Dr. Fuensanta Vera-Diaz is an Assistant Professor of Optometry at the New England College of Optometry (NECO) and an Attending Optometrist at NECO Center for Eye Care. Dr. Vera-Diaz is a primary eye care practitioner with specific interest and expertise in interventions aimed at prevention or slowing the progression of myopia (nearsightedness). Dr. Vera-Diaz has extensive clinical experience in retail, private practice, hospital and academic optometry in Spain, England and the US. Prior to joining NECO, Dr. Vera-Diaz was an Attending Optometrist at the University of Bradford, UK, and at the University of Murcia, Spain.
Dr. Vera-Diaz earned an Optics and Optometry degree from the University of Murcia, a PhD from the department of Optometry at the University of Bradford, and an Optometry Doctorate from New England College of Optometry. During her PhD work, Dr. Vera-Diaz investigated optical and neural influences on visual performance of individuals who have myopia, with the goal of finding causative factors for myopia development and progression. She then completed two postdoctoral fellowships. She first studied the effect of various oculomotor factors that may predict phenotypes at risk for myopia with Dr. Gwiazda and subsequently completed a second post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School while working at the Schepens Eye Research Institute with Dr. Peli.
Dr. Vera-Diaz became an independent investigator when she joined the NECO faculty in 2012. Studies conducted in her lab aim to answer the question: What causes myopia? Understanding the mechanism is key in creating successful interventions to treat it. The goal of her studies is to develop individualized optical correction and 3D digital therapies that will slow the progression of existing myopia and eventually prevent myopia. Dr. Vera-Diaz was the sole recipient of the 2016 Research Career Development Award from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO). With this award, she is conducting a research project titled “Peripheral and Binocular Retinal Signals in Human Myopia”.
Dr. Vera-Diaz is Instructor of Record, lecturer and lab instructor for the Principle and Practice of Optometry courses at NECO. She also lectures in scientific meetings worldwide, including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and the International Myopia Conference. Dr. Vera-Diaz is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and Member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Optometric Association, and the Massachusetts Society of Optometrists, among others. She has authored a large number of peer-reviewed publications. For additional information visit: http://www.neco.edu/research/faculty/diaz.
Dr. Vera-Diaz has volunteered with various humanitarian organizations, including Vision Aid Overseas (UK), Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (US) and Special Olympics (US), and she has been a volunteer field optometrist in missions to Peru, Ghana and Mexico as well as in many local organizations.