A comprehensive program has been designed with the purpose of training pre-and postdoctoral scientists in the broad area of vision science. Students are participating in graduate and postdoctoral programs in Biochemistry, Computational Biology, Developmental Biology, Human Statistical Genetics, Immunology, Molecular Biophysics, Molecular Cell Biology, Molecular Genetics &Genomics, Microbiology &Microbial Pathogenesis, and Neurosciences. The training program will be delivered by 32 preceptors, 22 of whom are NEI funded, studying nearly all aspects of ocular function and pathology. Predoctoral trainees will take courses that provide detailed information about the neurobiology of the visual system and/or a comprehensive course in all aspects of the development, physiology and pathology of the eye. Postdoctoral trainees are also encouraged to attend these courses. Pre- and postdoctoral trainees are strongly encouraged to participate in the rich environment of seminars, advanced courses, honorary lectures, journal clubs, and retreats offered in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University and in the NEI sponsored course, Fundamental Issues in Vision Research. Many of these opportunities involve the participation of both basic and clinical scientists, assuring that trainees will learn about the origins and treatment of human ocular diseases. The training program supports two postdoctoral trainees for their first year at Washington University. This provides adequate time for them to apply for individual research training grant support. The predoctoral training program supports 6 graduate students. This assures that an adequate number of vision science trainees will be available to enrich the training environment. The faculty members in the training program currently have 31 predoctoral and 53 postdoctoral trainees in their laboratories. This demonstrates the commitment of the faculty to training and illustrates the large size of the pool of applicants from which the training grant can draw. The overall goal of this program is to identify the most promising scientists and to provide them with a training environment that maximizes the probability that they will become productive contributors to the understanding and treatment of human ocular diseases.
Talented and well-trained scientists are essential for continued progress in vision research. The goal of this program is to select the best scientists from the large pool of graduate and MD/PhD candidates at Washington University and provide them with training that will prepare them to lead future research in vision.
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