A course on """"""""Fundamental Aspects of Vision Research: Cell and Molecular Biological Aspects"""""""" has been offered at the Marine Biological Laboratories every other year for four years in 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998. The course consists of an intense two-week period of lectures, seminars, laboratory exercises and patient-oriented case conferences on all components of the eye and its central connections. About 30 faculty participate in the course for varying lengths of time from 2 days to the entire 2 weeks. The 80 students that have attended have been followed to the extent possible to determine if the participation in the course has had impact on their career choices, their decision to engage in vision research and the degree to which the course accelerated their careers and the progress of their early research to enable them to compete successfully for funding of vision research. In addition, reunions have been held at ARVO to retain contact with former students, to obtain continuing feedback on course design and impact and to determine if substantive changes should be made in the course. The course was initially designed to be responsive to """"""""Vision Research, a National Plan"""""""" in its earlier version in 1988 and again in 1994 which stated (1994-1998, p. 362-3): """"""""we must devise innovative techniques for recruiting, nurturing, training and developing the future cadres of vision researchers. There is a real need to bring young scientists of the highest caliber with experience in molecular genetics, cell biology, immunology and biostatistics/epidemiology into vision research."""""""" The students have been drawn from these fields, with about 50% having no prior experience in vision research; the others were typically new postdoctoral fellows who were entering a vision research lab. The response has been very gratifying. Significant proportions of the graduates of the '92 and '94 classes are now funded independent investigators supported by NEI grants or other sources. Some of the students have made important contributions in areas of great need in the anterior segment, i.e. cornea, lens and glaucoma research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Conference--Cooperative Agreements (U13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (01))
Program Officer
Liberman, Ellen S
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Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole
United States
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Hegde, Jay; Felleman, Daniel J (2007) Reappraising the functional implications of the primate visual anatomical hierarchy. Neuroscientist 13:416-21
Hegde, Jay; Felleman, Daniel J (2003) How selective are V1 cells for pop-out stimuli? J Neurosci 23:9968-80