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Dr. Nicole Ross’ Lab

Drs. Ross, Malkin, and Massoff after thesis defense by Micaela Gobeille.

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.

Current Projects:

  • Investigating image-processing algorithms and the use of head-mounted displays for low vision (collaboration with Bob Massof at 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)

Dr. Ross' Research

Measuring Outcomes of Low Vision Rehabilitation Delivered by a Mobile Clinic

Student Researcher: Micaela Gobeille OD/MS Candidate 2018

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.  Here, we compare outcomes of a novel mobile clinic model vs. traditional in-office patient care delivery models.

Micaela Gobiellestudents with patient in vanmobile eye clinic


Feasibility of 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 will allow low vision service provider to communicate with patients to 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 telerehabilitation encounter using various hardware devices

Taking CHARGE: Retrospective Review of Ocular Findings in CHARGE Syndrome

Researchers: Rebecca Deffler, OD Candidate 2017; Ali Hanley, OD Candidate 2018; 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. 

Rebecca DefflerAli HanleyDr. Barry Kran    


Examining Best Practice to Assess the Low Vision Patient: 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?

Kayla Andrade