Annual Research Opportunities

The Dana Center offers one year research opportunities for recent graduates or those interested in gaining research experience.


This program is designed to help eye care professionals to develop skills in applying public health principles to blindness prevention.

Description of the Program

An academic program lasting for 1 or more years assists the student in acquiring skills in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and the application of public health techniques to national and international problems in ophthalmology. Typically, one candidate per year is considered for the program and may be either a clinician-scientist or a PhD candidate or graduate.

Through mentors from Dana Center faculty, postdoctoral fellowships expose students to the principal public health issues in eye disease, through coursework at the School of Public Health, seminars designed for the program of the individual fellow, visiting lecturers from around the world, and a thesis project that is written to describe a useful program of vision assessment, care or evaluation, with the goal of implementation thereof after completion of the program.

Description of Students

Graduate ophthalmologists, optometrists or research scientists with a career interest in postdoctoral fellowships in eye care.


The Dana Center seeks to assist those who wish to improve the eye health of those in the U.S. or abroad. Students who are not U.S. citizens are expected to return to their home country after training. We encourage and support programs that involve Dana Center personnel in subsequent research programs of past fellows.


The Dana Center does not provide support for the costs of the fellowship. Fellows are expected to be self-funded, and all funds must conform to J1 visa requirements.

Setting and Past Trainees

In 1984, the past Dean of the School of Public Health, Alfred Sommer, M.D., conceived a program to train ophthalmologists in epidemiology and in the problems of world blindness. The causes of blindness are embedded in each community and a public health perspective is required to measure the extent of blinding diseases, to characterize the unique risk factors that each poses and to develop effective and practical approaches to prevention and treatment.

The Dana Center of the Wilmer Eye Institute and The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health provide an unparalleled setting for public health and ophthalmology. Wilmer contributes a broad range of expertise in ophthalmic practice and research in the United States, and perhaps the world. The Bloomberg School of Public Health offers the perspective of epidemiologic research and community-based action. The Dana Center, by virtue of its Public Health Ophthalmology experts and biostatisticians, can uniquely support this program.

An important part of the program is practical experience in research design, implementation, and analysis. Fellows will have the opportunity to work directly with faculty in these respects. Fellows are also strongly encouraged to take advantage of the wide selection of courses available at the School of Public Health.

Candidates will be selected from the pool of interested applicants, on the basis of their background, letters of recommendation, and indications of future commitment to and success in carrying out blindness prevention activities.