Fundamental Issues in Vision Research Course contributes specifically and responds directly to the recommendation of the National Plan of the National Eye Institute to """"""""train high-caliber predoctoral trainees to study the visual system and sight-threatening diseases and disorders of vision."""""""" In addition, the course responds to the plan's assessment for the continued need to train vision scientists in basic science areas of immunology, molecular biology, genetics, and cell biology. The course is held biennially in August, the most recent session in 2004.
The specific aims are to introduce the students to the full range of the study of vision and of visual disorders at the molecular and cellular level and to foster an experience of bonding and collaboration. In order to gain an opportunity to consider careers of investigation in the vision research fields, the students encounter 25-30 of the current leaders in the field, who introduce the major problems in vision research. Parallels between the visual system and studies in other systems are emphasized whenever possible. Accordingly, a very diverse faculty of both basic scientists and clinicians is chosen to introduce the students to the subjects in a variety of formats. The resultant interaction between the faculty and students introduces the students to a new community of researchers and to the questions that they are asking. Each student brings the intensity of their own perspectives to the class and enhances the quality of discussion, benefiting from the input of their classmates from other fields and from their exposure to the broad faculty interests. Each class becomes a social cohort with close friendships forged from a mutual intense learning experience together. Through this experience, the students will continue to feed each other insights and contacts, just as their more senior colleagues have done for decades. Through this exposure to the field of vision research and its investigators, the students are trained and nurtured for a future in the study of the visual system and its disorders. ? ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Conference--Cooperative Agreements (U13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1-VSN (04))
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