Optometry School Research Opportunities

Our Interns actively participate in basic and applied vision research. Professor Jeff Rabin, Director of Research & Assessment, launched the Summer Fellowship Training Program (SFTP) in June 2011 which since yielded multiple abstracts, presentations and publications. Now in its 7th year, the SFTP is designed for UIW Optometry Interns who have successfully completed their 1st academic year and are transitioning to their 2nd. Interns receive a generous award to participate in cutting-edge research in collaboration with talented Faculty. Research topics include genetics of retinoblastoma, gap junction coupling in diabetic retinopathy, body position and choroidal thickness, normative values for short-duration transient VEPs, short-term effect of Dorzolamide on choroidal thickness and morphology, effects of treatment of dry eye and blepharitis, sex hormones and intraocular pressure, effects of hands-free phone calls on visual performance, two-color dark adaptometry, as well as development and validation of new tests of color vision and contrast sensitivity.

SFTP training includes:

  1. Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Course
  2. Library and web-based literature search, review and analysis
  3. Hypothesis formulation and testing
  4. Study design, protocol development and informed consent
  5. Clinical and laboratory data acquisition
  6. Descriptive, inferential, comparative & predictive statistical analysis
  7. Graphical and tabular data quantification and presentation
  8. Creation of an abstract suitable for submission for peer-review
  9. Development of scientific posters and papers for peer-review

Since its inception the SFTP has yielded nine peer-reviewed Paper (lecture) presentations and numerous peer-reviewed Posters at preeminent national and international meetings including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), American Academy of Optometry (AAO), American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Annual Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA). At the 2012 AsMA meeting two UIWRSO Interns finished in the top 15 from a field of over 200 for the Jeffrey Myers Young Investigator Award and more notably at AsMA 2014 our UIWRSO Intern finished as second runner-up for this prestigious award.