Alexandra Benavente-Perez, PhD
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SUNY College of Optometry
33 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036

Research Description

From experimental studies we know that eyes use visual information to adjust their growth and how they are focused. My main research interest is to understand the visual signals that trigger these eye growth changes that eventually lead to myopia. In particular, I am very interested in studying the role that the peripheral retina and eye shape might have as predictors of future changes in refraction. If the periphery proves to have a significant role in the regulation of eye growth, it may be possible to manipulate peripheral optics to control myopia development, and we might be soon measuring and correcting in our clinics not only the central but also the peripheral optics of the eye.

Another of my research interests is to understand the interaction between ocular size and vascular physiology. The structural characteristics of a myopic eye include an elongated vitreous chamber, which in high myopia is related to a stretched and progressively thinned choroid and sclera. This increases the risk of choroidal and retinal changes, and a variety of other ocular diseases including macular degeneration, choroiditis and glaucoma among others. Because of the known vascular features of many of these conditions associated with pathological myopia, my research also focuses on describing the vascular changes that a non-pathological myopic eye undergoes prior to the development of posterior pole pathologies. This is of significant clinical importance, as degenerative myopia is a leading cause of blindness. In this field, I am an external collaborator with the Vascular Imaging and Research Laboratory at Aston University, Birmingham, UK to study the vascular characteristics of the eyes in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Research Interests

Education

Vision Sciences, Aston University (Birmingham, UK), PhD, 2007

Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, UMIST (Manchester, UK), MS 2003

Optometry and Optics, College of Medicine and Sciences (Valladolid, Spain), BS, 2000

Professional Experience

  • 2012-present: Assistant Clinical Professor, SUNY College of Optometry, New York, NY.
  • 2009-2012: Post doctoral Research Associate, SUNY College of Optometry, New York, NY

  • 2007-2009: Post doctoral Research Fellow, Aston University (Birmingham, UK) [part-time]

  • 2007-2008: Post doctoral Research Fellow, City University (London, UK) [part-time]

  • 2005-2009: Optometrist in private practice, UK

  • 2003-2007: Clinical demonstrator, Aston University (Birmingham, UK)

  • 2000-2002: Optometrist in private practice, Spain

Professional Memberships

  • Member of the Spanish College of Optometrists

  • Member of the General Optical Council, UK

  • Member of the College of Optometrists, UK

  • Member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

  • Active member of Vision Aid Overseas, UK

Peer-Reviewed Publications and Professional Publications

  • Benavente-Perez A, Nour A, Troilo D (in press) The Effect of Simultaneous Negative and Positive Defocus Imposed by Multizone Soft Contact Lenses on Eye Growth and Development of Refractive State in Marmosets. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci.
     
  • Mroczkowska S, Benavente-Perez A, Negi A, Sung V, Patel S, Gherghel A (in press) Primary Open Angle Glaucoma and Normal Tension Glaucoma: two separate diseases or one continuous entity? The vascular perspective. Arch Ophthalmol.
     
  • Mroczkowska S, Ekart A, Sung V, Negi A, Qin L, Patel S, Jacobs S, Atkins C, Benavente-Perez A, Gherghel A (in-press) Coexistence of Macro- and Micro-vascular Abnormalities in Newly Diagnosed Normal Tension Glaucoma Patients. Arch Ophthalmol.
  • Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS, Bansal D (2010) Reproducibility-Repeatability of Choroidal Thickness Calculation Using OCT. Optom Vis Sci. 87(11):867-72.

  • Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS, Broadway DC (2010) Ocular Blood Flow Measurements in Healthy Human Myopic Eyes. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 248(11):1587-94.

  • Conway M, Wevil M, Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL (2010) Ocular Blood Flow Heamodynamics Before and After Application of Laser in Situ Keratomileusis Ring. J Cataract Refract Surg. 36(2):268-272.

  • Benavente-Perez A (2009) El regalo de la vista en Uganda. Gaceta Óptica (órgano oficial del Colegio de Ópticos-Optometristas de España). no 435. pp 62.

  • Bansal D, Benavente-Perez A (2006) Optical Coherence Tomography: Future Possibilities. Optometry Today 1st Dec

  • Benavente-Perez A, Bansal D (2006) Optical Coherence Tomography: Diagnoses of Vitreoretinal Pathologies. Optometry Today 17th Nov

  • Bansal D, Benavente-Perez A (2006) Optical Coherence Tomography: Terminology and Interpretations. Optometry Today 20th Oct

  • Bansal D, Benavente-Perez A (2006) Optical Coherence Tomography: Principles and Possibilities. Optometry Today 6th Oct

  • Benavente-Perez A (2006) Understanding Myopia. Optician 231 (6058) pp: 16-20.

