Biology of the Visual System (OPHT-V783)
Biology of the Visual System is an elective course for graduate students. The course covers a wide range of topics related to the biological processes and pathways required for the maintenance and function of the eye. Special emphasis will be placed on the areas of expertise available within the IU School of Medicine–Indianapolis campus. Those areas include the biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology of vision. The retina is the most accessible neuronal tissue in the central nervous system. Various state-of-the-art techniques have been applied to gain insight into the neurobiological basis of vision, which will be covered extensively throughout the course. Anatomy of various regions of the eye and their functions will be discussed in detail. Those regions include the anterior chamber, cornea, lens, retina, and associated vascular structures. Disruption of their structures and functions can lead to impaired vision in diseases including corneal blindness, cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, inherited blindness, and ocular cancer. About 50% of the lectures will be dedicated to the discussion of their molecular basis, possible cures and treatments. The students will be exposed to the technologies that are actively used in vision research laboratories, optometry, and ophthalmology clinics. In addition to lectures, the most contemporary topics will be discussed through journal club.