This is a revised competing renewal application of the Visual Sciences Training (VST) Grant from Baylor College of Medicine (BCM, T32 EY007001) which was first awarded by the National Institutes of Health in 1975. Since that time, this program has trained 67 predoctoral students and 83 postdoctoral fellows, and many of them have become leaders in vision and ophthalmic research. During the past 10 years, trainees of this Program have written 275 research papers (143 during the past 5 years, abstracts not included), and 12 trainees have received their own grant support. The VST program has 22 preceptors from 10 departments and 12 graduate PhD programs in BCM, carrying 21 active qualifying (+1 pending and 1 NCE) RO1 grants supported from the National Eye Institute and 9 grants from other federal research agencies or foundations. The Program is directed by Samuel M. Wu, PhD, who has been a preceptor on this training grant for 34 years, and has been the Principal Investigator and Program Director since 1994. Dr. Wu is assisted by a training grant coordinator, Kim Harano, and three committees, the Steering Committee, Recruitment/Admissions Committee and Academic Progress Committee. The objective of this training program is to train competent basic and translational vision researchers, and to equip them with cutting edge scientific ideas and techniques to face scientific and medical challenges of the 21st century. Trainees are required to take a number of didactic vision, neuroscience, genetics and ethics courses, and expected to acquire comprehensive knowledge of the entire visual system and the associate diseases, and to learn state-of-the-art experimental techniques. Additionally, a trainee will be guided by his/her preceptors (and other members of the program) into at least one special area of the visual system, one research discipline and one disease in great depth, so that he/she can initiate an independent research project after training.

Public Health Relevance

This is a competing renewal application from 22 preceptors in Baylor College of Medicine, carrying 21 active qualifying NEI-RO1 grants. This Training Program started in 1975 and has trained a large number of vision researchers who have made significant impacts to the field. The Program will continue to provide high-quality training for predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, and to equip them with comprehensive knowledge of the visual system and state-of-the-art experimental skills, enabling them to become successful researchers in the battle to fight blinding diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1)
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Agarwal, Neeraj
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Baylor College of Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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