Nineteen vision researchers at Baylor College of Medicine with 23 active and 3 pending NEI qualifying grants apply for continuation of a training program for visual sciences begun in 1975. The records demonstrate that this has been a highly successful training program, and many of the past trainees have become prominent members of the vision research and neuroscience community. The objective of this program is to provide a high quality, laboratory-based vision research experience to predoctoral students (4 per year) and postdoctoral fellows (2 per year) and to attract and retain young talented scientist to careers in vision research. Trainees will have opportunities to do research in an interactive environment within the broad disciplines of molecular biology, biochemistry, developmental biology, structural and computational biology, cell biology neurophysiology, and psychophysics. The nineteen preceptors'research covers almost the entire visual system (lens and cornea, retina, LGN, cortex and computational neuroscience). The emphasis of this training program is to provide an interactive training environment so that trainees can receive multi-disciplinary training and comprehensive knowledge of the entire visual system. Predoctoral trainees are recruited to vision research labs through 12 PhD graduate student programs (total enrollment of 625). Each trainee participates in vigorous and comprehensive training program including formal courses, qualifying exams, laboratory rotations, seminars journal clubs and research. There are 384 postdoctoral trainees in the 11 participating departments of this Training Grant and they participate in may organized postdoctoral training activities including active inter-departmental collaborations, seminars, vision research courses, grand rounds, and journal clubs. Dr. Samuel Wu, who is assisted by three committees (the Steering Committee, Recruitment/Admission Committee, and the Academic Progress Committee), directs the Training Program. The 19 vision research laboratories occupy over 30,000 sq. ft. and all 19 preceptors and their trainees are members of an NEI-funded Core Grant (EY02520) which consists of three modules (Microscopy/Digital Imaging/Histology, Small Animal Visual System, and Machine shop) located on the Baylor College of Medicine campus) all within a 3-minute walk from all the preceptor laboratories. Additionally, there are large core animal facilities (including primate, mouse, and amphibian facilities) as well as many rigorous vision, genetics physiology, molecular biology courses available for vision researchers and trainees in this Training Program. Our goal is to produce outstanding vision researchers to face the scientific and medical challenges in the 21st century.

Public Health Relevance

Nineteen vision researchers at Baylor College of Medicine apply for continuation of a highly successful training program begun in 1975. The program has produced many outstanding vision researchers and many have become prominent members of the scientific and medical communities. The goal is to provide an interactive and collaborative training environment so that trainees can receive multi-disciplinary training and comprehensive knowledge of the entire visual system, and train them to be outstanding vision researchers to carry out challenging scientific and medical needs in the 21st century.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (04))
Program Officer
Agarwal, Neeraj
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Baylor College of Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Denfield, George H; Ecker, Alexander S; Shinn, Tori J et al. (2018) Attentional fluctuations induce shared variability in macaque primary visual cortex. Nat Commun 9:2654
Sabharwal, J; Seilheimer, R L; Tao, X et al. (2017) Elevated IOP alters the space-time profiles in the center and surround of both ON and OFF RGCs in mouse. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:8859-8864
Cowan, Cameron S; Sabharwal, Jasdeep; Seilheimer, Robert L et al. (2017) Distinct subcomponents of mouse retinal ganglion cell receptive fields are differentially altered by light adaptation. Vision Res 131:96-105
Soens, Zachry T; Branch, Justin; Wu, Shijing et al. (2017) Leveraging splice-affecting variant predictors and a minigene validation system to identify Mendelian disease-causing variants among exon-captured variants of uncertain significance. Hum Mutat 38:1521-1533
Porto, Fernanda B O; Jones, Evan M; Branch, Justin et al. (2017) Molecular Screening of 43 Brazilian Families Diagnosed with Leber Congenital Amaurosis or Early-Onset Severe Retinal Dystrophy. Genes (Basel) 8:
Akinfenwa, Patricia Y; Bond, Wesley S; Ildefonso, Cristhian J et al. (2017) Versican G1 domain enhances adenoviral-mediated transgene expression and can be modulated by inhibitors of the Janus kinase (JAK)/STAT and Src family kinase pathways. J Biol Chem 292:14381-14390
Sabharwal, Jasdeep; Seilheimer, Robert L; Cowan, Cameron S et al. (2016) The ON Crossover Circuitry Shapes Spatiotemporal Profile in the Center and Surround of Mouse OFF Retinal Ganglion Cells. Front Neural Circuits 10:106
Soens, Zachry T; Li, Yuanyuan; Zhao, Li et al. (2016) Hypomorphic mutations identified in the candidate Leber congenital amaurosis gene CLUAP1. Genet Med 18:1044-51
Cowan, Cameron S; Sabharwal, Jasdeep; Wu, Samuel M (2016) Space-time codependence of retinal ganglion cells can be explained by novel and separable components of their receptive fields. Physiol Rep 4:
Simmons, Ken T; Xiao, Yangyan; Pflugfelder, Stephen C et al. (2016) Inflammatory Response to Lipopolysaccharide on the Ocular Surface in a Murine Dry Eye Model. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 57:2443-51

Showing the most recent 10 out of 53 publications