Lab Canada

Federal government to provide $650,000 for presbyopia research

Montreal, QC – September 20, 2004 – A new research chair in presbyopia and visual perception at the Universit de Montral is being funded by the Science and Engineering Research Canada (also known by its acronym NSERC).

Presbyopia, or farsightedness, is a well-known consequence of aging in the human eye and affects most people in their fifties. The work of this new chair will contribute to the manufacturing and testing of improved corrective lenses to boost the quality of life of our aging population.

The holder of the chair, Dr Jocelyn Faubert, explained that “aging baby boomers want to maintain an active lifestyle. Presbyopia is an obstacle they face in both their professional and social lives. Better corrective lenses will help those with presbyopia perform tasks such as reading or using a computer more easily. It is expected that the chair’s research results will make it possible to better assess the consequences that distortion from ophthalmic lenses have on the day-to-day activities of people with presbyopia, with a view to designing lenses more suited to their needs.”

The $650,000 federal contribution to this chair is being provided under NSERC’s Industrial Research Chairs program. The chair will also receive support from Essilor Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of Essilor International, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of corrective eyewear. Essilor is contributing $500,000 in cash and $150,000 in kind.

The chair will be training three master’s or doctoral students each year. Qualified professionals in this field are highly sought-after.

NSERC president Dr Tom Brzustowski pointed out that Dr Faubert is eminently qualified in this field. “Recognized the world over for his work on visual perception and applied optics, Dr Faubert is just the person to do the research that will lead to better corrective lenses for presbyopia," he says. "The students working under his direction will acquire experience that will be invaluable to them in the pursuit of a career in research or in private industry.”