Continued support is requested for interdisciplinary training in the vision sciences at the University of California, Davis. Training is provided by 45 vision scientists (31 preceptors and 14 associate preceptors) across 14 departments that will provide a strong foundation in one or more basic sciences. The goal of the training program is to produce vision scientists who will be capable of establishing independent research programs that will address significant problems in vision science. It will operate under the auspices of existing graduate programs at UC Davis as they offer the broad flexibility needed to achieve our training objectives. Among our 300 pre- and postdoctoral vision science trainees in the past ten years (38 of whom were partially supported by this T32), 90% are active in research through continuing training or in career positions. Among those who have completed all training, 82% are active in research and/or teaching positions at some 71 different colleges, university basic science departments and schools of medicine or veterinary medicine. The training program requests support for 4 predoctoral students (for two years each;8 slots) and 1 postdoctoral trainee (for one year) to be selected by an Advisory Committee. Internal support mechanisms and extramural grants will be used for the other years of training. The trainees will participate i one or more of five overlapping areas in which our preceptors are clustered: (1) molecular &cellular biology, retinal electrophysiology, and genetics, (2) anterior segment anatomy and physiology, (3) molecular and cellular retinal imaging, (4) systems visual neuroscience, and (5) functional imaging, computational modeling and perception. Each of the 31 preceptors has an active program of vision science research, a strong commitment to training, and extramural funding. Program resources are augmented by a strong institutional commitment, the Center for Visual Sciences and an NEI Core grant. The training program draws on the rigorous research training of the admitting programs, but also requires a one-year course that covers the broader vision sciences and clinical vision science. Graduate trainees will be supported only after their first year of graduate training and will thus be a highly selective group that has completed much of their basic science curriculum. All trainees will participate in an active colloquium series in he vision sciences, Center for Visual Sciences symposia, journal clubs and training in the ethical conduct of research. All trainees will be engaged in vision science research that will be presented at national meetings and submitted to peer-reviewed journals.
This grant will provide support to continue high quality training grounded in basic science disciplines, and to broaden the research perspective and skills of future vision scientists. The program is designed to have a significant impact on the health and science agendas of the National Eye Institute.
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