The ICO Summer Research Program had a successful inaugural year, with four students participating over 10 weeks. These students, who had completed their first year of academic training at ICO at the end of the 2019 Spring quarter, remained in Chicago during the summer to conduct their data collection phase. They learned didactic information about clinical research, completed reading assignments, and participated in journal club meetings, wherein the students would provide updates to their mentors and the Summer Research Program planning committee. Following the data collection phase of their research, the Program’s students continue to collect any remaining data, analyze their projects, and move toward the ultimate goals of presenting their conclusions at a national research meeting and publication of their work in the scientific literature.
Planning is currently underway for the 2020 Summer Research Program. First-year students in good academic standing have been encouraged to apply. Following the receipt of applications, the Summer Research Program Committee will review proposed projects and make final decisions regarding the admission of a new student cohort. The Program represents a unique opportunity for ICO students to gain research experience alongside mentors, and it can help foster skills that can be highly influential towards one’s career.
Summary of the Summer Research Program’s 2019 Cohort:
1. Jena Gilbertson ’22 (Tracy Matchinski, OD ’95)
“Comparison of vision impairment simulation vs education videos on glaucoma patient understanding of potential vision loss"
2. Tracey Huynh ’22 (Dennis Ireland, OD ’73, MEd and Rebecca Zoltoski, PhD)
“Investigating normative values for the Visagraph Numbers Test for children”
3. Noen Nguyen ’22 (Sandra Block, OD ’81, MEd, MPH)
“Examining the cost effectiveness of the schoolbased vision screening program from Princeton Vision Clinic in Chicago Public Schools and identifying the trends in prevalence of pediatric eye diseases”
4. Hamza Shah ’22 (Rebecca Zoltoski, PhDand Indika Edirisinghe, PhD)
“Investigating the association of polyphenols on the prevalence and severity of diabetic retinopathy”