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Volume 2, Issue 3                                    University of Houston

The 'eyes' have it

College of Optometry testing center conducts groundbreaking research in commercial optometry

By Brandon H. Franks
Staff Writer

All eyes are on the UH College of Optometry's Texas Eye Research and Technology Center, which gives students and faculty members the opportunity to become involved in research and development of optometry products.

The center, founded in 1996 by optometry professor Jan Bergamson, is comprised of three facilities: the Research Clinical Facility, the Anatomy and Pathology Laboratory and the Exicimer Laser Laboratory. It is the only one of its kind in the United States.

According to UHCO professor Julie Jackson, TERTC clinical research administrator, the studies that are done at the center provide valuable research that aids the Federal Drug Administration's approval process of contact lens products.

"The FDA doesn't want to see in-house research from the contact lens companies, because the studies may be biased," Jackson said. "TERTC offers additional research in a neutral atmosphere."

Future research projects at TERTC will include a dry-eye study and an extended-wear study involving soft oxygen-permeable contact lenses. Other studies will involve product testing for marketing in Japan.

In the meantime, TERTC is recruiting subjects for the upcoming studies. The center will reimburse students for their time and pay each subject while providing care and supplies.

"We have experienced a tremendous surge in companies approaching us, and we're excited about the growth," Jackson said. In time, she said, it may become necessary to expand the center and add more faculty members.

For more information on the center, or to volunteer for one of its studies, contact Jackson at jajackson@uh.edu.
 
 

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