August 1, 2014

Fundamental Issues in Vision Research

Course Date: August 10 – August 23, 2014

Deadline: April 25, 2014 | Online Application Form

Directors: Mary Ann Stepp, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Theodore Wensel, Baylor College of Medicine

A two-week lecture and laboratory course, experimentally based and problem oriented, intended for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the early stages of vision research or planning to enter the field. Students are presented with a comprehensive overview of current research areas and approaches that will help to broaden their understanding of this area. Limited to 25 students.

The goal of this course is to present, in depth, the exciting theoretical and experimental approaches to fundamental research problems in vision so that students can evaluate the potential for active research in this field and broaden and deepen their knowledge of it. The faculty will describe and direct laboratories of ongoing research in the tissues of the eye of invertebrates and vertebrates. Proposed areas of study include: CORNEA: (a) epithelium: development, stem cells, barrier function, immunology, molecular biology of homeobox genes, (b) stroma: wound healing, neovacularization, matrix structure and remodeling, (c) ion channels, cell junctions and transporters and (d) transplantation. ANTERIOR CHAMBER AND LENS: (a) molecular mechanisms of ocular morphogenesis, (b) molecular, cellular, and developmental biology of the lens, with emphasis on the regulation and evolution of gene expression, (c) molecular and cellular basis of transparency and cataract formation, (d) ion channels, cell junctions, and transporters in the function of the lens, and ciliary epithelium, (d) mechanisms of fluid balance and control of intra-ocular pressue and (e) molecular and cellular control of the extracellular matrix. RETINA: (a) photoreceptors: biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and physiology of differentiation, signal transduction, and signal transmission; molecular and cellular biology of inherited and age-related retinal degenerations; (b) pigment epithelium: molecular and cellular studies of polarity of membrane proteins; synthesis of interphotoreceptor matrix, growth factors and retinoid carrier proteins; transplantation; (c) central connections: neurophysiology of transmission; contrast and color perception and the physiology of amblyopia; (d) developmental biology and retinal organization; retinal stem cells. ANIMAL MODELS AND GENETICS (a) mouse and other mammalian models for studying vision disorders and probing fundamental mechanisms (b) non-mammalian models, including zebrafish, Xenopus, Drosophila, (c) application of human genetics to understanding disease genes and risk factors (d) new approaches to cell and gene therapy for ocular disease.

The costs of attending the course, including travel, housing and meals at MBL, are fully supported by the National Eye Institute, NIH.

2012 Course Faculty & Lecturers:

Agarwal, Neeraj, National Institutes of Health
Beebe, David, Washington University
Berson, Eliot, Harvard Medical School
Colley, Nansi, University of Wisconsin
DAmore, Patricia, Schepens Eye Res Institute/Harvard Medical School
Dean, Michael, National Cancer Institute
Dyer, Michael, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Funderburgh, James, University of Pittsburgh
Gehring, Walter, University of Basel
Gordon, Marion, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers
Gross, Alecia, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Hageman, Gregory, University of Utah
Hauswirth, William, University of Florida
John, Simon, Jackson Laboratory
LaVail, Jennifer, University of California San Francisco
Liberman, Ellen, National Eye Institute/NIH
Ljubimov, Alexander, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Lukasiewicz, Peter, Washington University
Lwigale, Peter, Rice University
Mechoulam, Hadas, Hadassah University Hospital
Moore, Tirin, Stanford University
Murray, Sarah, University of California San Diego
Nachury, Max, Stanford University School of Medicine
Neeraj, Agarwal, National Institutes of Health
Nishina, Patsy, Jackson Laboratory
Papermaster, David, University of Connecticut Health Center
Peachey, Neal, Cleveland Clinic
Rosenbaum, James, Oregon Health & Science University
Sparrow, Janet, Columbia University
Summers Rada, Jody, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences