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NECO Researcher awarded NIH Grant

Closeup photo of Frances Rucker

Professor Rucker’s research on cone sensitivity in myopia has received a five-year NEI/NIH R01 grant award

Professor Frances Rucker, MCOptom., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Disease, was awarded a five-year R01 grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health in the amount of over $1.5 million.

This grant supports Rucker’s research project: “Cone sensitivity to temporal changes in color and luminance and the development of myopia.” The award, distributed over the next five years, will support research on the signals for eye growth in relation to color and luminance visual stimulation. Her work examines the environmental signals that drive myopia in an effort to identify modifications that can be made in the environment to control the development of myopia and eventually lead to a treatment.

Dr. Rucker’s preliminary research for this award was supported by NEI/NIH T35 fellowships to three NECO students, Stephanie Britton, Stephan Hanowsky, and Molly Spatcher. Her future research supported by this new R01 grant will involve NECO students and faculty, as well as her collaborator at Northeastern University, Rhea Eskew, who is studying the sensitivity of different cone types.   

This grant award to Dr. Rucker highlights the commitment to the high quality research done by NECO faculty and the opportunities students have to participate in this process.