Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Students invited to explore the Science of VisionBy Dawn Pauli, staff writer
Oakland University students have the unique opportunity to take a course at the renowned Eye Research Institute (ERI) located on campus. “Science of Vision” is a three-credit class team-taught by ERI faculty, a visiting professor and an optometrist.
The course was introduced five years ago in an effort to share the expertise of the researchers at the ERI. The course is geared toward juniors and seniors interested in medical school, optometry, or graduate studies in neuro-biology.
“The ERI had been a research institute, and not really a teaching place,” said Sitaramayya Ari, professor of biomedical sciences and coordinator of the class. “We have researchers here working in different areas of vision research. Through this course, we can impart some of our knowledge to students. The course has been quite successful.”
Many students who have taken the course have returned to do research in the laboratories of ERI, and several have been accepted into the prestigious ERI Summer Undergraduate Program in Eye Research (SUPER).
“The class certainly helps students a great deal in understanding how the tissues work in a healthy eye and what goes wrong in ocular diseases,” said Ari.
The class (BIO 487) will be offered during the Winter 2008 term. Course topics include introduction to ocular tissues, rod and cone circuitry, physiological optics and diabetic retinopathy and vascular diseases, among others.
In addition to Ari, course instructors include Frank Giblin, director of ERI and professor of biomedical sciences; associate professors of biomedical sciences Shravan Chintala, Andrew Goldberg and Kenneth Mitton; Amy Crissman, optometrist, Town and Country Eyecare; and Renu Kowluru, a professor at Wayne State University.