Visiting Scholar Award Recipients 2019

The Visiting Scholar Program (VSP) provides a unique opportunity for McPherson ERI members to invite researchers from other institutions to visit UW-Madison for up to a week.  These immersive experiences facilitate in-depth interactions and exchanges of ideas, which in turn seed or solidify collaborations. This year, owing to the continued success of Cycle for Sight, the Institute has provided four VSP awards.

Assistant Professor Raunak Sinha (Neuroscience) will host Dr. Maxwell Turner, Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University, who will assist with building an experimental rig that can integrate patterned visual stimulation with electrophysiology and optical imaging. Such a system will be useful to researchers across the UW campus studying visual function.

Assistant Professor Ari Rosenberg (Neuroscience) will host Dr. Curtis Baker, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Together they will develop a new human psychophysical test of retinal ganglion cells, which will aid in assessing ophthalmic conditions such as glaucoma.

Professor Paul Kaufman (Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences) will host Dr. Ernst Tamm of the Institute of Human Anatomy & Embryology at the University of Regensburg, Germany. Dr. Tamm will bring insights into the control of eye fluid and internal pressure to help the Kaufman lab advance projects aimed at understanding and treating glaucoma.

Professor Joseph Carroll (Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin) will host Dr. Deepak Lamba, Department of Ophthalmology at the University of California-San Francisco. Dr. Lamba will contribute insights from his retinal stem cell work to Dr. Carroll’s retinal imaging group using the cone-dominant 13-line ground squirrel. Together, they hope to accelerate efforts to employ stem cell technology to replace photoreceptors in patients with inherited retinal degenerations.

The $2,000 comprising each award can be used to cover travel, lodging, and per diem expenses for the Visiting Scholar, as well as expenses for hosting small group gatherings during the Scholar’s visit. Institute members will be informed when each of these respective Visiting Scholars are coming to UW-Madison, and may be invited to attend a lecture or another event organized by each Scholar’s host.

We are grateful to the members of the Education Committee for their review and recommendation role in this program.

The application period for the Institute’s 2020 Visiting Scholars Program will open in November 2019.