Short term training is requested for 12 optometry students during the summers after their first and second year of optometry school. The training will be conducted by established vision science and clinical science researchers, primarily mentors in the Group in Vision Science who are also faculty members in the UC Berkeley School of Optometry. Each trainee will be engaged in a maximum of two separate short term training periods (summers) following completion of their first and second year of optometry school. The training program is designed to attract talented students to clinical research by developing their interest, awareness and enthusiasm for a career in biomedical or behavioral research. Training will be provided within the laboratories of 20 mentors in the School of Optometry, where currently 43 pre-doctoral students and approximately 20 postdoctoral fellows are involved in the Graduate Program in Vision Science. The mentors also train graduate students in other disciplines (e.g. neuroscience, computer science, molecular and cell biology, psychology and infectious disease). The Group Program in Vision Science has been in existence for over 60 years on the Berkeley campus and has graduated more than 178 trainees with advanced degrees - the majority now actively engaged in vision research. In the past 15years, the program has attracted many clinicians to its Ph.D. training program. The same mentors that train PhD students will also mentor optometry students on this short-term training grant. A wide range of basic science as well as clinical research projects are on-going in the laboratories of the mentors offering numerous opportunities for involvement by the short-term trainees. Optometry schools from across the country will be encouraged to support our effort to attract talented health professional students to our short term training program. The long term goal is to encourage clinicians to continue research training/involvement after completion of their professional training.
The main purpose of this training grant is to provide short-term research training to optometric health professional students in order to generate enthusiasm and interest in research in the trainees with the long term goal of developing clinician scientists.
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