EYE ON THE PRIZE: UH OPTOMETRY STUDENTS
SET RECORD WITH FELLOWSHIPS
Five Grad Students Rewarded, Encouraged to Pursue Vision Science
HOUSTON, Aug. 5, 2005 – With research efforts recognized
for everything from the basic focusing of the eye to contact lens
design for patients with diseased corneas, the University of Houston
now holds the record for receiving the most fellowships ever awarded
to a single North American college of optometry.
Students in the UH College of Optometry were awarded five of eight
William C. Ezell Fellowships from the American Optometric Foundation
(AOF). The Ezell Fellowships are awarded to encourage the most talented
graduate students in physiological optics and vision science programs
to pursue full-time careers in optometric research and education
in schools and colleges of optometry. The fellows are selected on
the basis of excellence in scholarship, research and teaching.
“As Ezell Fellows, these five UH students are in the company
of the top researchers in the field,” said Laura Frishman,
associate dean of the UH College of Optometry. “Their selection
for this honor really showcases the diversity of research and leadership
of our students in this college.”
The UH recipients are Joy Martin, Jason Marsack, Lisa Ostrin, Ling
Chi Huang and Danielle M. Robertson. Huang and Ostrin, who are in
a joint O.D./Ph.D. program, will receive their O.D. degrees from
UH in August. Martin and Robertson already have received O.D. degrees
from UH, and Jason Marsack holds an M.S. degree in biomedical engineering.
All five are currently working toward completing their Ph.D. degrees
Martin was named as the Advanced Medical Optics Ezell Fellow to
conduct her research in adaptive optics imaging of retinal blood
flow. Marsack was given the Bausch & Lomb Ezell Fellow award
for his research on wavefront guided design of contact lenses for
patients with corneas distorted by disease.
Ostrin was awarded the Essilor of American Ezell Fellowship for
her research in the focus mechanisms in the lens of the eye. Huang
and Robertson were both given the VISTAKON Ezell Fellowships –
Huang for his immunological studies of the cornea and Robertson
for her research in molecular mechanisms of corneal epithelial cell
death and survival.
Established in 1949, the AOF is dedicated to the advancement of
optometric education and research, awarding more than 200 fellowships
since then. Included among former Ezell Fellows are 21 optometric
deans and presidents, 91 optometric faculty members and 95 Fellows
of the American Academy of Optometry, including three of its presidents.
The 2005-2006 recipients will be honored at the AOF’s Annual
Research Luncheon Dec. 11 during the American Academy of Optometry’s
Annual Meeting in San Diego.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university
in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
About the UH College of Optometry
For more than 50 years, the University of Houston College of Optometry
(UHCO) has educated and trained optometrists to provide the highest
quality vision and eye care. One of only 17 optometry schools in
the United States, UHCO offers a variety of degree programs, including
Doctor of Optometry (O.D.), a combined Doctor of Optometry/Doctor
of Philosophy (O.D./Ph.D.), Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor
of Philosophy (Ph.D.). UHCO consists of 50 full-time faculty, 508
adjunct faculty and 76 full-time staff.
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