Current OD/MS Students

Class of 2019

Rita Neiu
Rita Nieu attended the University of California, Davis and received a Bachelors of Science in Genetics with minors in Psychology and Communications. She worked as a research technician in the lab of John Vogel at the USDA before enrolling in the OD/MS program at SUNY College of Optometry. In collaboration with her mentor, Dr Benavente-Perez, her research is focused on detecting changes in retinal function during myopia progression in a primate model through the use of ERG and VEP.

 
Tatsiana Palavets
Tatsiana Palavets received her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Hunter College, CUNY. She is currently in OD/MS in program at SUNY College of Optometry. Her Masters Thesis Advisor is Dr. Mark Rosenfield, MC OPTOM, PHD. Her Research project focuses on the “Use of Blue-Blocking Filters to Reduce Digital Eye Strain.” Digital Eye Strain (DES) refers to the visual and ocular symptoms commonly experienced when viewing digital screens. The study examined the effect of a blue-blocking filter on these symptoms while reading continuously from a tablet computer for 30 minutes. In addition, ocular accommodation, pupil size, and the size of the vertical palpebral aperture were also monitored during the task. Preliminary results suggest that the blue-blocking filters do not reduce symptoms of DES.

 
Brenda Tan
Brenda Tan graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Brown University. Her M.S. Research Advisors are Dr. Stewart Bloomfield and Dr. David Troilo. Her research project focuses on the “Attenuation of Myopic Progression Seen in a Connexin 36 Knockout Mouse Model of Myopia.” The aim of this project is threefold—first to establish a mouse model of myopia, second to examine the environmental effect of dim lighting on myopic progression and third to understand its genetic component by using a knock out model of Connexin 36. In order to perfect the mouse model and provide insight into the widespread variation in measurements amongst labs, I looked at three methods of refraction—1) on the awake and lightly restrained mouse, 2) on an awake and cyclopleged mouse and 3) on a cyclopleged and anesthetized mouse. Refraction was measured using an infrared power refractor modified by Dr. Frank Schaeffel and axial length measured using an OCT.

 
Nolan Wilson
Nolan Wilson graduated from Yale College in 2015 with a B.S. (Int.) in Chemistry. His research was towards the syntheses of two amino-sugar moieties of a cancer metabolite. Now, his research under Dr. Qasim Zaidi uses object segmentation to understand the evolutionary significance of human L- and M-cones. He has enjoyed going from the chemistry of color to the perception of color.

Class of 2020

Abdula Alamri
Abdula Alamri attended Indiana University and received a B.S. in Neuroscience. He is currently a student in the OD/MS program. In collaboration with his research mentor, Dr. Viswanathan, his current research focuses on the intensity function of the photopic negative response and visually evoked potential in mild traumatic brain injury.

 
Carol Lin
Carol Lin attended the University of California, Los Angeles and received a Bachelors of Science in Neuroscience with a minor in French Language & Linguistics. She did research in the areas of comparative psychology and clinical neuropsychiatry as an undergraduate at UCLA before enrolling in the OD/MS program at the SUNY College of Optometry. In collaboration with her mentor, Dr. Benavente-Perez, her research focuses on quantification and distribution of co-localized astrocytes and capillaries in the myopic primate inner retina. The goal of this study is to identify anatomical changes to the retina in myopia development.

 
Max Zimbel
Max Zimbel is currently a student in the OD/MS program. He received his B.A in Psychology with a minor in Biology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. His advisor is Dr. Suresh Viswanathan. Max’s project focuses on the response changes to the photopic negative response (PhNR) in subjects diagnosed with Diabetic Retinopathy. His research advisor is Dr. Suresh Viswanathan.

Class of 2021

Keying Yan
Keying Yan graduated from University of Colorado Boulder with a major in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology. Her past research experience was in microRNA and skin epithelium. Currently enrolled in OD/MS program, she is working with her research mentor Dr. Mark Rosenfield on Digital Eye Strain and Critical Flicker Fusion Frequency.
 

Residency/MS Students

Franklin Bui
Franklin Bui is a current resident in the Combined Optometry Residency & Graduate Degree in Vision Science. His current research examines the effect of low-dose atropine on the biometry of the choroid and other ocular structures in healthy adults. He completed his O.D. degree at the University of California at Berkeley. His research advisor is Dr. Alexandra Benavente.
Harrison Feng
Harrison Feng is a current resident in the Combined Optometry Residency & Graduate Degree in Vision Science. His current work examines the effects of multi-focal soft contact lenses and their impact on myopia development and accommodative behavior in young myopic eyes. He attended the State University of New York College of Optometry and received a Doctor of Optometry. Previous works in myopia research were done in collaboration with Dr. Alexandra Benavente and his current advisor
Dr. Xiaoying Zhu.

Masters Students

Akihito Maruya
Akihito Maruya received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a minor in Applied Physics from National Defense Academy of Japan. He recently started my Master of Science in Vision Science with
Dr. Qasim Zaidi as his research mentor. His research interests are 3D-perception and color perception.