Dr. Tara Alvarez is Professor of Bio-Medical Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Chief Scientific Officer at OculoMotor Technologies. Tara’s research focuses on how we move our eyes, how visual information is brought in through our visual system, and how the brain changes. In particular, she studies a condition called convergence insufficiency. In this condition, people have difficulty and discomfort when reading or maintaining focus on near objects. She is working to better understand convergence insufficiency and how the brain changes during visual therapy, resulting in reduced symptoms. In her free time, Tara loves spending time with her kids, doing renovation projects at home, cooking, and gardening. She was awarded her B.S. in Electrical Engineering and her Ph.D. in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University. Afterwards, she conducted postdoctoral research at Bell Labs before joining the faculty at New Jersey Institute of Technology. She has received numerous awards and honors in her career, including an NSF Career Award, the Founding Members Award for Science from the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, an Edison Patent Award, the NJIT Excellence in Research Award, and Augmented World Expo’s Auggie Awards for Women XR Laureate and for Most Innovative Breakthrough. She has also been named an Outstanding Woman Scientist of NJ, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. In this interview, Tara shares more about her life and science.
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