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Faculty

D. Luisa Mayer, MEd, PhD

D. Luisa Mayer, MEd, PhD

Adjunct Associate Professor

Dr. Mayer has been a faculty member at the college since 2006, when she joined the academic staff of the college and the clinical staff of the New England Eye Institute’s low vision clinic at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown. She is a vision scientist who has become a clinician of low vision in children, specializing in visual fields and functional vision. At the Perkins Low Vision Clinic, she evaluates pediatric and young adult patients with vision loss, multiple impairments, and developmental delays. She instructs student interns from the college as well as residents on vision assessment procedures. Along with other clinical staff and therapeutic specialists, she studies the implications of visual impairments, especially visual field loss, on an individual’s motor skills and their visual and cognitive abilities in order to guide rehabilitation and educational planning. In addition to her responsibilities at the college, Dr. Mayer is a clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and is an associate scientific staff member at Children’s Hospital Boston in the Department of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Mayer earned a MEd in special education and a PhD in psychology from the University of Washington, Seattle and subsequently completed a postdoctoral ophthalmology research fellowship at the Children’s Hospital Boston Department of Ophthalmology. Following the completion of her postdoctoral training, Dr. Mayer received an NIH grant to develop a method of testing visual acuity for pediatric patients and became a research associate. Subsequent NIH grants were awarded to Dr. Mayer to develop tests of the visual fields for pediatric patients. She later began a clinical practice assessing visual functions in young patients using the tests she helped to develop. Dr. Mayer’s unique accomplishment is an LED perimeter and method to assess visual fields in patients who cannot cooperate for standard Goldman perimetry.

Dr. Mayer’s current research involves developing quantitative and qualitative methods of assessing cerebral and cognitive visual impairments in pediatric patients. This involves comparing various visual acuity tests that are appropriate for use with pediatric patients and individuals with disabilities and developing new methods of testing visual fields that can be administered in clinical settings. She is currently working on an SBIR grant with a small business to develop a novel visual field test using eye tracking technology. Dr. Mayer has been invited to present at multiple regional, national, and international conferences and was recently a workshop co-leader at the National Marfan Foundation Annual Conference in Boston. Dr. Mayer has recently reviewed manuscripts for the journals Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science and Optometry and Vision Science. She is currently a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and has been since 1978.