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The Vision Training Grant Program

Description

The primary objective of this ongoing NEI T32 Vision Training Grant (VTG) program is to provide intensive basic science training to both pre- and postdoctoral fellows who will become outstanding vision researchers.

Training is provided for predoctoral fellows in the Graduate Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Emory University in eight areas of which we include the following six Programs of study: immunology and pathology (IMP), biochemistry, cell and development biology (BCDB), genetics and molecular biology (GMB), neuroscience (NS), nutrition and health science (NHS), and Molecular and Systems Pharmacology (MSP).

Emphasis in this training program is on the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that underlie normal ocular processes as well as corneal diseases, retinal choroidal diseases, cataracts, glaucoma, and disorders of visual processing.

The program has a multidisciplinary approach, with an emphasis on collaboration between basic scientists and the various clinical disciplines. It provides new facilities and supervision for laboratory investigations relevant to major national research priorities identified in NEI missions.

Postdoctoral Training is offered under the Preceptorship of the investigators listed below who possess suitable training experience and research support for their labs. Postdoctoral training includes mainly bench research activities, but includes didactic work as necessary. Although frequent contact with clinicians is encouraged, the research projects are not part of clinical or patient treatment activities. The projects are aimed at pharmacologic, cell biologic, biochemical, neuroscience, immunologic, genetic, informatic, and molecular biology approaches within the multidisiplinary environment of vision research.

Specific Predoctoral Program Requirements

We support students in vision-related training over four years. Students are selected from the graduate students in the GDBBS, who are completing their first year based on the following criteria:

  • a. Demonstrated ability and promise in biomedical research
  • b. Interest in research related to diseases of the eye
  • c. Completion of at least one lab rotation in a vision research lab
  • d. Association with a Preceptor of the VTG as Thesis Advisor

It should be emphasized that the first requirement is formal admission to one of the Programs in the GDBBS at Emory University. This division is responsible for all graduate training in the Biomedical Sciences and has established rigorous admissions criteria based on prior academic performance, graduate record examination scores, interviews, letters of recommendation, and research potential. Students are not admitted for a Masters Degree. Thus, students selected for inclusion in the Vision Training Program are from a pool of outstanding students that have successfully completed their first year of graduate training. They have already fulfilled most fundamental requirements for admission to Advanced Standing. The purpose of the VTG Program will to be to provide support and a formal basis for research training that is directly relevant to diseases of the eye.

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