NECO’s areas of research are broad and have the potential to impact a global community. As we further our collective understanding of the eye, we’re changing the way clinicians around the world examine, diagnose, and treat patients.
Research at NECO is multidisciplinary. Ongoing studies employ a variety of technical approaches, ranging from behavioral and psychophysical to physiological, anatomical and biochemical. This research is broadly collaborative, both inside and outside of NECO.
The expertise of the research faculty has led to significant external funding of research that has contributed to new knowledge. Our multidisciplinary approach to research has focused on issues of clinical importance in research.
Areas of Focus
The expertise at NECO spans a wide range of interests in vision science, biomedical science and disease, clinical research, and optometry education.
Myopia Prevention & Treatment
The creation of the Myopia Research Center in 1995 and the Correction of Myopia Evaluation Trial (COMET) established NECO as an international leader in basic and clinical eye research.
Of note: Dr. Debora Nickla was one of the first to show how ocular rhythms are altered in eyes developing myopia. Her research is used as the basis for continued exploration in understanding myopia. And, Dr. Fuensanta Vera-Diaz is working to determine if and when emmetropic children will become myopic and the possible causative factors.
Low Vision Rehabilitation
NECO researchers helped develop novel approaches to managing low vision, including mobile apps and telehealth. Our low vision researchers also test emerging rehabilitative technology.
Of note: Dr. Nicole Ross has created mobile apps that assist older low vision patients through various methods and levels of treatment to improve independence and community engagement.
Pediatric Eye Conditions
Our researchers are exploring ways to advance early detection of eye conditions and disease in children.
Of note: NECO researchers evaluated the efficacy of certain screening criteria for this purpose. Age specific studies were developed with the purpose of improving detection of low spherical refractive errors and astigmatism in children.
Other areas of significant research efforts include:
- Electrophysiology and color vision
- Visual optics
- Topical drug delivery for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy
- The relationship between distance perception and oculomotor control
Q&As with Research Faculty
Gradient refractive index of the crystalline lens, and the optical and biometrical mechanisms underlying myopia development.
Visual regulation of eye growth with the chicken model, pharmacological questions, as well as influences of visual parameters on ocular rhythms.
Combining recording the eye movements and the electrical signals that are being generated by the retina.
Devoted to labs and other research-specific activities.
Myopia Research Center established
NECO researchers received the first NIH sponsored grant studying myopia.
Our research labs produce groundbreaking findings through collaboration with students and researchers from around the world.
A Closer Look
Summer Research Program
The program is designed for first year students from NECO to gain fellowship support from a research training grant (T35) from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
Jane Gwiazda, PhD, FAAO, FARVO
Early research exposure during their time at NECO complements students’ clinical and didactic training, and helps to ensure that they will provide evidence-based eye care in the future.
- Director of Research and Graduate Studies Area of Expertise: Myopia
Get in Touch
To learn more about our research faculty, facilities, and initiatives, contact our research and graduate programs office.