A postdoctoral training program that fosters research addressing the underlying molecular basis of eye diseases has been created through the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. The program is designed to provide expertise in the most current molecular research techniques and to equip the trainees with a knowledge of the outstanding problems in ophthalmology. Thirty-two faculty mentors, all with appointments or affiliations with the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, are drawn from laboratories of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, the Schepens Eye Research Institute, the Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Longwood Campus Basic Science Departments and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology on the Cambridge Campus. These mentors command well funded programs, research opportunities for ophthalmic and vision research using current molecular techniques, and have excellent facilities. Since 1997, when the Training Program was initiated, 10 trainees have matriculated, and 3 new trainees have been admitted within the past month. Each trainee is expected to spend two to three years in training. Trainees (i) participate in full-time research to obtain a mastery of molecular techniques in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, or neurobiology as applied to ophthalmology and vision; (ii) acquire training in ophthalmic problems through a series of didactic courses, clinical grand rounds, seminars, journal clubs, meetings; and (iii) write and submit grant proposals to obtain individual support for second and third year of training under the guidance of a formal course in principles of grant submission. In this renewal application, we seek support to extend our program for five additional years. We propose to increase the number of trainees admitted per year to 9 over the course of this period, and to expand the applicant pool to include MDs and DVMs who have completed their ophthalmology training. Our goal is to train the next generation of investigators who can address problems of diagnoses, prevention, and treatment of diseases of the eye.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (02))
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Hunter, Chyren
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Schepens Eye Research Institute
United States
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