The Research Training in Vision Science T32 supports 5 PhD trainees with the aim of producing independent investigators capable of sustaining productive research programs in the vision sciences. The program is designed for training students in the areas of molecular/cellular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and immunology with particular focus on training in vision research. The program’s leadership selects mentors based on the productivity of their current research and on their training records. The training program rigorously instructs and reinforces skills pertinent to experimental science and involves a combination of coursework, independent research, oral presentations (in-house, national and international), written research proposals, and the sharpening of communicative skills through continuous mentor feedback and peer review.
This interdisciplinary program utilizes a core group of thirteen mentors with active research and training programs whose primary and joint appointments span five basic science departments at the University of Florida College of Medicine. The Department of Ophthalmology serves as the administrative and logistical center for the NEI training program, but individual faculty mentors maintain primary graduate training appointments in the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Neuroscience, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Pharmacology. The Department of Ophthalmology adds depth to the program by providing exposure to current problems in clinical ophthalmology in order to acquaint the graduate trainees with relevant clinical issues in vision.