CURRENT PHD STUDENTS

Reynolds Kwame Ablordeppey
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Reynolds Kwame Ablordeppey completed his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana in 2016. His research interests are focused on myopia development and progression as well as related structural and functional changes. His research advisor is Dr. Alexandra Benavente.

Malini Bakthavatchalam
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Malini Bakthavatchalam finished her bachelor’s in optometry from Elite School of Optometry (BITS, PILANI,India). After graduation, she pursued a Masters (MPhil in Ophthalmology and Visual Science ) from Chinese University of Hong Kong. She joined SUNY in Fall 2019, working in Dr Qasim Zaidi lab on color perception. She is interested in working on color perception in the inferotemporal cortex.

Khulan Batsuuri
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Khulan Batsuuri graduated and received her MD from the School of Medicine, Mongolian National University of Health Sciences. Before enrolling in Ph.D. in Vision Science program at the SUNY College of Optometry, she has worked on an epigenetic project to study the effects of transcription factors, Ezh2 and G9a, on retinal ganglion cells at Schepen`s Eye Research Institute, Boston. Her research interest is retinal neurodegeneration, including glaucoma. Currently, she is studying the role of astrocytic connectivity, formed by gap junction protein Connexin43 (Cx43), on the development and progression of neurodegenerative disorders, using experimental models of glaucoma and optic nerve injury. Her research advisor is Dr. Miduturu Srinivas.

Poster:

  • K.Batsuuri, A.Toychiev, S.Bloomfield, M.Srinivas. “Genetic ablation of connexin43 in astrocytes is neuroprotective in a mouse model of glaucoma”. ARVO 2020 Annual meeting.Abstract #3360672

Publication:

  • L.Cheng, L.Wong, N. Yan, R. Han. H.Yu, C. Guo, K. Batsuuri, A. Zinzuwadia, R. Guan, K.Cho, D.F Chen. ”Ezh2 does not mediate retinal ganglion cell homeostasis or their susceptibility to injury”. PLOS ONE 2018 Feb 6;13(2):e0191853.eCollection 2018 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29408885/
Zhehao Huang
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Zhehao Huang received his Bachelor of Science from the School of Psychological and Cognitive Science, Peking University. He entered the PhD program in 2015, and is now in his final working in Dr. Qasim Zaidi’s lab. His dissertation research is on dual color estimation from motion-cited transparency.

Seoyoung Kang
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Seoyoung received her Bachelor of Optometry from Konyang University, South Korea in 2015 and is a licensed optician in South Korea. She received her Master of Medical Science from the same university in 2017. In 2018, she worked as a research assistant at the Konyang University Hospital. She was accepted as PhD Student in summer 2019 and joined the Wohl Lab in July 2020. Her project is about the role of microRNAs in postnatal development with focus on late retinal progenitor cells as well as microRNAs as reprogramming factors. Her advisor is Dr. Stefanie Wohl.

Daniel Larbi
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Daniel is a qualified optometrist who received his Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree in 2018 from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana. He joined SUNY in the summer of 2019. He is currently investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the response of Müller glia (gliosis) to retinal degenerative diseases. He is interested in the role of microRNAs in the glial response to retinal injury and believes that this might be useful to limiting the secondary loss of neurons caused by glial activity. His research advisor is Dr Stefanie Wohl.

Carol Lin
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Carol Lin received her BS in Neuroscience and minor in French Language & Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016, and received her Doctor of Optometry/MS of Vision Sciences at the SUNY College of Optometry in 2020. She entered the PhD program in the Fall of 2020, and in collaboration with her mentor Dr. Benavente-Perez she works to elucidate the role of the retinal neurovascular unit in controlling myopia development and progression.

Akihito Maruya
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Biography
· Bachelor in Engineering at National Defense Academy
· Master of science at SUNY, College of Optometry
· First year Ph.D with Dr. ZaidiResearch interest

3D shape perception
Judging poses, sizes, and shapes of objects accurately is necessary for organisms and machines to operate successfully in the world. Humans and animals have constant exposure to projective geometry throughout experience and evolutions, and the inversion of the projection function gives an optimal strategy to estimate 3D shape. His primary research goal is to examine whether humans utilize this knowledge to estimate 3D shape and if so, to understand how this is achieved computationally.

Motion perception
Receptive field size at the early stage in the brain is limited, and one of the challenges that the brain might have is to integrate those local motions to perceive the global motion. So, my interest is to understand how the brain attains this integration computationally. My second interests are rigid and non-rigid motions. The rigidity assumption states that the visual system prefers rigid motion or undergoes minimum from change, but there are rigid motions that are likely to be perceived as non-rigid motions, which may not be explained by this assumption. He would like to investigate what is the prior knowledge or the assumption that humans have to help them perceive rigid and non-rigid motions and what are the patterns when they perceive rigid or non-rigid motion.

Publications:

  • Akihito Maruya, Qasim Zaidi; Mental geometry of three-dimensional size perception. Journal of Vision 2020;20(8):14.
  • Akihito Maruya, Qasim Zaidi; Mental geometry of perceiving 3D size in pictures. Journal of Vision 2020;20(10):4.

