Student Dania Abuleil receives grant from prestigious scientific society

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Dania Abuleil, a PhD student at the School of Optometry & Vision Science, has received a research grant from Sigma Xi, one of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world.

Funding from the Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) program will support Dania’s efforts to objectively measure changes in the brain following electrical stimulation.

Electrical stimulation has an effect on the brain’s motor complex, promoting plasticity (the brain’s ability to adapt and change). Vision scientists at the School are exploring whether such stimulation could help patients with amblyopia (“lazy eye”), a condition that, until now, was considered untreatable in adults.

Dania Abuleil stands in front of photos of past optometry graduating classesDania’s research, conducted under the supervision of Dr. Daphne McCulloch and Dr. Ben Thompson, could contribute to more effective treatments for amblyopia; these treatments, in turn, could be extended to other brain-based conditions with visual effects, like stroke.

Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Honor Society is a non-profit honor society for scientists and engineers. Founded in 1886 at Cornell University, the Society has more than 100,000 members, including more than 200 Nobel Prize winners. The Grant in Aid of Research program has a highly competitive application process and only 12%-15% of applicants receive any level of funding.

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