Sarah Singh, Professor

Closed (1) Is dosing a single drop of 0.02% atropine equivalent to two drops of 0.01% atropine?

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

Very low doses of atropine (diluted to 0.05% concentration or less) are now commonly used for myopia control (treatments that are aimed at preventing the progression of nearsightedness in children). In addition to preventing myopia progression, use of atropine causes a measurable change in pupil size and accommodation (near focusing ability) that can be used as biomarkers for the amount of atropine that is in the eye. We are interested in answering a common question from patients and clinical providers: Is using two drops of 0.01% atropine equivalent to using one drop of 0.02% atropine?

The undergraduate researcher will be responsible for recruiting subjects to participate in the study, communicating with interested participants, dispensing study medication, and measuring participants' pupil sizes and accommodation, and recording the data. We will work together on analyzing the results of the study and preparing a manuscript for publication. It is my hope that the researcher will be able to experience the full life cycle of research - from understanding the background in this topic area and the experimental design, gain experience with basic clinical techniques and skills, and share our results with the optometry and vision science community.

Qualifications: The student should have good communication skills and be familiar with basic data management (Microsoft Excel or equivalent). Experience as a medical or optometric technician is desirable but not essential.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Closed (2) How long does it take to recover normal pupil responses following a single dose of 0.01%, 0.02%, or 0.05% atropine?

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

Low-doses of atropine are commonly used for myopia control, meaning that atropine drops are prescribed to slow myopia progression in children. Both the efficacy and side effects experienced (light-sensitivity and near blur) are dose-dependent, so the higher the concentration, the more effective it is for myopia control, but also the more likely patients are to experience light sensitivity and blurred near vision. Little is known about the short-term effects of low concentrations of atropine drops, and this study seeks to understand the length of time required to recover normal pupil responses and accommodation (near focusing) following installation of three very low doses of atropine.

Qualifications: The researcher will be responsible for subject recruitment, collecting data for the study, and we will work together to analyze the data and report on the results. The researcher must have good communication skills and a good grasp of basic data management (Microsoft Excel or equivalent). Experience as a healthcare or optometric assistant is desirable but not essential. Training will be provided for all measurements that will be collected.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs

Closed (3) Estimating the prevalence of refractive error in children

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

UC Berkeley has developed a child-focused eye health initiative that is attempting to eliminate uncorrected refractive error in the world by the year 2050. The first step in this initiative is understanding where we are now - what is the prevalence of refractive error in children in different parts of the world? Can we estimate what the burden of uncorrected refractive error will be in the year 2050?

The undergraduate researcher will be conducting a thorough literature review to map out the prevalences of refractive errors in different parts of the world. The goal is to generate an interactive web-based map of the world with the uncorrected refractive error burdens represented in order to prioritize goals for the project and measure success.

Qualifications: The student should work well in a group setting and have some experience with data management, web design, and/or public health efforts.

Weekly Hours: 6-8 hrs