This application seeks five additional years of funding to continue the Visual Neuroscience Training Program (VNTP) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The VNTP is a joint program between the Wilmer Eye Institute and the Neuroscience Department at Hopkins, and it also includes participation from a number of other related graduate programs. Its goal is to recruit young, talented scientists into the visual neurosciences, and to provide them with broad theoretical and methodological research training that will allow them to contribute to our understanding of the neurobiology of vision and the pathological mechanisms responsible for visual loss in the context of human disease. Hopkins is fortunate to have a large number of investigators who study vision;their approaches range from the molecular and cellular to the systems levels, and the technologies they employ include cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, developmental neurobiology, electrophysiology, functional imaging, and psychophysics. The diverse nature of the vision research community at Hopkins provides a wide variety of research options for VNTP trainees. The VNTP currently accepts 2 predoctoral students per year, and supports them for 2 years each, and accepts 2 postdoctoral fellows per year, and supports them for 1 year each. The VNTP also organizes and provides vision-related courses, seminars, and related activities. In this renewal application, we propose to continue the basic structure of our existing training program, but to also add some new components. In order to provide additional training in the problems of clinical ophthalmology, with an emphasis oh translational problem solving, the trainees will participate in the medical student ophthalmology minicourse. In addition, in order to expose medical students to the excitement and opportunities of vision research, and hopefully to inspire them towards careers related to the study of vision and ophthalmic disease, we propose to establish a program to support 2 medical students per year working in a vision research lab during the summer between their first and second years of medical school. Through these programs, we hope to continue and expand upon the Vents success in recruiting and training the next generation of vision scientists and clinician scientists.
The goal of this program is to recruit young, talented scientists into the visual neurosciences, and to provide them with broad theoretical and methodological research training that will allow them to contribute to our understanding of the neurobiology of vision and the pathological mechanisms responsible for visual loss in the context of human disease.
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