Sandra Wagner receives Meta Technologies...


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Sandra Wagner receives Meta Technologies LLC Myopia Grant by the American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) and Reality Labs Research (RLR)

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation, together with Reality Labs Research, a division of Facebook Technologies, LCC, had called for a new research grant opportunity for myopia researchers. The aim of this Award is to foster investigations to better understand potential risk factors in our visual environment that contribute to myopia development or progression.

Dr. Sandra Wagner

The prevalence of myopia is increasing rapidly - half of the world’s population is expected to be myopic in the year 2050, 10 % will be affected by high myopia. This is of concern due to the increased risk of severe, partly sight-threatening ocular diseases that are associated with myopia. Global public health systems and economies are in need of effective treatment methods for preventing myopia development or the further progression. In addition to genetics, research provided accumulating evidence for a significant impact of lifestyle and near vision activities on the refractive development. However, the reasons for this causative relationship are not yet fully understood.

After having successfully passed a two-stage selection process, Sandra Wagner was announced as one of the awardees of the Myopia Research Grant. In her project, Sandra aims to combine visual electrophysiology and imaging techniques to assess the effects of the visual experience during nearwork on normal-sighted compared to myopic eyes. The study serves the need to better understand how the retinal image properties during nearwork might affect refractive error development. The comparative study could provide insight into the retinal pathway processing of myopic eyes and contribute to improving currently applied methods for myopia management.

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) was founded in 1947. Over the course of this 75-year history, the Foundation has raised millions of dollars to support awards and grants, educational scholarships, and Fellowships to improve patient care. With this Award, together with Reality Labs Research, the AAOF now specifically supports researchers to realize investigations that fill the knowledge gaps about the environmental risk factors for myopia in more novel ways.