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Research training program in vision science receives continued federal support

March 4, 2014

The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has received a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Eye Institute to continue support for a research training program in vision science. The program has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2002.

Joseph C. Besharse, PhD, the Marvin Wagner Professor and Chair of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, is the primary investigator for the grant. He is director of MCW’s Interdisciplinary Program in the Biomedical Sciences, a multidisciplinary doctorate program providing students with training in basic and translational sciences, including vision research. The Vision Science training program is a collaborative effort that includes 10 faculty mentors from cell biology, ophthalmology, biochemistry and biophysics.

This grant will fund five pre-doctoral students annually who will receive training in ocular and vision research under the mentorship of a program faculty member. Trainees will be recruited nationally and will complete a core curriculum of courses in molecular genetics, biochemistry and cellular biology. Students will develop additional specialization in the fundamental biology of the visual system, its neural circuitry and diseases that affect vision. An emphasis of this and other graduate programs at MCW is knowledge of and exposure to the newest technologies for research, which students will acquire through laboratory rotations and in completing their dissertation projects.

The overall goal of the program is to prepare trainees for a career in translational research by providing them with the analytical skills, knowledge and laboratory experience necessary for success in their chosen fields. With this training, the next generation of scientists will improve understanding of the visual system and the causes and treatments of diseases that impact it.

This program is funded by NIH grant 2T32EY014537-11.

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