Dr. Rucker is an associate 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 earned a BSc in Ophthalmic Optics from Aston University, England, in 1980 and became a member of the British 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 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 joined the faculty at NECO after post-doctoral training in the internationally recognized myopia research laboratory of Dr. Josh Wallman at City College of the City University of New York. In 2014, Dr. Rucker received a five-year RO1 Independent Research Award from the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute for a study on “Cone Sensitivity in Myopia.”
Dr. Rucker maintains a professional membership with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, with the British College of Optometry and with the American Academy of Optometry. In 2016, Dr. Rucker became a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. She has been published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science, Vision Research, and the Journal of Vision and Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics.