Charles J. Duffy, professor of neurology and ophthalmology, and Turan Erdogan, assistant professor of optics, have been awarded 1995 Sloan Research Fellowships.
The two University of Rochester professors were among 100 scientists and economists selected from a field of 400 nominees. Each Sloan Research Fellowship recipient is awarded $30,000 over a two-year period. Sloan Research Fellows are engaged in pioneering research in physics, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, neuroscience and economics. Once they have been selected, Fellows are free to pursue whatever line of inquiry interests them. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation created the fellowship program in 1955 to encourage research by young scholars at a critical time in their careers.
Duffy studies the analysis of neurons and their contribution to how we interpret what we see. He has designed a lab to examine the relationship between our field of vision when we are moving and postural stability. If an individual trips while walking, the brain's neurons react to the movement in the visual field and attempt to help the body regain balance. Elderly individuals who have poor posture are believed to be less able to interpret this information, and are therefore more likely to suffer falls. "I hope to help us better understand the mechanisms of perception and action, and explore how they shed light on the neurophysiologic mechanisms of disease," Duffy said.
Erdogan studies fiber optics, integrated optics and semiconductor lasers. He is particularly interested in the recently discovered phenomenon of ultraviolet photosensitivity in optical fibers and other glasses, and how that information can expand the capacity of fiber-optic-based communications systems. Erdogan is also investigating other applications for the ultraviolet photosensitivity phenomenon.
Duffy and Erdogan are among nine University professors awarded Sloan Research Fellowships since 1990.