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University of Pennsylvania Health System

Department of Ophthalmology

 

Ophthalmology Education

 

 

Research Electives

OP801 Mechanisms of Human Retinal Degeneration
10-12 months; 1-2 students throughout the year
Samuel G. Jacobson, MD, PhD

 

Non-invasive testing is used to explore the mechanisms underlying inherited degenerations of the retina in man and animal models, either as natural history studies or responses to treatment. Testing modalities include electrophysiology, psychophysics and imaging.

For further information, please contact Dr. Jacobson, 6th Floor Scheie Eye Institute, 215-662-9981, jacobsos@mail.med.upenn.edu.

 


 

OP802 Gene Therapy for Inherited Retinal Degeneration
1 student; duration of elective varies
Jean Bennett, MD, PhD

 

The student will assist in the development of gene therapy-based treatments for retinal disease. Target diseases include retinitis pigmentosa, choroideremia, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. The projects entail molecular biological studies aimed at developing recombinant viral vectors, in vitro assays and animal model studies.

For more information, please contact Dr. Bennett, 310 Stellar-Chance, 215-898-0915, jebennet@mail.med.upenn.edu.

 


 

OP803 Characterization of an Animal Model of Inherited Retinal Degeneration
1 student; duration of elective varies
Jean Bennett, MD, PhD

 

This project aims to characterize the pathogenesis of retinal disease in a line of transgenic mice that were generated by this lab and designed to manifest the most devastating complication of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), namely, choroidal neovascularization. Results from non-invasive retinal examinations will be performed on these transgenic mice as a function of age. Results will then be correlated with histopathological findings. The results promise to be useful in developing new treatments for AMD.

For more information, please contact Dr. Bennett, 310 Stellar-Chance, 215-898-0915, jebennet@mail.med.upenn.edu.

 


 

OP 804 Research in Age Related Macular Degeneration
3 months; throughout the year
Joshua Dunaief, MD, PhD

 

Dr. Dunaief is studying the role of apoptosis, iron overload, and oxidative stress in age related macular degeneration, the most common cause of severe and irreversible vision loss in people over age 60. A multidisciplinary approach is applied to the studies. The student will gain an appreciation of the gross and microscopic anatomy of the eye, learn microsurgical and molecular biology techniques, and gain additional knowledge of the scientific method. Presentation and publication opportunities are available.

For further information, please contact Dr. Dunaief, 305 Stellar-Chance, 215-898-5235, jdunaief@mail.med.upenn.edu.

 


 

OP805 Research in the Role of Vascular Abnormalities in the Development of Ocular Diseases
2 or more months; 1-2 students; throughout the year
Juan Grunwald, MD

 

Dr. Juan Grunwald's research team uses state-of-the-art technology to study in vivo the human ocular vasculature. The research bridges basic aspects of ocular vascular physiology and the clinical features of diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, which are the most common causes of visual impairment in the U.S. and the developed world.

For more information, please contact Dr. Grunwald, 618 Scheie Eye Institute, 215-662-8039, juangrun@mail.med.upenn.edu.

 


 

OP806 Research in Glaucoma Therapy
1 research student & 1 clinical student; offered throughout the year
Eydie Miller-Ellis, MD

 

Students can organize either a clinical or research elective on the glaucoma service. Clinical rotations include sessions with Drs. Richard Stone, Eydie Miller and Prithvi Sankar. The rotation is flexible and can be altered to accommodate students' interests. Clinical research opportunities are also available by contacting the glaucoma service. Projects span a wide variety of diagnostic and therapeutic trials.

For further information, please contact Dr. Miller-Ellis, Scheie Eye Institute, 215-662-8715, eydie.miller@uphs.upenn.edu.

 


 

OP808 Clinical Research in Ophthalmology
2 or more months; 1 student; throughout the year
Maureen G. Maguire, PhD

 

The Center for Preventive Ophthalmology and Biostatistics carries out ongoing clinical trials and other clinical research studies in the areas of prevention and treatment of age-related macular degeneration, vision screening tests for preschool children, diabetic retinopathy, and myasthenia gravis. Areas amenable to student research are: issues related to health economics and policy, evaluation (accuracy and repeatability) of screening tests, statistical analysis of visual function data, and interpretation of fundus images as potential risk factor for disease progression or treatment failure.

For further information, please contact Dr. Maguire, 3535 Market Street, Suite 700, 215-615-1501, maguirem@mail.med.upenn.edu.

OP 809 Clinical Research in Ophthalmology
1 year minimum (~8 hours per week); 1 student; throughout the year
John H. Kempen, MD, PhD

 

 

The Center for Preventive Ophthalmology and Biostatistics carries out ongoing clinical research in the field of ocular inflammation and ophthalmic epidemiology.  An opportunity exists to work on an ongoing project that requires a relatively small amount of weekly effort, and provides the opportunity to participate in a major, multicenter study.  For further information, please contact Dr. Kempen, 3535 Market Street, Suite 700, 215-615-1503, john.kempen@uphs.upenn.edu.

OP 810 Genetics of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
3 or more months; throughout the year
Dwight Stambolian MD, PhD

 

 

Dr. Stambolian’s research team is utilizing Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs)  and association testing to identify the genes for AMD.  Currently, screening of the Amish in Lancaster County is providing a source of subjects with AMD.  Blood samples are collected from subjects and DNA is extracted for genotyping with SNPs.  The student will gain experience in field work with an interesting population, learn how to extract DNA from blood, gain some knowledge in bioinformatics and learn how to genotype DNA samples.  For more information, please contact Dr. Stambolian, 313 Stellar Chance, 215-898-0305, stamboli@mail.med.upenn.edu.

OP 811 Genetics of Myopia
3 months or more; throughout the year
Dwight Stambolian MD, PhD 

 

 

This project aims to isolate the genes for myopia.  Beginning with families from multiple populations-African American, Ashkenazi Jews, Amish and Chinese-we have discovered loci for myopia.  We have recently found an association with a gene for myopia in one of our populations.  The student will gain experience with DNA, bioinformatics, database handling and  genotyping.  For more information, please contact Dr. Stambolian, 313 Stellar Chance, 215-898-0305, stamboli@mail.med.upenn.edu.

OP 812 Elucidation of the mechanism of retina hemorrhages in the Shaken Baby Syndrome
1 student; offered throughout the year
Brian Forbes, PhD, MD

 

The rotation is flexible and can be altered to accommodate students’ interests.   Clinical research evaluating characteristic eye findings of victims of non-accidental trauma as well as eye findings in children sustaining accidental trauma are available. Additionally, studies in conjunction with the biophysics department at the University of Pennsylvania are underway on piglets to evaluate both traumatic brain injury as well as eye findings in those same piglets which have been intentionally injured.  There is a bimonthly journal club discussing relevant topics at the biophysics department at the University. For further information, please contact Brian Forbes at 215-590-9169 or forbesb@email.chop.edu.

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