SOAR: STANFORD OPHTHALMOLOGY ADVANCED RESEARCH RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Program Description:

For residents who would like to develop and maintain an active research program throughout residency, the department will sponsor a pre-residency research year, after the intern year and prior to initiating their first of three years of clinical ophthalmology training. Participants will establish a research program under faculty mentorship and supervision, and will be able to continue their research throughout their residency. Financial support for the extra year and for research resources throughout the subsequent clinical years will be provided by the department in collaboration with the successful applicant, at a level commensurate with research resource needs from the candidate and the mentor. It is expected that this will allow the successful SOAR resident to initiate a research program that, while still benefiting from mentorship, will lead to their independent research program as a junior faculty member following clinical training. It is further expected that this program will accelerate their readiness to compete for faculty positions and NIH and other funding.

Example timeline:

Final year of medical school (typically) – In the late summer, submit application through SFMatch; if interested in both the standard residency and SOAR program, be sure to include both when submitting SFMatch materials. In November/December, ophthalmology residency interviews are conducted on site for selected residency and SOAR applicants. SOAR applicants may request additional meetings with potential research mentors. After interviews but before rank lists are entered, it is typical for lead SOAR candidates to further investigate potential research mentors, e.g. through video or phone meetings, and communicate potential research plans with the residency director (Suzann Pershing), vice chair for research (Vinit Mahajan), and/or chair (Jeffrey Goldberg).

Year 1 – Internship. During this year, work to establish research and mentorship plan.

Year 2 – Research year at Stanford.

Year 3-5 – Ophthalmology clinical residency with elective time throughout for research continuity.

 

Caity Logan, MD, PhD, is one of the current SOAR resident.

Current Trainees 2020-2021:

Caity Logan, MD, PhD

            MD/PhD - Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, 2019

Caity Logan is starting as a Stanford Byers Eye Institute SOAR Resident in 2020. She has an MD/PhD from Thomas Jefferson University and Sidney Kimmel Medical College, with a PhD thesis in "Impact of the Loss of N-cadherin or Microtubules on Lens Development and Immune Surveillance" and a degree in Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. She is excited to bridge her knowledge of lens immunology and wound healing into corneal wound injury repair. Logan is working in the Myung Lab.
 

Geoffrey Weiner, MD, PhD is the other current SOAR resident.

Geoffrey Weiner, MD, PhD

            MD/PhD - University of California San Diego, 2019

Geoff has a BA in Mathematics from Lake Forest College and an MD and PhD in Neurosciences from UCSD. As part of his PhD, he researched interactions between neurons and blood vessels in the retina for the purpose of finding novel disease biomarkers and understanding how angiogenesis and blood-retina barrier signaling is turned on during development. He is now working in the Rubin lab to develop imaging techniques and machine learning tools to better diagnose and treat retinal diseases.
 


Lucie Guo, MD, PhD, was the 2019-2020 SOAR resident. She did her internship year at the nearby Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Past Trainee 2019-2020:

Lucie Guo, MD, PhD

            MD - Perelman School of Medicine at the University of  Pennsylvania, 2018

            PhD – University of  Pennsylvania, 2018

Lucie graduated from Penn MSTP in 2018, where she did her PhD in chromatin epigenetics in Dr. Ben Black's lab in biochemistry and molecular biophysics. At Stanford she is working in Dr. Stanley Qi's lab in bioengineering, in collaboration with labs of Dr. Yang Hu and Dr. Sui Wang in ophthalmology, to develop and deliver CRISPR-based epigenome editing tools as potential therapeutics for ophthalmic diseases.
 


Luciano Custo Greig, MD, PhD was the 2018-2019 SOAR resident, and also the first SOAR resident.

Past Trainee 2018-2019:

Luciano Custo Greig, MD, PhD

            MD - Harvard Medical School, 2017

            PhD – Harvard Medical School, 2015

            MS – Yale University, 2007

Luciano completed the MSTP at Harvard making seminal discoveries about neuronal differentiation and specification relevant to how different areas in the central nervous system connect during development. At Stanford he is initiating studies on genetic networks of diabetic and other retinal degenerative diseases using novel single-cell transcriptome techniques, with an eye towards novel gene therapeutic approaches to prevent vision loss.
 

Last year's SOAR resident, Luciano Custo Greig, MD, PhD, poses with Sui Wang, PhD, outside of the Mary M. and Sash A. Spencer Center for Vision Research at Stanford building.

Luciano Custo Greig, MD, PhD, collaborates with Sui Wang, PhD, on his research in the SOAR Residency Program.