Troilo Has Vision for SUNY and Oswego
Thinking outside the box helped Dr. David Troilo ‘80 create
an interdisciplinary major that combined his interest in psychology with animal
behavior and neuroscience. The freedom Oswego
gave him to create his own course of study allowed him to go on to graduate
study and a successful career in developmental visual neuroscience.
He hopes to return the favor. On a recent visit to campus,
Troilo expressed the desire to work with SUNY Oswego and current students
with an interest in healthcare careers to create a “pre-health’ course of study
that would lead to a degree in optometry.
Now the provost of SUNY College of Optometry, Troilo
returned to his alma mater to give the Science Today lecture in September. It was fitting, because as an
undergraduate, he had made a connection at a similar type of guest lecture that
helped propel his career in academe.
Oswego professors also helped pave the way for his lifelong
interest in research, among them Leland Marsh and Peter Weber of biology. Marsh
taught the young Troilo that the essence of research is creating new knowledge,
while working alongside Weber in the lab gave him the hands-on experience that
helped him grow.
Troilo’s love of neuroscience was cemented during his years
at Oswego. “It stems from the work I did here,” he says. Two post-doctoral
studies – at Oxford University and Cornell – would help his scholarship mature.
He has become one of the premier researchers in the country
on the development of the eye from birth to maturity and the development of
refractive state. His work can help the tens of millions of patients with
refractive errors like myopia.
Now he has come full circle, with a key academic position at
a SUNY school. His goal is to make SUNY Optometry one of the top five such
schools in the country.
He also wants to make Oswego more competitive and sees
cross-disciplinary studies as the way to do that. “Smaller schools like Oswego
can do that more easily,” he says. “Take the strengths of different departments
and combine them in creative ways.”
Dr. David Troilo ‘80, far left, talks with Dr. Fehmi Damkaci and Dr. Kestas Bendinskas, both members of the Oswego science faculty, following his Science Today Lecture in September.
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