Photos starting at right and proceeding clockwise: The USC team from left to right (starting front row): graduate student Niki Bayat (USC Chemistry), undergraduate student Roby Menefee (USC Biomedical Engineering), research assistant professor Jack Whalen PhD (USC Ophthalmology, IBT), research staff scientist Juan Carlos Martinez MD (USC Ophthalmology, IBT), and post doc Bin Li PhD (USC Chemistry). Roby Menefee guiding two ophthalmologists on using the hydrogel-based ocular repair system. Jack Whalen, Roby Menefee and Niki Bayat overseeing use of hydrogel-repair system by army medic. NAEVR Director of Government Relations and Education, David Epstein with Jack Whalen.
A five-person team of USC investigators, led by USC Roski Eye Institute Research Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Jack Whalen, PhD, hosted a three-day user feedback workshop with US military ophthalmologists at Walter Reed Hospital. The USC team, through a grant awarded to Mark Humayun, MD, PhD from the DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (W81XWH-16-C-0086), has been developing a reversibly adhesive hydrogel to temporarily occlude penetrating injuries to the eye to help improve visual outcomes for combat casualties. Over three days, 45 military ophthalmologists, medics and corpsmen tested the hydrogel on a porcine model of ocular trauma and provided valuable feedback to the USC team to help advance the technology closer towards clinical testing. The 2017 Tri-Service Ocular Trauma Surgery Lab, directed by LTC Marcus Colyer, MD, LCDR Eva Chou, MD and CAPT (ret.) Joseph Pasternak, MD, is an annual workshop held at Walter Reed Hospital and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (Bethesda, MD). The hydrogel is designed to support US military clinicians in managing ocular trauma cases.