The primary objective of this ongoing program is to provide intensive basic and translational science training for individuals who will become outstanding vision researchers. Training is provided in the disciplines of immunology, cell biology, molecular biology, physiology, pharmacology, genetics, developmental biology, neuroscience and biochemistry, with an emphasis on understanding the fundamental mechanisms that underlie normal ocular processes, as well as corneal, retinal and choroidal diseases, cataract, glaucoma and visual processing. The program has a multidisciplinary approach, with emphasis on collaboration between basic scientists and the various clinical disciplines and it provides the facilities and supervision for laboratory investigations relative to some of the major missions of the National Eye Institute. The program directors oversee the selection of trainees and the provision of appropriate background, technical training and ongoing research supervision by the preceptors. The trainees include: (1) Predoctoral students from the Emory University Graduate School Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences in the Programs of Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology, Neuroscience, Nutrition and Health Science, Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis, and Molecular and Systems Pharmacology;(2) Postdoctoral Fellows seeking advanced training with one (or more) of the preceptors in a scientific area pertinent to vision research. Each trainee selects or is assigned a preceptor with whom he or she develops a research proposal, conducts the research and participates in the ongoing research projects of the preceptor. All trainees are required to participate in the seminar, course work, grand rounds and other educational activities of the Emory Eye Center, which is the focal point for eye research and clinical care in the region. Thus, the program also serves to integrate the clinical and basic science departments. In addition, the program successfully attracts minority trainees to careers in eye research, drawing on the outstanding resources of Atlanta academic and medical institutions.
The future of curing blinding eye disease relies on a continued supply of well-trained vision scientists goal is to produce the next generation of scientists who are well versed in the basic, clinical, and translational research approaches that will be needed to fulfill the mission of the National Eye Institute.
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