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Fight For Sight

Dr. Keith Walter Mentors Student Awarded Fight for Sight Fellowship

Improving the outcome of LASIK surgery is on the minds of Eye Center Physician Keith Walter, cornea specialist, and WFU Medical Student Amar Patel. Patel was awarded a summer  fellowship in 2007 from Fight for Sight, Inc., an organization whose mission is to support vision research in order to find the causes and cures for blindness. He collected data on the ‘Effect of environmental factors on myopic LASIK enhancement rates.’ This follows Walter’s prior research showing that humidity has an effect on the touch-up rate after initial LASIK eye surgery.

Dr. Keith Walter has enjoyed mentoring Medical Student Amar Patel who was awarded a summer fellowship from Fight for Sight on research involving LASIK eye surgery and humidity.

Patel has been compiling data that measures how success rates are affected with specific adjustments in laser energy output in relation to humidity levels. Walter comments, “This is important research and should make a big difference for LASIK patients.” He also adds, “It was great to work with Amar; he has done an impressive job.”

Patel will graduate this spring. He says  “I started doing research with Dr. Walter during my third year of medical school.  He told me about the fellowship and helped me fill out the paperwork and put it all together.” Walter has also been mentor to other students in the Fight for Sight Fellowship Program.

Fight for Sight was founded more than 60 years ago by Margaret Weisenfeld who was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness. She was shocked to learn that little to no research existed regarding the causes and cures of vision diseases and disorders. Today, Fight for Sight is an international leader in the battle for the  preservation and restoration of sight through research. Helping to save the sight of children  through the support of pediatric eye centers, like the WFU Eye Center, is part of its mission. The summer fellowships target medical students, like Patel, as well as undergraduates majoring in biology or a similar science, in order to foster the careers of promising up-and-coming researchers in the field of ophthalmology.


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