Support is requested for five years of Summer Research Training Fellowships at The New England College of Optometry for ten students selected from OD programs here and at other Colleges of Optometry. The goal of this training is to help students gain a strong sense of research: how evidence is gained from laboratory activities and from clinical observations;how data are analyzed;how theories are advanced, tested, and accepted or rejected;and how new research findings are translated into clinical practice. Trainees should gain a greater understanding of their field and an ability to judge the quality of research based reports. A goal of the program is for some trainees to decide to pursue research careers on the basis of their experiences. Applications for the fellowships are solicited by local publicity as well as information sent to the various Colleges of Optometry. Trainees are selected on the basis of strong academic records and recommendations. Based on past performance, the level of experience of the trainees is likely to range from some exposure to research as an undergraduate to extensive laboratory experience. Each trainee is assigned to the laboratory/project of a mentor on the basis of common interests. The mentor guides the trainee in all aspects of research and is her/his primary advocate and evaluator. The mentors are all experienced investigators with ongoing research funded either by the National Eye Institute or other sources. Their research areas include anatomy, pathophysiology, biochemistry, psychophysics, retinal imaging, epidemiology, and clinical research. Myopia is a central theme and is pursued with both animal models and human studies. The program will continue for a 10-week period each summer. A research seminar attended by all trainees will be held each week. This seminar will acquaint the trainees with the ongoing research within the College and include lectures on the ethics of research;constraints and considerations on the use of human and animal subjects;and research design and statistical analysis. Outside speakers will present their latest research on topics such as ocular aberrations and eye movements. At the end of the ten-week program, all trainees will present their work to the group and submit a written report.
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