Inherited Retinal Degenerations Fellowship
The Department of Ophthalmology of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School provide a one- and two-year fellowship in inherited retinal degenerations with clinical and research activities.
The two main goals of this fellowship are to provide the fellow with:
1. Advanced clinical training related to the diagnosis and care of patients with inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) and other ophthalmic genetic disorders with particular emphasis on the use of electroretinographic (ERG) testing and psychophysical measures in assessing patients with these diseases.
2. Research training related to improving our understanding of the pathogenesis of IRDs and developing treatments and cures for these disorders.
The selected fellow(s) will spend time on the ERG Service at Mass. Eye and Ear seeing adult and pediatric patients with Dr. Eliot Berson and Dr. Eric Pierce. It is anticipated that fellows will spend at least two days per week seeing patients, but this will be adjusted depending upon the interests of individual fellows.
The selected fellow(s) will also be expected to participate in one, or more, research project related to inherited retinal disorders. This can include laboratory-based research in the Ocular Genomics Institute or Berman-Gund Laboratory, or more clinically focused research in the Berman-Gund Laboratory. Examples of potential research projects include:
- Genetic studies to identify novel IRD disease genes in families whose disease is not caused by mutations in known genes
- Investigations of the pathogenesis of disease caused by mutations in identified IRD disease genes such as RP1 and the RNA splicing factor RP genes
- Development of improved informatic and empiric methods for assessing the pathogenicity of sequence variants identified by exome and genome sequencing
- Investigation of genotype-phenotype correlations and definition of disease course in patients with genetically defined forms of IRD
- Participation in clinical trials of potential therapies for retinitis pigmentosa and allied diseases
It is expected that fellows will apply for funding from the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the National Eye Institute and other sources to support their fellowship year(s).
1. Ophthalmology-trained fellow participation in the evaluation of patients in the MEEI emergency room for 24 clinical sessions per fellowship year, irrespective of extramural or research duty
2. Participation in the “Fellows Course,” including preparation of a publishable manuscript, which will be undertaken with faculty mentorship
3. Attendance at Chief’s Rounds and Grand Rounds on a regular basis (60%+)
Department of Ophthalmology
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114