UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute The Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute
by name
Afshari, Natalie A. Baxter, Sally L. Borooah, Shyamanga Brown, Stuart I. Camp, Andrew Do, Jiun Ferreyra, Henry A. Freeman, William R. Goldbaum, Michael H. Granet, David B. Haw, Weldon W. Heichel, Chris W. Hennein, Lauren Huang, Alex A. Huang, Lingling Kikkawa, Don O. Kline, Lanning Korn, Bobby S. Lee, Jeffrey E. Liu, Catherine Y. Moghimi, Sasan Movaghar, Mansoor Nguyen, Thao P. Nudleman, Eric Puig-Llano, Manuel Robbins, Shira L. Rudell, Jolene Savino, Peter J. Scott, Nathan L. Spencer, Doran B. Toomey, Christopher B. Vasile, Cristiana Weinreb, Robert N. Welsbie, Derek S.
by specialty
Comprehensive Ophthalmology Cornea & Cataracts Dry Eye Clinic Glaucoma Neuro-Ophthalmology Ocular Oncology Ophthalmic Genetics Ophthalmic Pathology Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Ophthalmology Informatics and Data Science Optometry & Low Vision Pediatric Ophthalmology & Eye Alignment Disorders Refractive Surgery / LASIK Retina & Vitreous Thyroid Eye Clinic Uveitis
by condition
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) Cataracts Corneal Conditions Cosmetic Surgery Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Cancer Eye Movement Disorders Glaucoma Hereditary (Genetic) Disorders Low Vision Neuro-Ophthalmic Conditions Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Pediatric Conditions Refractive Errors Retinal Diseases Strabismus (Strabimus) Thyroid Eye Disease Uveitis
Informatics STRIVE Banner

Short-Term Research In Vision & Eye Health (STRIVE) Summer 2024 Internship Program

Program Overview:

The National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Eye Institute (NEI) has funded the Short-Term Research In Vision & Eye Health (STRIVE) Program which aims to train qualified medical students who have an interest in ophthalmology and vision research, as well as improve diversity in the workforce. This would be the first and only summer medical student research training program at UC San Diego (UCSD) focused on ophthalmology, vision research, and eye health. This program is specifically tailored to medical students who have some clinical knowledge and academic interest, but who may not have extensive prior research experience.

The program will provide full-time research and clinical support for 10 consecutive weeks at UC San Diego during the summer for 4 qualifying medical students per year from across the country. The program will include hands-on research experience, career development, and long-term mentorship. The multi-disciplinary research training experience will also include instruction in areas such as biostatistics, research ethics, and leadership skills. There will be an opportunity at the summer research symposium for the trainees to present their work. The trainees will be able to collaborate with mentors to develop their work for presentations at national conferences.

This is a paid internship, with monthly stipends ranging from about $2200 per month for predoctoral interns.

Curriculum Highlights:

  • Faculty mentorship
  • Campus seminars
  • Lectures on ophthalmology and vision research
  • Research reproducibility workshop
  • Lectures on bioethics and biostatistics
  • Understand research with older, underserved populations
  • Communication workshops for effective writing, presentation skills, and publication strategies

How to Apply:

Applications for the 2024 cycle are now closed.

Please check back later this fall for the application for the 2025 cycle when it becomes available.

For any questions regarding the application process or eligibility requirements, please contact UC San Diego program coordinator Victoria Patronilo at vpatronilo@health.ucsd.edu


  • Per NIH funding guidelines, this program is only open to US citizens or permanent residents.
  • The program requires full-time effort, and the applicant cannot be doing medical school rotations or other jobs concurrently.
  • Applicants must provide a personal statement of career goals and their interest in the training program (word limit: 750 words).
  • Two letters of reference from a faculty member from their undergraduate school and/or medical school must be included in the application.
  • Provide academic transcripts (unofficial is acceptable).
  • The application requires contact information and a history of the individual’s education, previous honors/rewards, activities, and experience in ophthalmology and research (in any area, not just limited to ophthalmology/vision science).


Viterbi Family Department of Ophthalmology and Shiley Eye Institute

Department of Biomedical Informatics

Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care

Geriatric Medicine and Psychiatry

Scripps Department of Molecular Medicine

2023 Program Alumni:

Jason Zhou

Jason Zhou

Use of EHR to Extract Normative Eyelid Measurements

Karla Murillo

Karla Murillo

Visual Field Progression Rate and Laminar Depth in the African Descent and Glaucoma Evaluation Study (ADAGES)

Leo Meller

Leo Meller

Association Between Alcohol Use and Glaucoma Using Data from the National Institutes of Health All of Us (AoU) Research Program

Luke Valmadrid

Luke Valmadrid

Autoregulation as a Biomarker for Diabetic Retinopathy: An Ongoing Study

2022 Program Alumni:

Rhiannon Buchholz

Rhiannon Buchholz

Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCT-A) of Conjunctiva in Health and Disease

Mohammedreza Farshchi

Mohammedreza Farshchi

Effect of Oxidative Stress from Hydroquinone on Cataract Development

Justin Huynh

Justin Huynh

Deep Learning Image Quality Assessment and Enhancement of Fundus Photographs Increases Accuracy in Automated Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy Detection

Bryanna Lee

Bryanna Lee

Investigating the Associations between Smoking and Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy through RNA Sequencing

For more information or questions about STRIVE please email UC San Diego program coordinator Victoria Patronilo at vpatronilo@health.ucsd.edu

K12 Award Program

The overall objective of the NEI Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Program Award at UCSD is to develop outstanding clinician scientists to successfully compete at the national level for NIH grants and emerge as leaders within academic Ophthalmology. Through this institutional career development award, we will mentor clinician scientists toward independent academic appointments in ophthalmology.


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