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UPIKE-KYCO student awarded competitive summer internship

April 12, 2017 12:00 AM
Pikeville, Ky.
Nitya Murthy, a first-year optometry student from the inaugural class of the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO), was selected for a highly sought-after and competitive summer internship at Johnson and Johnson (J&J) Vision Care. A member of the Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies, J&J Vision Care is a worldwide company with a focus on research, innovation and new-product development.

Murthy will have a unique learning opportunity to work at J&J headquarters and gain experience in research and development. In order to be considered for the generously compensated position, applicants were required to be in good academic standing and provide a history of demonstrated leadership in campus and community service activities. Murthy is ranked high in the inaugural class at KYCO academically and is the founding president of one of the most active optometry student organizations on campus.

The 10-week internship will be completed at the J&J headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla. Under the supervision of principal research optometrist, Meredith Jansen, O.D., M.S., and senior principal clinical scientist, Xu Cheng, M.D., O.D., Ph.D., M.S., MBA, Murthy’s duties will include coordinating and assisting with project development of clinical protocols and clinical research studies as well as interpreting and summarizing clinical study data in technical reports. She will also have the opportunity to partner with clinical research teams and work on a specific project to include planning, developing and designing clinical studies along with literature reviews and device experimentation.

“I want to be a part of product development and gain insight and understanding of the optical engineering principles utilized in soft contact lens manufacturing,” said Murthy. “By taking part in clinical research, I intend to become a more effective clinician because I will have the background to be able to prescribe products best suited for my patients’ needs. Additionally, I want to be able to educate my patients on the design and function of the products available to them and help them make the choice that is best suited for their lifestyle. Personally, I hope to gain research experience that will better prepare me to pursue a Ph.D. in vision sciences after the completion of my doctorate in optometry.” 

The Kentucky College of Optometry is the fourth college under the University of Pikeville banner and reflects the institution’s mission of service and strategic initiatives. The Accreditation Council for Optometric Education has granted the Kentucky College of Optometry the pre-accreditation classification of “Preliminary Approval.” The University of Pikeville is the 22nd school in the country to have a college of optometry. Construction is nearing completion on a new educational facility to house the Kentucky College of Optometry. Sixty students will be admitted per class for a total of 240. The university expects to provide for the underserved in Central Appalachia and other rural areas of the country. 

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