Professor Ben Thompson named a 2022 University Research Chair

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Professor Ben Thompson headshot
The School of Optometry & Vision Science's Professor Ben Thompson was named a 2022 University Research Chair at the last University Senate meeting.

The University Research Chair award recognizes exceptional achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge. Recipients can choose to receive an annual stipend or teaching reduction of one course per year.

Thompson's research specializes in neuroplasticity to restore vision, identifying early biomarkers in eye/brain disease, quantum, and macular degeneration. Thompson uses a variety of techniques to investigate human brain plasticity and visual cortex function including psychophysics, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

Currently stationed in Hong Kong, Thompson is CEO and Scientific Director of the Centre for Eye and Vision Research, the world’s first international research hub dedicated to eye and vision research. Under Thompson’s leadership, CEVR is taking on some of vision science’s most pressing challenges to generate technologies to prevent vision loss and preserve healthy vision for populations around the world.

“I am honoured to be appointed as a University Research Chair," says Thompson. "This recognition is shared by the outstanding students, postdoctoral fellows, and collaborators that I have had the privilege of working with at the University of Waterloo.”

Since 2004, Waterloo has granted 123 University Research Chair awards, including this year’s recipients. In addition to Thompson, eight other 2022 University Research Chair were named, including: Dustin Garrick (Environment), Suzan Ilcan (Arts), Monica Maly (Health), Christine Muschik (Institute for Quantum Computing), William Slofstra (Math), Chaitanya Swamy (Math), Evelyn Yim (Engineering) and Aiping Yu (Engineering).

"The University of Waterloo owes much of its reputation and stature to the quality of its professors and their scholarly accomplishments," says the official announcement from the Office of the Vice-President, Academic & Provost.

Congratulations Christine and Ben!