IU School of Medicine



The student will experience and perform clinical research and research learning exercises related to eye disease and possibly other health area outcomes in collaborations with other departments in minorities and vulnerable populations. Emphasis will be placed on understanding special factors involved in minority focused research while a broad knowledge of ocular disease will also be considered as well as becoming familiar and involved with all aspects of a research environment. Specifically, students will interact with and analyze data from various real clinical trials involving population groups including African descent, Mideastern decent, female gender, and other categories of research our center focused and published extensively on (including NIH-sponsored African descent investigations (Harris PI)). Students will also become familiar with protocol development and considerations involved when conducting minority research, including unique aspects regarding ethical board requirements, IRB, informed consent documentation, selection bias, etc. The student is also expected to become familiar with vulnerable population based study design, and targeted procedures for human research in minorities and vulnerable populations. The student will participate in team learning exercises and will also be able to become proficient in various health outcomes, for instance in opthalmology students will learn ocular imaging technologies including, but not be limited to, Heidelberg Retinal Flowmetry, Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy, color Doppler and retinal oximetry imaging. Students participating with focus in other health areas through collaborations will learn about health outcomes and proceedures consummate with the specific health field. Students may have the potential to become a contributor to a published manuscript and/or abstract, however, this opportunity is not the specific goal of this elective and is not guaranteed. Various guest instructors may contribute to the student's education, including current ophthalmology residents who have participated in previous years in our laboratories where they focused on minority and vulnerable population based research (and encouraged us to provide this course as they also wish to contribute further in their residency).

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: Dr. Brent Siesky (bsiesky@indiana.edu)

Director: Alon Harris, Ph.D.

Campus: Indianapolis

Location: Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute (Indianapolis)

Learning Objectives

  • 1)Describe how clinical research in minorities and vulnerable populations is performed from concept to execution, with emphasis on specific considerations of minority focused research in ethics, IRB and other requirements, research in literature and learning related to minority health disparities, and research in targeted construction of protocols including statistical considerations(PBLI1)
  • 2) Perform data analysis (PBLI1)
  • 3) Describe the disparities in minority eye diseases (or other area of focus through collaborations with other health fields) that affect minorities and vulnerable populations, and how targeted research may reduce these disparities (SBP2)
  • 4) Writing and/or presentations for findings either as presentation or literature submission(ISC5)


  • Research Evaluation Form; (Students will be observed participating in research assignments and projects, and will discuss findings with faculty including tests of knowledge base near the end of rotations. Faculty will also review written contributions and/or presentations at end of rotation.).

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 3rd or 4th year status

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 40 hours per week distributed among learning and application of minority focused: IRB compliance, ethics, literature, data analysis, image analysis, health outcomes, statistical analysis, clinical patient visits, library/research and lectures/instruction,

Time Distribution: 10%Clinical; 60%Library/Research; 20%Laboratory; 10% Lecture/Seminar

Elective Type Category: AS - Advanced Science

Notes and Enrollment Information:

Add/Drop Contact Person: Dr. Brent Siesky (bsiesky@indiana.edu)

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: Yes

Skills Description: This may include dentistry, biostatistician and other health areas.

Service Learning Included: None