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News from the VRC

June 2012

From David Brainard:

Dear Penn Vision Colleagues,

i) VRC seed grant awardees. We received five applications for seed grant funds. The proposals were reviewed by the Office of the Vice Provost for research, all were deemed meritorious, and we were able to fund all five. We are thus pleased to announce funding of the following five seed VRC seed grants. We hope to have another call for proposals next year.

Geoffrey Aguirre and David Brainard, Cortical sensitivity to melanopsin stimulation in migraine

Gus Aguirre and Keiko Miyadera, Genome-wide association study in novel canine model of congenital stationary night blindness

Gil Binenbaum, Brittany Coats, and Susan Margulies, Decompression retinopathy and pediatric head trauma

Joshua Gold, A novel toolbox for mobile vision experiments

Noga Vardi, Identifying a switch-related protein in retinal development

ii) VRC summer interns. We are pleased to be supporting the following summer interns in Penn vision laboratories. In addition the VRC is a co-sponsor of Penn's 2012 Summer Undergraduate Program in Computational Neuroscience.

Chidambaram Chinniah (Vardi Laboratory)
Kachenta Descartes, (Boesze-Battaglia Laboratory)
Daquan Daly (Guziewicz, Laboratory)
Sandeep Jain (Geoffrey Aguirre Laboratory)
Katherine Rumsey (Gold Laboratory)
Natalie Boursiquot (Beltran Laboratory)
Umar Sheikh (Smith Laboratory)
Joshua Warren (Stambolian Laboratory)

iii) VRC short term visitors. As announced previously, we have some funds to support short term visitors to Penn. The idea is that we can support travel, housing, and a modest per diem for short term (~1 week) visitors (collaborators, scholar in residence, someone whose work one would like to understand better, etc.) We'd like to make sure that each visitor have some time and opportunity to meet with Penn vision scientists other than their host, and to meet with students. If the visitor would like to give a talk, so much the better and we can coordinate with the vision science seminar. Also note that we can generally make arrangements for the visitor to have an office to sit in (at 3401 Walnut Street) if this would be helpful, and to set up a temporary Penn Card and Penn internet access. So, if there is someone you'd like to bring to campus, please contact David Brainard ( We will consider these requests on a rolling basis.

iv) Examples of core module projects. As always, information on VRC core facilities and how to access them is available at We have added pages that provide examples of projects enabled by the modules, with the goal of helping investigators obtain a more concrete sense of what the cores can do. We will
continue to add more examples.

Have a wonderful and productive summer.



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