The National Eye Institute (NEI) is partnering with the International Council of Ophthalmology to offer a fellowship at NEI in ophthalmic genetics research. This first such collaboration between the two organizations will bring to NEI an early-career clinician from a country designated by the World Bank as lower- or middle-income. The fellow will spend a year working in the Ophthalmic Genetics and Visual Function Branch of the NEI Clinical Research Program. NEI Clinical Director Brian Brooks, M.D., Ph.D., will serve as the fellow’s mentor.
The fellow will gain experience that is likely unavailable in his or her home country. For NEI, the fellowship is an opportunity to engage in “soft diplomacy,” according to John Prakash, associate director for NEI international programs.
“Following this kind of experience, fellows will not only promote NEI,” said Prakash. “They will become opinion leaders in their home countries and influence their government’s policies. And the ultimate benefit will be to the patient population around the world.”