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K12 Award Program

​The overall objective of the NEI Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Program Award at UCSD is to develop outstanding clinician scientists to successfully compete at the national level for NIH grants and emerge as leaders within academic Ophthalmology. Through this institutional career development award, we will mentor clinician scientists toward independent academic appointments in ophthalmology.


Since 1991, the University of California San Diego Shiley Eye Center has excelled in mentoring the career development of academic ophthalmologists in all fields, particularly in the field of glaucoma. Many of these individuals now lead successful research and clinical careers around the world; they include Department Chairs, Division Chiefs and impactful academicians. We will amplify these strengths through a structured program of mentoring, research and education to identify and mentor the next generation of academic clinician scientists, expand our emphasis to career development across all subspecialty areas of ophthalmology. With an emphasis on recruiting strong applications from women and minority applicants, Scholars will be selected each year after their completion of a post-residency clinical fellowship in ophthalmology. The Scholar will undertake these activities in the area of basic and/or clinical sciences appropriate to their scientific focus, and by partnering with active clinician scientist mentors to facilitate career development. Each Scholar will be trained in clinically relevant research, statistics, scientific writing, grant preparation, ethics, leadership and the responsible conduct of research.

Additional aspects of the curriculum of each Scholar will be individualized by the Program Director (PI), Research Director, Education Director, Executive Committee, Mentoring Group, and lead mentor, based upon the Scholar's selected primary research track and his/her skills, background and career goals. Each Scholar will create an original research program and through this Award develop an independent academic career. We propose six primary research tracks: (1) Visual Neuroscience, (2) Genomics and Proteomics, (3) Bioengineering, (4) Stem cell biology, (5) Computational Ophthalmology (and Telemedicine), and (6) Clinical (human subjects) Research.


​PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE:

Through this K12 Career Development Program, we will combine excellence in research mentoring, didactic education, and formal career development guidance to bring new clinician scientists to careers in academic ophthalmology and vision research.
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