Talks:

  • Akihito Maruya, Qasim Zaidi; Mental geometry of 3D size estimation in obliquely viewed pictures.. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):290.
  • Akihito Maruya, Qasim Zaidi; Mental geometry for estimating relative 3D size. MODVIS 2019
  • Zaidi, Qasim and Koch, Erin and Maruya, Akihito (2019) Mental Geometry Underlying 3D Scene Inferences.Perception, 48 (S2). p. 12. ISSN 0301-0066.

Poster presentations:

  • Maruya, Akihito, and Qasim Zaidi. “Perceived distortions of 3D shapes are based on misestimates of viewpoint applied to correct mental geometry.” Journal of Vision 19.10 (2019): 198d-198d.
Joonsik Moon
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Joonsik Moon received a B.S. in Visual Optics and an M.S. in Optometry from Seoul National University of Science and Technology. His current research topic involves the analysis of local field potentials relative to spiking activity of awake macaque superior colliculus.

Sohrab Najafian
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Sohrab received his MSc in biomedical engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology. He is now fourth year PhD student working under supervision of Dr. Jose-Manuel Alonso. He is currently working on a model to explain brain maps in visual cortex.

Publication:

  • Najafian, Sohrab, Jianzhong Jin, and Jose-Manuel Alonso. “Diversity of ocular dominance patterns in visual cortex originates from variations in local cortical retinotopy.” Journal of Neuroscience 39, no. 46 (2019): 9145-9163.
Hamed Rahimi Nasrabadi
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Hamed Rahimi Nasrabadi received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with minor in Physics from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran and was a research assistant at the Brain Engineering Research Center, IPM. He recently started his PhD at the Graduate Center for Vision Science of the State University of New York (Fall of 2017). His main interests are to: (1) study the functional organization of visual pathways, (2) develop computational models of neural mechanisms underlying vision and (3) develop neural prosthesis to restore visual impairment. His Research Advisor is Dr. Jose-Manuel Alonso.

Farzaneh Olianezhad
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Farzaneh has a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Shariaty University and Rajaee University in Tehran (Iran). While working on her M.S. degree, she was also a research assistant in the School of Cognitive Science at the Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences in Tehran (Iran). After moving to New York, she continued her research in the Department of Neuroscience at Columbia University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the Graduate Center for Vision Science at SUNY College of Optometry. She is interested in understanding the neural circuitry of the visual cortex and doing a lab rotation under the supervision of Dr. Alonso that focuses on the study of the spatiotemporal structure of visual cortical receptive fields.

Ashwin Badrinath Pothiadia Irungovel
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Ashwin graduated with Bachelor of Optometry (B.Optom) from Elite School of Optometry in 2019.

His undergraduate research project was on development of a device to measure visuomotor reaction time for testing patients with Traumatic Brain Injury. Also, I completed 1 year of Clinical internship at Sankara Nethralaya focussed on various specialities.

He worked for a year at Sankara Nethralaya as a Research Assistant and is experienced in Clinical Research on areas of Binocular vision, Amblyopia and Neuro-Optometry. His main focus was on Amblyopia treatment methods, Vision therapy for Non-Strabismic Binocular Vision Disorders and Traumatic Brain Injury.

His current research interests include Traumatic Brain Injury, Glaucoma, and Retinal diseases.

Sabina Poudel
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Sabina Poudel received a Bachelor of Optometry degree from the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 2018. She is a second-year PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Jose-Manuel Alonso. Her research interest is to study the ON and OFF visual pathways in ocular conditions like myopia and amblyopia. During the first year of my Ph.D., she worked on developing metrics of visual behavior such as metrics of the images fed in human central and peripheral retina and visuomotor activities. She plans to compare these metrics in myopes and non-myopes in the next phase of my project. The goal of this project is to get an insight into visual behavior in conditions like myopia and amblyopia that may aid in better understanding and management of the diseases.

Toan Trinh
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Toan Trinh received his BA in Economics from Dartmouth College in 2006 and Doctor of Optometry from New England College of Optometry in 2011. He entered the PhD program in the Fall of 2018 and works with Dr. Suresh Viswanathan to utilize electrophysiological techniques to understand the mechanisms underlying visual dysfunction in mild traumatic brain injury.

Talk:

  • Trinh TM, Viswanathan S. Test–retest reliability of ERG intensity response function fit parameters with a portable non-mydriatic testing system [abstract]. 57th Annual Symposium of the International Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (ISCEV 2019); 2019 Oct 7-10; Seoul, Korea. Doc Ophthalmol 139, 1-43 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10633-019-09717-3

CURRENT OD/MS STUDENTS

Ridwan Carim-Sanni
Class of 2022
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Ridwan Carim-Sanni graduated from Hunter college CUNY in 2017 where he majored in Biochemistry and a minor psychology. For his OD/MS research project, he is working with Dr. Suresh Viswanathan on structure function correlation of the optic nerve head using ERG, OCT and Visual field parameters.

Crystal Guo
Class of 2022
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Crystal Guo graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Currently she is working on my OD/MS degrees at SUNY College of Optometry. My research advisor is Qasim Zaidi, PhD, and my project is about the estimation of 3D poses from 2D retinal images using internalized projective geometry.

Veronica Moore-Stol
Class of 2022
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Veronica Moore-Stoll graduated from the University of Richmond in 2017 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Her research advisor is Dr. Dul. Her research topic is increment/decrement perimetry in glaucomatous observers in a virtual reality environment.

Sofia Ribolla
Class of 2022
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Sofia Ribolla graduated with a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University. Her research advisor is Dr. Tracy Nguyen, and her research topic is the occurrence of dry eye disease in a pediatric population.

Sanjana Saksena
Class of 2022
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Sanjana Saksena graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in Bachelor’s in Science, where she majored in Biology with a minor in Public Health. She is currently working with my research mentor, Dr. Rosenfield, on his MS in vision science. Our project is about digital eye strain and linking it to fixation disparity. He is working towards publishing my thesis, and plan to present at the American Academy of Optometry meeting next year.

Gulnoza Azieva
Class of 2023
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Gulnoza earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Neuroscience at Hofstra University in 2018. She worked with Dr. Alexandra Benavente-Perez as a Research Technician in her myopia research lab before optometry school. During her time in Dr. Benavente’s lab, she worked to induce high myopia in juvenile marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) by treating them with custom-made negative contact lenses for long periods of time. Dr. Benavente’s lab focuses on studying the structural and functional changes that the myopic eye experiences as it develops myopia. After this, she decided to pursue my OD/MS in Vision Science with Dr. Benavente and in collaboration with Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Dimitra Makrynioti. Dr. Makrynioti was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to work with Dr. Benavente and develop a protocol to assess dry eye and the ocular surface in myopic marmosets. Her long-term career goal in cornea and contact lens is to translate my current animal-based research in dry eye into clinical vision research and ultimately to provide outstanding patient care in individuals suffering from ocular surface discomfort symptoms.

Azieva G, Makrynioti D, Ablordeppey R, Nour A, Benavente-Perez A (2020) Contact lens-induced dry eye in the marmoset model (CLIDEM): Non-invasive quantification of corneal thickness measurements. American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting (AAO). October. Nashville, TN. US

Makrynioti D, Azieva G, Ablordeppey R, Nour A, Benavente-Perez A (2020) Contact lens-induced dry eye in the marmoset model (CLIDEM): Corneal thickness assessment using ultrasound pachymetry vs anterior segment optical coherence tomography. American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting (AAO). October. Nashville, TN. US

Zhu X, Yoon P, Azieva G, Dellostritto S, Lin V, Pope A, Troilo D, Nour A, Benavente-Perez A (2019) Short periods of darkness may reduce compensation for experimentally-imposed defocus in marmosets. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting (ARVO). April. Vancouver, BC. U

Tiffany Ying Hsuan Chen
Class of 2023
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Tiffany Chen is a current student in the OD/MS Program. She graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Physiological Science. She is currently working with Dr. Mark Rosenfield to determine the associations between symptoms of Digital Eye Strain (DES) and repeated clinical measurements of standard near vision tests of accommodation, vergence, and accommodation-vergence interaction and to identify which tests best reflect DES symptoms.

Behrad Garmsiri
Class of 2023
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Behrad Garmsiri and is currently enrolled in SUNY College of Optometry as an O.D./M.S. student, class of 2023. Previously, he completed two years of a Master of Arts, as part of the MiNDS Neuroscience Graduate Program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. During this time, he made contributions to research mainly involving electroretinography and retinal histology. I have two undergraduate degrees also from McMaster University. In 2010, he completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biology with a specialization in physiology. In 2014, he completed a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy with a specialization in Logic. Before coming to SUNY, I worked with a Pediatric Eye Research Group, performing vision screenings and analyzing the public vision health status of elementary school students. He is excited to be working with his current research mentor Dr. Suresh Viswanathan. He is interested in investigating functional changes in the retina, using single flash electroretinography, as a result of physical changes in ocular tissue

Sophia Johnson
Class of 2023
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Sophia Johnson graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2014 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Spanish. Her Research advisor is Dr. Rosenfield. Her research is examining the effect of breaks on the symptoms of DES( Digital Eye Strain), and to determine the optimal length and frequency of these breaks. In developing the optimum timescale, this will lead to developing an evidence-based, clinical recommendation to improve the lifestyle and visual efficiency of millions of patients.

Durpri Lin
Class of 2023
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Durpri Lin received her M.S in Biological Chemistry from the Unviersity of Pennsylvania. Her research advisor is Dr. Benavente. Her thesis topic is the effects of gingko on retinal and choroidal ocular tissue.

Zachary Zlatin
Class of 2023
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Zachary Zlatin received a B.S. in Biology from Emory University. His research advisor is Dr. Zhu. His thesis topic is assessment of accommodation behavior in children under myopia control treatment (pilot study).

Fareed Nada
Class of 2024
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Bio Coming Soon

Laura Medina
Class of 2024
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Derek Ng
Class of 2024
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Elianna Sharvit
Class of 2024
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Jia Ying Tan
Class of 2024
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Sakshi Vasiu
Class of 2024
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Jesse Wang
Class of 2024
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Bio Coming Soon