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  • Training Students
  • Training Students

Research Experiences for Undergraduate, Graduate, and Medical Students

The Center for Vision Research faculty is committed to providing a full and exciting research environment for students in our state-of-the-art research facilities. Obligations of each student trainee are tailored specifically to their career goals and preparation as well as on the length of their training period and the precise program of study. All student researchers receive orientation, chemical, lab, and animal safety training as well as training in research ethics and professionalism.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate researchers are drawn from other Central New York universities including Syracuse University, Cornell University, and LeMoyne College. These students work throughout the school year in our laboratories engaging in discovery science at all levels.  Students are supported by research funds or work study programs or they earn credit at their home institutions for their research.

During the summer months, an even more in-depth experience is possible through a variety of mechanisms: full-time paid internships, or the Upstate Medical University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program, an intensive immersion experience in research. Fellows are competitively selected for the 10-week paid fellowship.

Interested undergraduates can contact our faculty directly or the SURF program.

Graduate Students

Graduate training opportunities leading to a PhD or MD/PhD degree are available for students working in all the labs in the CVR. Graduate degrees are conferred by interdepartmental programs in: neuroscience; biochemistry; and cell & developmental biology.

Each of our graduate research assistants are assigned a three-member thesis direction committee, drawn from their Program and Center faculty that meet every six months, to review the student’s progress and Individual Development Plan. 

Students receiving doctoral degrees in our program have gone onto the best research and clinical post-graduate programs in the country.  Former students of our faculty are now taking leadership positions around the country.

Students interested in graduate study should review program guidelines (Link to graduate program) and contact the program directors.  Or they can contact Associate Professor Eduardo Solessio, director of our Vision Graduate Course.

Medical Students

Medical students are mentored in our research laboratories as well as with our clinical faculty. Short-term intensive periods of full-time research from two months to one year, are possible as well as long-term research work spread over all four years of training.  Funding for these research fellowships are available from a variety of programs on campus, (need link to the CoM) as well as individual awards to faculty and competitive awards from Research To Prevent Blindness (put a link to their Medical Student Program).

Medical students interested in short (summer) or longer internships should contact:

The focus of our training program is to provide a supportive and highly collaborative environment with maximum interaction among our research staff.  To that end, we have developed several group meetings that define our shared academic life.  Student researchers are required to attend these:

  • weekly individual lab group meetings
  • weekly CVR group laboratory meetings
  • monthly vision research seminars
  • Our core Vision Course

Students are encouraged at all levels to present their work at regional, national, and international meetings.