The purpose of the program is to introduce optometry students (N=8 trainees) to basic and clinical research by participating full-time for ten weeks in an apprentice/junior researcher role with an established vision scientist (N= 11 research mentors). It is expected that this experience will foster an interest in the trainee to include vision research as one critical component of their optometric career choice. In the most favorable scenario, the trainee may wish to enter our combined O.D./M.S. or O.D./Ph.D. program in Vision Science, thus obtaining both a clinical and a research degree. Research Areas include: (1) Oculomotor system (2) Psychophysics (3) Biochemistry/physiology. The formal disciplines of the research mentors in the above areas include optometry, physiological optics/vision science, psychology, biochemistry, and physiology. The training will be conducted in the research laboratories of the research mentors as well as those of the Schnurmacher Institute for Vision Research at the SUNY, State College of Optometry. These research areas consist of over 25,480 square feet of modern laboratory rooms and workshops. A full complement of clinical and experimental equipment is available, as well as the fully equipped machine, wood, electronics, graphic, computer vision science shops, and extensive library facilities. Trainees will consist of optometry students from any of the Colleges of Optometry in the USA, who have completed either their first or second professional years, and have done well academically (3.5 GPA or better). All will have an undergraduate degree, generally in the sciences. With regard to public health implications, this program will allow students to make the critical clinician/researcher interface, that is to bring in the latest scientific discoveries to the clinic. Thus, the student, and later doctor, will provide the latest and most optimal vision care for the patient.
The program is intended to train optometry students in clinical research and to encourage them to seek a career involving clinical vision science and optometric research.
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