Vision research now spans basic science (biology, chemistry, computer science, genetics, optics) but also has strong traditional links to neuroscience and newly evolving aspects of translational research in ocular disease. The principle underlying graduate education at the University of Utah is that students learn basic research and applied vision science, and experience strong interdisciplinary, interdepartmental collaborations. Predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees are endowed with skills ranging over molecular biology, electrophysiology, developmental neuroscience, retinal connectomics, translational science and visual behavior. These diverse approaches are unified by training in two intellectual streams that represent the core strengths of the Moran Vision Institute and the vision research community at the University of Utah: the study of human disease, a tradition of excellence in the cutting-edge praxis molecular biology, physiology and connectomics. Eighteen NIH/NEI-funded training faculty members are aligned in five broad areas of vision research: Molecular and Cellular Science, Developmental Science, Ocular Disease, Translational Interventions, and Computational Science. These areas reflect the breadth of the program and provide exceptional opportunities to the 74 current predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees. This application requests funding for 2 predoctoral and 4 postdoctoral trainees. Due to the outstanding, accredited predoctoral training programs already in place, recent graduates University of Utah have been placed in excellent postdoctoral fellowships at Yale, Stanford, Harvard, U Mass, UCSD, and UCSF. Our postdoctoral trainees have published widely, taken faculty positions, received Research to Prevent Blindness Career Development Awards, and are competing successfully for NIH RO1 funding. We believe that trainees from our Vision Research Training Program will become future leaders in vision research.
Vision research spans a vast range of basic science areas (biology, chemistry, computer science, genetics, optics) with strong traditional links to neuroscience and newly evolving dimensions in translational research on ocular diseases. The principle underlying vision research training at the University of Utah is that students learn both basic research and applied vision science in their most vivid and advanced forms, and experience strong interdisciplinary, interdepartmental collaborations. We believe that our proposed Vision Research Training Program provides an exceptional format for training future leaders in vision research.
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