his PhD in pharmacology from McGill University.  He has been the recipient of a number of awards, including the McGill BoehringerIngelheim Prize for best poster and a number of graduate fellowships and travel awards.



 

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Mark Zorn, Professor Emeritus
Mark Zorn, Professor Emeritus
Email:
Phone: 6172662030
Type: Emeritus
Degrees: M.P.A. O.D. Ph.D.
Bio:

Dr. Mark Zorn received a PhD in cell biology and biochemistry (of the eye) from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgery in 1968. He was an active researcher in the fields of lens and retinal biochemistry for over ten years. He then earned his doctor of optometry degree in 1980 from the New England College of Optometry and his master’s in public administration from Harvard University in 2001. Dr. Zorn taught at the college and served as department chair of Biomedical Science and Disease for many years. He retired in 2008 with the rank of full professor and was named professor emeritus in 2010.

Dr. Zorn is the author of more than twenty-five papers in lens and retinal cell biology. His most recent research focuses on collagen production in developing tree shrews, as it relates to myopia. He has lectured throughout the world and was awarded the Dupuis-Pellerin Award for Faculty Excellence and in 2006. Additionally, Dr. Zorn has been a long-term member of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry’s examination committees and council.

 

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