The Vision Research Institute in the Michigan College of Optometry is
dedicated to the creation, development and testing of products and
procedures for vision correction.
The VRI, established in February, focuses on internal- and external-
sponsored research to enhance faculty and student opportunities to
learn and be published in the field of optometry.
One of the initial studies undertaken was a 20-patient pilot study on
multifocal and bifocal contact lenses. Doctor of Optometry intern Trevor
Fosso, of Pennock, Minn., was awarded a Student Research Fellowship
by the Office of Academic Research to spend his summer on the project.
Trevor worked closely with MCO’s Dr. Amy Dinardo to recruit subjects
whose experience wearing contact lenses had “met their expectations
for success” and then evaluated them to document the common factors
in that success. The results are expected to be presented at the Global
Specialty Lens Symposium in Las Vegas in January.
Other projects center on the use of scleral lenses, which are contact
lenses that provide comfortable and accurate vision for individuals
with corneal disease and dry eye issues. VRI research optometrists
are developing a proprietary lens design in this category, while also
designing a method to help novice and student optometrists learn from
and improve scleral lens analysis skills.
These research advancements help to position MCO as a new and
prominent entity in vision research.
The institute also is involved in industry-sponsored research projects.
With a stated goal of “being a partner in product development,” the VRI
is working closely with numerous eye care companies to aid their efforts
in developing products and getting them to market.
We are looking at some very novel and innovative bifocal contact lens
designs for the correction of presbyopia as well as devices for optical
correction after ocular injury or disease. These are very promising
technologies for patients.
Another area of interest has been the evaluation of Google Glass before
it becomes commercially available to the public. Dr. Bruce Morgan and
I believed that this technology should be tested by us, so the VRI offered
to purchase the unique eyewear for the first optometry student accepted
as a Glass Explorer. Subsequently, MCO second-year intern Elyse
Kleifgen was chosen for Google’s program, and since then the first eye
exam employing Glass was performed here. We are investigating its use
for teaching purposes as well.
The Vision Research Institute is a very exciting development for Ferris
State University. Dr. David Damari, dean of the Michigan College of
Optometry, shared this comment:
“The opportunities that this institute will provide for our faculty, students
and staff, its ability to develop our position as a strong center of scientific
inquiry in the field of optometry and the partnerships we can establish
in the field will continue to build on the excellent reputation of Ferris and
the Michigan College of Optometry. I am extremely pleased by the VRI’s
efforts to find ways to increase research opportunities here at Ferris.”
If you’re interested in becoming involved in one of the studies or for
further information about the VRI, please email me at CraigNorman@
New Vision Research Institute Positions MCO as Prominent Entity in Vision Research
By Craig Norman, Executive Research Director