New England College of Optometry, NECO, is pleased to announce that student Hannah Yoon, OD/MS ’20, was selected to receive the Beta Sigma Kappa Student Research Grant. The grant is awarded annually to one or two optometric students to support their planned project. Students can apply for grant funding for their research projects. Proposals are reviewed by the Board of Regents of Beta Sigma Kappa.
Ms. Yoon is enrolled in the dual OD/MS program at NECO. The program allows students to a masters degree as they pursue their Doctor of Optometry degree. As students pursue the Masters portion, they participate in graduate-level courses, seminars, original research, and a thesis. Hannah received the BSK grant for her research project entitled, “The effects of timing and duration of exposure to light with balanced cone excitation in the prevention of myopia.” Yoon has developed a light source that slows eye growth and the development of myopia. She is investigating how long an exposure is needed for the light to have this protective effect.
Hannah explains, ““I am honored to have received this year’s BSK student research grant. Being an OD/MS student at NECO has encouraged me to stay curious about the promising advances that the vision science community is making to overcome the challenges that optometrists and ophthalmologists face while managing patient care in clinic. This grant will allow me to continue my research on myopia control with the ultimate goal of proposing a novel intervention to either delay the onset of myopia or slow down its progression.”
Hannah recently presented her research at the ARVO (Association for Researchers in Vision and Ophthalmology) Conference. She will continue to work on this experiment over the course of the year testing different exposure durations and potentially different times of day for the exposures. Her mentor in the MS program has been Dr. Francis Rucker, Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Disease.
Dr. Rucker notes, “It has been my great pleasure to have worked with Hannah Yoon for the last 18 months. Hannah first started working in my lab in the Fall of 2016 because of her interest in research and myopia development. She continued to work through the summer of 2017 doing 300+ hours of research supported by an NIH T35 award and subsequently decided to enroll in the Masters Program at the college. As a Masters student, Hannah has pursued a project with a strong translation impact in the area of myopia research. My interactions with her have been extremely productive, professional and rewarding. She has a cheerful, can-do attitude and she is efficient and careful in her work. I am looking forward to more exciting discoveries.”
About Beta Sigma Kappa Student Research Grant Program
The Beta Sigma Student Research Grant Program has been providing research funding to optometric students in the United States and Canada for over 75 years. Learn more: http://www.betasigmakappa.net/grants.htm
About New England College of Optometry
New England College of Optometry is an independent graduate college of optometry that educates students for careers in eye care delivery, research and education. NECO was founded in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics, and is the oldest continuously operating school of optometry in the United States. NECO prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, leaders, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. Through a vast network of clinical affiliations, our students put patient care first, providing vision care to children, older adults, the homeless, and individuals with disabilities through our work in our school programs, community programs, community health centers, and VA medical centers.