New Jersey Institute of Technology Student Takes a Close Look at Eye Problems

NEWARK, September 24- Although Peter Marchetto is only a few months into his first year at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), he is well acquainted with the campus and its professors.

Marchetto, of Maywood, came to NJIT as a high school student: not to take classes, but to do research – research that could one day prevent people from going blind. How does a high school student wind up doing research at a major university?

Marchetto attended Bergen Academies, a public magnet school in Bergen County that requires seniors, under the guidance of mentors, to either do research or participate in internships. Marchetto chose to do research at NJIT under the guidance of Gordon Thomas, distinguished research professor in the departments of biomedical engineering and physics at NJIT.

“Peter is an unusually creative student who is an asset to our research team,” Thomas said recently. “It’s unusual that a high school student can step into the lab, contribute to a research project, and help produce a journal article. I’m delighted that he chose to work with us over the past year and that he decided to enter NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College.”

Marchetto met Thomas at an open house for prospective students and decided he would like to fulfill his high-school graduation requirement at NJIT. From Maywood Marchetto traveled weekly to the NJIT campus, helping to assemble and evaluate the performance of laser telephone equipment. He then worked with the NJIT team that is researching ways to diagnose and monitor eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes. Specifically, Marchetto studied the quality of the data provided by a system used to measure pressure in the eye -- a field known as tonometry. He later presented the results in a paper at the Northeastern Bioengineering Conference sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) at Drexel University.

Marchetto, who is majoring in physics and minoring in applied mathematics at NJIT, is the recipient of an Albert Dorman Honors scholarship and an Albert Dorman endowed scholarship. He continues to participate in research at NJIT’s vision center, working on systems that will allow people susceptible to eye diseases to monitor intraocular pressure themselves. Daily monitoring of eye pressure in a less stressful environment, such as at home, promises to provide more and better data for prevention and treatment of eye disease.

“NJIT was my first choice for college,” said Marchetto, who cites the research opportunities available at the university as a major factor in his decision. NJIT is a community of like-minded people involved in the discovery of new knowledge, he said.

“A search for knowledge that’s inspired by NJIT faculty as well as other students,” he added, “that’s something we all share.”


NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet Life magazine cites NJIT as a "perennially most wired" university.

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