The long-term objective of the vision training program is to prepare predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows for independent careers in vision research. The proposal integrates vision training at Northwestern University into a comprehensive program that takes advantage of the considerable resources at the university. A unique aspect of the training plan is that it offers a broad overview of vision research and also educates trainees in the disorders of the visual system through involvement of clinical faculty. The twenty one preceptors offer research training in cell and molecular biology, genetics, immunology and neurobiology of the visual system with specific emphasis on the study of retina, cornea, ciliary body and sensory processing. The preceptors have a strong record in graduate training and hold 50 peer-reviewed research grants (19 from NEI). The preceptors have trained more than 200 researchers; and about 100 of the past trainees are in academic positions and hold 35 peer-reviewed grants. The main goal of the proposal is to attract and train students with an emphasis on molecular genetics, immunology, cell biology, neurobiology and biomedical engineering pertaining to the visual system and associated diseases. The training program also educates students in the ethics of science and responsible conduct of research. In addition, major emphasis is placed on recruiting trainees from under-represented minority groups to vision research. The training grant supports six predoctoral trainees, two postdoctoral trainees and one clinical research trainee. The predoctoral trainees are recruited from the Integrated Graduate Program in the Life Sciences, the Medical Scientist Training (MD/PhD) Program, the Interdepartmental Biological Sciences Program, the Northwestern University Institute of Neuroscience Program and the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program. A Steering Committee selects trainees who will be supported for two to three years during their full-time laboratory training. The program for each trainee is determined by the preceptor and the Steering Committee. In addition to research training, the trainees are also exposed to basic science and clinical aspects of vision research through participation in courses, lectures, seminars and Ophthalmology grand rounds. It is expected that the trainees will continue as independent, productive investigators who will enhance future vision research throughout the nation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (04))
Program Officer
Hunter, Chyren
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Northwestern University at Chicago
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Linsenmeier, Robert A; Zhang, Hao F (2017) Retinal oxygen: from animals to humans. Prog Retin Eye Res 58:115-151
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