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Bonnielin Swenor, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Bonnielin Swenor, M.P.H., Ph.D.
  • Core Faculty Member at the Johns Hopkins University Center on Aging and Health
  • Associate Professor of Ophthalmology
Female

Expertise

Epidemiology, Ophthalmology

Research Interests

Ophthalmology; Visual impairment; Low Vision; Aging; Epidemiology

Background

Bonnielin Swenor is an associate professor of ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins and an associate professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Swenor’s research is at the intersection of ophthalmology and aging. Her primary research focus is to determine how visual impairment and eye disease — with a focus on age-related macular degeneration — affect the aging process. Her current research includes examining cognitive functioning, frailty and mobility in older adults with vision loss. The goal of this research is to identify interventions that could enhance the health of older adults with visual impairments.

Dr. Swenor received her master of public health and doctorate degrees in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Institute on Aging prior to joining the Wilmer faculty. She holds a joint appointment with the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Titles

  • Core Faculty Member at the Johns Hopkins University Center on Aging and Health
  • Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes

Education

Degrees

  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland) (2013)
  • M.P.H., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland) (2009)
  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University (Pennsylvania) (2001)

Additional Training

National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD/USA, 2014

Research & Publications

Lab

The Swenor Research Group focuses on examining the interrelationship between vision loss and aging. This includes determining the effects of visual impairment and eye disease - with a focus on age-related macular degeneration - on physical and cognitive functioning in older adults and identifying interventions that could enhance the health of older adults with visual impairment and eye disease. To achieve our goals, we rely on a highly collaborative approach working with investigators across multiple departments, including geriatrics, neurology, and public health. 

Lab Website: Swenor Research Group

Selected Publications

View all on Pubmed

Zheng DD, Swenor BK, Christ SL, West SK, Lam BL, Lee DJ. Longitudinal Associations Between Visual Impairment and Cognitive Functioning: The Salisbury Eye Evaluation Study. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018 Jun 28.

Varadaraj V, Lesche S, Ramulu PY, Swenor BK. Reading speed and comprehension in age-related macular degeneration. Am J Ophthalmol. 2018 Feb;186:138-143.

Swenor BK, Bandeen-Roche K, Munoz B, West S. Does walking speed mediate the association between visual impairment and self-reported mobility disability? The Salisbury Eye Evaluation Study. J Am Geriatric Soc. 2014 Aug;62(8):1540-5.

Swenor BK, Varadaraj V, Dave P, West SK, Rubin G, Ramulu PY. Impact of the ability to divide attention on reading performance in glaucoma. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 May 1;58(5):2456-2462.

Swenor BK, Munoz B, West SK. A longitudinal study of the association between visual impairment and mobility performance in older adults: The Salisbury Eye Evaluation Study. Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Feb1;179(3):313-22.

Contact for Research Inquiries

600 N. Wolfe Street
Wilmer 116
Baltimore, MD 21287 map

Videos & Media

On the Front Lines of Low Vision

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

High Sights for Low Vision - Hopkins Medicine (Winter 2019)

Losing Vision and Gaining Perspective - JAMA (Feb 2019)

How to Improve Care for Patients with Disabilities? We Need More Providers Like Them - JHM News (June 2019)

What Medicine Can Learn From Doctors and Researchers with Disabilities - NPR (June 2019)

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