2020 News

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Jannick Rolland named fellow of National Academy of Inventors

December 8, 2020

Jannick Rolland

Jannick Rolland, the director of the Center for Freeform Optics at the University of Rochester, holds more than 50 patents and is considered a pioneer in optical applications in augmented and virtual reality.

The Brian J. Thompson Professor of Optical Engineering is now the fourth University faculty member to be named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The program highlights academic inventors whose work has made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society. A total of 175 inventors, representing 115 research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes worldwide, are being recognized this year.

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Imaging the secret lives of immune cells in the eye

October 7, 2020

Rochester researchers demonstrate way to track the interactions of microscopic immune cells in a living eye without dyes or damage, a first for imaging science.

Combining infrared videography and artificial intelligence, the new technique could be a 'game-changer' for some clinical diagnoses as well as for fields like pharmaceuticals.

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Rochester leads novel research project on how the brain interprets motion

September 2, 2020

Major NIH award to study how the brain infers structure from sensory signals may have applications for disorders like schizophrenia and offer insights for artificial intelligence.

Imagine you're sitting on a train. You look out the window and see another train on an adjacent track that appears to be moving. But, has your train stopped while the other train is moving, or are you moving while the other train is stopped?

The same sensory experience—viewing a train—can yield two very different perceptions, leading you to feel either a sensation of yourself in motion or a sensation of being stationary while an object moves around you.

Human brains are constantly faced with such ambiguous sensory inputs. In order to resolve the ambiguity and correctly perceive the world, our brains employ a process known as causal inference.

Causal inference is a key to learning, reasoning, and decision making, but researchers currently know little about the neurons involved in the process.

In order to bridge the gap, a team of researchers at the University of Rochester, including Greg DeAngelis, the George Eastman Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and Ralf Haefner, an assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences, received a $12.2 million grant award from the National Institutes of Health for a project to better understand how the brain uses causal inference to distinguish self-motion from object motion.

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Rochester researcher recognized with national award for outstanding vision research

August 16, 2020

David Williams

For the third consecutive year, a member of the Rochester community has been recognized by the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) for outstanding vision research.

David Williams, the William G. Allyn Professor of Medical Optics, has been selected by the association as the 2021 recipient of the RPB David F. Weeks Award for Outstanding Vision Research. The award annually recognizes and celebrates an outstanding ophthalmic vision scientist whose research has made meaningful contributions to the understanding or treatment of potentially blinding eye diseases.

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Study: Neurons can shift how they process information about motion

June 15, 2020

New Rochester research indicates some neurons may be more adept than previously thought in helping you perceive the motion of objects while you move through the world.

The findings may have implications for developing future prosthetics and for understanding some brain disorders.

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'Time is vision' after a stroke

May 27, 2020

Krystel Huxlin in lab

A person who has a stroke that causes vision loss is often told there is nothing they can do to improve or regain the vision they have lost.

But research from the University of Rochester, published in the journal Brain, may offer hope to stroke patients in regaining vision.

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Rochester scientist earns national recognition for research

April 24, 2020

University of Rochester faculty member Adam Snyder has been named one of this year's recipients of a Sloan Research Fellowship, a national recognition awarded to young scientists considered to be potential future leaders in the scientific community.

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Q & A with Adam Snyder, Ph.D.

April 24, 2020

Adam Snyder, Ph.D., joined the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience in July 2018 as an assistant professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Neuroscience, and the Center for Visual Science. He received his B.A. in Language and Mind from New York University and went on to complete his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from the City College of New York. His research focuses primarily on vision, visual attention and memory.

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Largest long-term study of adolescent brain development to continue at URMC

April 17, 2020

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) will continue play a leading role in the largest long-term study of brain development and child health. The National Institutes of Health has renewed its support to the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study at URMC, allocating $7.5-million to the study for the next seven years.

"We are immensely proud of the part that the University of Rochester plays in the ABCD study," John Foxe, Ph.D., director of the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience said. "That children here in Rochester are part of a major national study, and are contributing to our knowledge of brain development is really fantastic and gives the Rochester community a voice in how national health policy is developed over the coming decade."

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Mina Chung, Retinal Surgeon and Researcher, Dies at 51

February 17, 2020

Mina Millicent Chung, M.D., an ophthalmologist and retina specialist who helped blind children to see and furthered the study of retinal disease, including macular degeneration, died Feb. 13 after a fall while skiing in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dolomites, Italy. She was 51.

Chung was an associate professor of ophthalmology at URMC's Flaum Eye Institute and a faculty member in the University's Center for Visual Science. Before being recruited to Rochester in 2002, she completed a fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, following residency and postdoctoral research at USC University Hospital in Los Angeles, where she served as chief resident from 2000 to 2002. Chung was a 1994 graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine who received her undergraduate degree from Yale in 1990.

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Adam Snyder named a 2020 Sloan Research Fellow

February 12, 2020

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of 126 extraordinary early career researchers as recipients of the 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships honor scholars in the U.S. and Canada whose creativity, leadership, and independent research achievements make them some of the most promising researchers working today.

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Small eye movements are critical for 20/20 vision

February 10, 2020

Michele Rucci in lab

Visual acuity—the ability to discern letters, numbers, and objects from a distance—is essential for many tasks, from recognizing a friend across a room to driving a car.

Researchers previously assumed that visual acuity was primarily determined by the optics of the eye and the anatomy of the retina. Now, researchers from the University of Rochester—including Michele Rucci, a professor of brain and cognitive sciences, and Janis Intoy, a neuroscience graduate student at Boston University and a research assistant in Rucci's lab in Rochester—show that small eye movements humans aren't even aware of making play a large role in humans' visual acuity. The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, may lead to improved treatments and therapies for vision impairments.

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Q&A with Farran Briggs, Ph.D.

January 29, 2020

Farran Briggs, Ph.D., joined the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience in 2017 as an associate professor in the Departments of Neuroscience, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and the Center for Visual Sciences. She received her B.A. in Biology from Dartmouth College and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work focuses on neuronal circuits in the visual system, and how attention affects the brain's ability to process visual information.

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