Dr. Nicole Ross’ Lab

Nicole Ross, OD, MSc, FAAO, specializes in low vision and collaborates with researchers from around the country to explore issues in this field. She also welcomes students to participate in low vision research.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Investigating image-processing algorithms and the use of head-mounted displays for low vision. (Collaboration with Bob Mass of Johns Hopkins University and Frank Werblin at University of California, Berkeley.)
  • Outcomes and impact of a mobile low vision clinic services.
  • Feasibility of tele-rehabilitation for patients with macular degeneration. (Collaboration with Ava Bittner, NOVA; Tony Succar, Envision; JD Sheppard UNMC; Patrick Yoshinaga, Ketchum; and J. Vernon Odom.)
  • Retrospective review of ocular findings associated with CHARGE Syndrome. (Collaboration with Dr. Barry Kran.)
  • Investigating the validity of the JND Rule.
  • Oculomotor behavior and training for people with low vision. (Collaboration with Peter Bex from Northeastern University.)

group of people standing near each other




Dr. Ross' Past Research

Low vision rehabilitation delivered by a mobile clinic

Student Researcher: Micaela Gobeille OD/MS

Research Question: How do patient outcomes compare between mobile and private clinic low vision rehabilitation delivery models?

Research Description: This study utilizes the activity inventory, a visual function questionnaire, to explore patient outcomes of low vision rehabilitation. We compare outcomes of a novel mobile clinic model vs. traditional in-office patient care delivery models.

Team members from the lab examine a patient in the Low Vision mobile clinic

Tele-rehabilitation for low vision

Researchers: Ava K. Bittner, OD, PhD, NOVA; John D. Shepherd, MD, UNMC; Nicole Ross, OD, MS; and Angie Bowers, MOT, OTR/L

Research Description: Pilot study developed to explore the potential of the internet as a means to deliver low vision services to patients using an established commercially available videoconference platform

Pilot Study Goals:

  • Develop infrastructure for internet-based videoconference portal that allows low vision service provider to communicate with patients and assess their use of an optical magnification device and provide feedback training.
  • Evaluate feasibility and acceptability of using the videoconference portal to communicate with 10 patients in their home/local venue with internet access.
  • Determine the ability of the low vision service provider to assess a low vision patient’s use of an optical magnifier and reading fluency during the tele-rehabilitation encounter using various hardware devices.

Retrospective review of ocular findings in CHARGE Syndrome

Researchers: Rebecca Deffler, OD; Ali Hanley, OD; Barry Kran, OD, Professor, New England College of Optometry

Research Description: As clinical presentation can vary widely, there is need to review ocular findings and systemic comorbidities in patients with a diagnosis of CHARGE syndrome.

Exploring blur tolerance in low vision and normally sighted patients

Researchers: Kayla Andrade, T-35 Recipient, OD Candidate 2019; Ian Bailey, MS OD, University California, Berkeley

Research Questions: How does blur tolerance vary amongst individuals particularly in the low vision community?  How does blur tolerance vary in the presence of varying ocular diagnosis, scotomas, and contrast sensitivity?