Talking Heads is now President’s Spotlight! Each issue, Dr. Mark Colip will propose a new topic to members of the ICO family. He will be putting a spotlight on important people at ICO and across the profession of optometry.

"Since the appointment of Dr. Yi Pang as Associate Dean for Research, ICO has significantly ramped up its research-based efforts. At any given time, ICO has multiple ongoing research projects. Current topics include myopia, dry eye, and other important concerns. Please highlight one of your current research projects, briefly explaining what it is, what we hope to learn, and how it will impact our students, patients, and alumni."

Yi Pang, OD, PHD

Associate Dean for Research

"I am currently the Principal Investigator at ICO on an NIH/NEI-funded Myopia Treatment Study. Drs. Megan Allen, Kelly Yin, and Christine Allison are co-investigators, and Elyse Nylin is the research coordinator.


We aim to determine the efficacy of daily low-dose atropine (0.01%) for slowing myopia progression over a two-year treatment period in children aged 5 to 13 years with myopia -1.00 to -6.00D at the time of enrollment.

The results from this study could help to approve 0.01% atropine for regular clinical usage in the prevention of myopia progression in children. As myopia is on the rise all over the world, with up to 50% of Americans currently affected, this study could dramatically improve the lives of children. We are very excited to see where this work leads."

Jennifer S. Harthan, OD ’06, FAAO

Associate Professor; Chief, Cornea Center for Clinical Excellence


"Several of my multi-center research projects were established under the auspices of the American Academy of Optometry’s Fellows Doing Research Special Interest Group. In particular, The SCOPE study (Scleral Lenses in Current Ophthalmic Practice: an Evaluation) group comprises of national experts in the clinical fitting of scleral lenses who also have academic research interests.

Because scleral lenses have only recently become part of mainstream clinical practice, there are significant gaps in our understanding of practice patterns, fitting philosophies, and the biological effects of these devices. The goals are to spearhead clinical research in scleral lenses, and to engage clinicians and basic scientists on a global scale.

The SCOPE group has no funding, but has presented at every Academy, Global Specialty Lens Symposium, and ARVO meeting for the past several years and has published several manuscripts. When one is committed to devoting time, working together, and sharing the burden, results are produced."

Valerie Kattouf, OD ’95, FAAO, FCOVD

Associate Professor; Chief, Dr. Robert and Lena Lewenson Pediatric and Binocular Vision Center

"The Pediatric and Binocular Vision Faculty at the Lewenson Center has had great opportunities to participate in clinical research. We have all enrolled patients in NIH-funded PEDIG (Pediatric Eye Disease Investigators Group) studies. Many of our faculty are certified PEDIG investigators.

PEDIG studies have addressed a wide range of clinical treatments, including occlusion practices in amblyopia, computer-based treatments for amblyopia, use of over minus lenses to treat intermittent exotropia, and many more. Our Pediatric Center has also joined forces with our Cornea Center for Clinical Excellence in A Clinical Trial of Orthokeratology in Myopia Control.

We have been able to offer the treatment of orthokeratology to a diverse group of patients to expand our understanding of myopia control. The clinical patient population at the Illinois Eye Institute is rich with a complexity that lends itself toward developing a solid base of clinical research that benefits the practice of optometry around the world."





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