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Carrying on at the Institute – Spotlight: Prusky Lab

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As we carry on with our mission during the COVID-19 pandemic, Burke Neurological Institute (BNI) is slowly and safely bringing back laboratory personnel to campus. Dr. Glen Prusky, director of the Laboratory for Visual Disease and Therapy at BNI, Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Co-Director of Research at Blythedale Children’s Hospital, shares what it is like for the laboratory to advance research during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How has your lab adapted to conducting research during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Prior to the pandemic, the Laboratory for Visual Disease and Therapy developed novel computer-based procedures that improve the ability to measure vision in humans. These methods have allowed the lab to undertake a research program aimed at measuring vision in children with brain injury who are not served well by current measurement procedures. This has, for the first time, enabled researchers and clinicians to quantify how important aspects of vision develop in childhood, and to categorize how brain injury affects visual development and recovery. Not only is the cutting-edge technology being used to measure visual impairment in children, it is also being adapted to provide therapeutic visual stimulation to reduce visual impairment. 

Currently, the Prusky Lab is undertaking a related strategy to measure and treat visual attention deficits resulting from brain injury. 

During the pandemic, Dr. Glen Prusky, explains that the lab has focused on writing papers and software while working from home and interacting through video conferencing. He also shared that very recently, the lab has resumed limited clinical studies on children at Blythedale Children’s Hospital and adults at BNI. 

What are you most proud of as a lab right now?

I am most proud of lab member’s ability to adapt to the peculiar circumstances they have found themselves in, and make outstanding progress.

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