Medical and Graduate Student Opportunities

The UAB Department of Ophthalmology offers research opportunities for UAB medical students and graduate students in both basic and clinical research. Areas of faculty interest include:

  • Vision impairment and low vision rehabilitation
  • Behavioral health issues in chronic disease
  • Morphometry and biomechanical properties of the optic nerve head
  • Growth and remodeling in keratoconus and myopia
  • Epidemiology of eye disease and vision impairment
  • Aging-related eye disease and vision impairment
  • Pressure mechanisms in glaucoma
  • Pathogenesis and image validation in age-related macular degeneration
  • Complement in uveitis and age-related macular degeneration
  • Reprogramming and stem cells in retinal development
  • High-resolution retinal imaging
  • Visual perception and eye movements in low vision

More in-depth information is found on research faculty section of our website. There is also an online database that hosts descriptions of research projects open to medical, graduate, and undergraduate students at UAB.

There are two types of research projects for UAB medical students:

This is a course requirement of the School of Medicine and typically occurs during the second or third year of medical school. It is an intensive two month experience during which the student works closely with a faculty member toward publishable research. The grade for the course is dependent upon successful completion and active participation.

Interested students should apply several months prior to their scheduled block – see below for details on how to apply.


These occur during the summer following the first year of medical school and are funded on a competitive basis through the School of Medicine or through grants from extramural organizations such as research foundations.

They are competitive and limited in number so first year medical students considering a summer research project are strongly recommended to make inquiries about summer research by January 1.

For the summer research program through the School of Medicine, students are advised to go to Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP) website or contact MSSRP Director Dr. Robin Lorenz’s office at

Some outside foundation which offer student funding for summer research projects are listed below.

UAB students interested in working with a faculty member on a research project should contact that faculty member directly by email and include a statement of interest and a current CV.