This renewal application requests five additional years of funding for the T32-supported Visual Sciences Training Program (VSTP). The VSTP is a combined effort of the Wilmer Eye Institute (Department of Ophthalmology) and the Departments of Neuroscience, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Biology, and Institute of Genetic Medicine of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The program, administered and directed by PI Donald Zack and co-director Jeremy Nathans, is multidisciplinary and the interests of the training faculty cover many of the major areas of modern visual science. The goal of the VSTP is to recruit young, talented scientists into the visual sciences, and to provide them with broad theoretical and methodological research training that will allow them to contribute to our understanding of the biology of vision and the pathological mechanisms responsible for visual loss in the context of human disease. Hopkins is fortunate to have a large number of investigators who study vision; their approaches range from the molecular and cellular to the systems levels, and the technologies they employ include cell biology, molecular biology, biochemistry, developmental neurobiology, stem cell biology, electrophysiology, functional imaging, and psychophysics. The diverse nature of the vision research community at Hopkins provides a wide variety of research options for VSTP trainees. In this VSTP renewal application we are proposing to accept two predoctoral students per year and support both of them for two years, and to accept two postdoctoral fellows per year, and to support each of them for one year. As part of our training program, the VSTP, in collaboration with Wilmer and other Hopkins graduate programs, organizes and provides vision-related courses, seminars, and related activities. In order to provide additional training in the problems of clinical ophthalmology, with an emphasis on translational problem solving, VSTP trainees also participate in the medical student ophthalmology minicourse. Through these programs, we hope to continue and expand upon the VSTPs success in recruiting, inspiring, and training the next generation of vision scientists.
The goal of this T32 program is to recruit young, talented scientists into the vision sciences, and to provide them with broad theoretical and methodological research training that will allow them to contribute to our understanding of the biology of vision and the pathological mechanisms responsible for visual loss in the context of human disease.
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