  • Benavente-Perez A, Dixon JA, Tullo A, Hillarby C (2005) La influencia genética en el transplante de córnea. Gaceta Óptica (órgano oficial del Colegio de Ópticos-Optometristas de España). March 2005.pp: 18-21.

Conference Presentations/Abstracts

Benavente-Perez A, Nour A, Troilo D (2012). Peripheral Refraction as a Predictor for Induced Changes in Vitreous Chamber Growth Rates in Marmosets. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Annual Meeting (ARVO). May. Fort Lauderdale, FL, US.

Nour A, Benavente-Perez A, Troilo D (2012). Changes in Eye Growth and Refractive State in Marmosets after Imposing Peripheral Myopia or Hyperopia using Bifocal Contact Lenses. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Annual Meeting (ARVO). May. Fort Lauderdale, FL, US.

Benavente-Perez A, Nour A, Troilo D (2011). Imposed Peripheral Hyperopic Defocus on the Marmoset Retina Affects Eye Growth and Refractive State. American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting (AAO). October. Boston, MA, US.

Troilo D, Benavente-Perez A, Nour A, Troilo D (2010). The Effects of Multifocal Lens Designs in Non-Human Primates. 13th International Myopia Conference. July. Tubingen, Germany

Benavente-Perez A, Nour A, Troilo D (2010). The Accommodative Response Under Lens-Imposed Anisometropia in Humans. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Annual Meeting (ARVO). May. Florida, US

Nour A, Benavente-Perez A, Troilo D (2010). The Effect of Simultaneous ±5 D Defocus Imposed by Multizone Soft Contact Lenses on Eye Growth and Development of Refractive State in Marmosets. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Annual Meeting (ARVO). May. Florida, US

Mroczkowska S, Benavente-Perez A, Patel S, Qin L, Bentham P, Gherghel D (2010) Is the Eye a Window To the Brain? Retinal Vascular Reactivity as a Marker for Endothelial Function in Alzheimer's Disease. European Association for Vision and Eye Research (EVER). Crete. Greece

Benavente-Perez A, Gherghel D, Patel S, Qin L, Heitmar R, Bentham P (2009) Endothelial Dysfunction and Oxidative Stress in Patients Suffering From Alzheimer Disease (AD) or Glaucoma: Two Neurodegenerative Diseases With Common Vascular Risk Factors? A Pilot Study. World Glaucoma Congress (WGC). July. Boston. US

Benavente-Perez A,Hosking SL, Logan NS (2009) Exacerbate Systemic Response to Hypercapnia in Young Smokers Triggers Ccular Haemodynamic Response. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Annual Meeting (ARVO). May. Florida, US

Benavente-Perez A, Gherghel D, Patel S, Qin L, Heitmar R, Bentham P (2009) Abnormal Retinal Vascular Reactivity in Patients Suffering from Either Alzheimer's Disease (AD) or Glaucoma: A Pilot Study. Alzheimer's Research Trust (ART) Annual Meeting. March. London. UK

Patel S, Gherghel D, Heitmar R, Benavente- Perez A, Qin L, McIntyre D, Balanos G, Gibson J (2009) Ocular and Systemic Endothelial Function in the Offsprings of Diabetics: A Pilot study. European Association for Vision and Eye Research (EVER). Portoroz, Slovenia

Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS (2009) Exacerbated Systemic Response to Hypercapnia in Young Smokers Triggers Ocular Haemodynamic Response. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Annual Meeting (ARVO) Abstract. Florida, US

Benavente-Perez A, Gherghel D, Bentham P (2008) Alzheimer’s disease and glaucoma: vascular association? Alzheimer’s Research Trust (ART) Annual Meeting. June. Warwick University. Birmingham, UK

Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS (2008) Myopes Exhibit Reduced Choroidal Blood Velocity Which is Highly Responsive to Hypercapnia Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Annual Meeting (ARVO) Abstract. Florida, US

Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS (2008) La miopía no patologica, posible problema vascular. 20 Congreso Internacional Optometría, Contactología y Óptica Oftálmica. Marzo. Madrid

Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS (2008) ¿Envejece nuestro flujo sanguineo ocular? 20 Congreso Internacional Optometría, Contactología y Óptica Oftálmica. Marzo. Madrid

Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS (2007) Defective Haemodynamic Autoregulation Associated With Autonomic Dysregulation in Human Myopia Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Annual Meeting (ARVO) Abstract. Florida, US

Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS (2006) Reduced Retrobulbar Blood Flow and Ocular Pulsatility in Human Myopia. 11th International Myopia Conference. August. Singapore

Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS (2006) The Effect of Age on Ocular Blood Flow. Life and Health Sciences Research Day. Birmingham, UK

Benavente A, Logan NS, Hosking SL (2006) Características Vasculares en jóvenes estudiantes con miopía. 19 Congreso Internacional Optometría, Contactología y Óptica Oftálmica. Marzo. Madrid

Benavente A, Logan NS, Hosking SL (2006) Comparación del perfil biometrico entre dos poblaciones jóvenes de estudiantes de distinto origen etnico. 19 Congreso Internacional Optometría, Contactología y Óptica Oftálmica. Marzo. Madrid

Benavente-Perez A, Hosking SL, Logan NS (2005) Assessment of the Vascular Profile of Myopia in a Young Sample. American Academy of Optometry Conference (AAO). December. San Diego, California, US.

Logan NS, Davies LN, Benavente A, Mallen EAH, Gilmartin B (2004) Ametropia and Ocular Biometry in a UK Undergraduate Population. 10th International Myopia Conference. July. Cambridge, UK.

Benavente A, Dixon JA, Tullo AB (2004) Expresión of RhoA mRhoA During Human Corneal Transplant Rejection BCOVS 2003 Abstracts Ophthalmic and Physiological. Optics 24(2): 154.

Huang MC, Prince JM, Benavente A, Huntjens B Dixon JA, Tullo AB, Hillarby MC (2004) Genes Involved Cell Interactions are Differentially Expressed During Human Corneal Transplant Rejection. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci Annual Meeting Abstract. Florida, US

Huang MC, Prince JM, Benavente A, Huntjens B Dixon JA, Tullo AB, Hillarby MC (2004) Expression of Cell Interaction Genes during Human Corneal Graft Rejection. British Transplant Society. April. Birmingham, UK

Awards

  • 2012: Sek-Jin Chew Myopia Travel Grant to present at ARVO 2012. Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA.

  • 2009: International Travel Grant to present at the World Glaucoma Congress (WGC), July 2009.

  • 2008: 20th International Conference of the Spanish College of Optometrists, special prize.

  • 2007: Travel award from the College of Optometrists (UK) to present at the ARVO Annual Meeting.

  • 2005: Student Travel Fellowship, American Academy of Optometry.

Reviewing Activity

  • The Wellcome Trust
  • Archives of Ophthalmology

  • Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

  • Vision Research

  • The British Journal of Ophthalmology

  • Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics

  • Current Eye Research
     
  • Ophthalmologica
     
  • Clinical Ophthalmology
     
  • Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology

Other

Professor for the Distance Learning Post-Graduate Master in Advanced Fitting of Specialized Contact Lenses, University of Valencia (Spain):

Pediatric contact lenses. Myopia control and contact lenses

Professor for the Distance Learning Post graduate Diploma in Optometric Management of the Patient with Ocular Pathology, Grupo de Investigacion en Optometria, University of Valencia (Spain) :

  • Evaluation of the posterior pole in patients with diabetes
  • Examining protocol for early detection and follow-up of diabetic retinopathy

Book chapters

  • Benavente-Perez A. Examen Optométrico del Paciente Geriátrico. In Optometría: Aspectos Avanzados y Consideraciones Especiales. Montés-Micó R. Elsevier. 2001. 1st ed: 45-54. (ISBN: 978-84-8086-890-7)
  • Albarrán Diego C, García Lázaro S, Pérez Cambrodí RJ, Ferrer Blasco T, Madrid Costa D, Benavente Pérez A, Ares Gómez J, Muñoz Ruiz G, González-Méijome JM, González Pérez J, Parafita Mato MA, Montés-Micó R, Cerviño Expósito A. Atención optométrica en patología ocular. In Optometría: Aspectos Avanzados y Consideraciones Especiales. Montés-Micó R. Elsevier. 2001. 1st ed: 45-54. (ISBN: 978-84-8086-890-7)