Dr. Vera-Diaz is an Associate 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.