Students & Education

Education and Training

Our doctors have trained seven (7) medical residents, fourteen (14) 4th year medical students, over fifty (50) 4th year optometry students, more than 100 University of Texas Health Careers Mentorship Program students, and many former employees who have become physicians, physician assistants, optometrists, and other healthcare providers. Our physicians are not compensated for their teaching time and expertise. We would like to use a part of our donations to improve our curriculum by hosting additional continuing education meetings to update our students on the latest treatments and diseases in retina.

For our staff, attending annual retina meetings is the most efficient way to learn about the future of drug development and establish relationships with key innovators in order to bring new clinical trials to Austin. Retina research from around the world is presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Meeting attendance is critical to keep our staff up to date on new treatments and develop relationships with other scientists. The expenses associated with the meeting can be partially offset by The Institute for Retina Research.


Teaching and education are an important part of Austin Clinical Research.  Our doctors are directly involved with the Dell Medical School and our physicians devote their time to train and educate current and future medical students in the latest advances in the field of ophthalmology.  During their time in our office, students have the opportunity to collaborate with our doctors on publications, submit and potentially present publications at retina meetings, and learn about Phase I-IV clinical trial conduct. Below is a list of students trained by our physicians.  If you are a student interested in completing an elective or research rotation in our office please contact Ivana Gunderson at

Transitional Residents

University of Texas Medical School:

Texas A&M Health Science Center College:

University of North Texas Health Science Center:

Institute For Retina Research

Support Retina Research by Donating to The Institute for Retina Research


On September 6, 2013, Institute for Retina Research was founded by Dr. Brian Berger. Institute for Retina Research is a 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to the advancement of the study of retinal diseases in order to benefit our patients and future doctors.

Why Should I Contribute?

Until 2006, patients diagnosed with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) suffered severe vision loss because there was no FDA approved treatment for this disease. Our physicians were the only investigators in central Texas offering patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials evaluating treatment of wet AMD. The drug tested in this trial was Lucentis, which later proved to be effective in treatment of wet AMD and was subsequently FDA approved in 2006. The patients that participated in this clinical trial were able to preserve their vision and the patients that did not have the opportunity to participate lost their central vision.

Clinical trials are the only way to bring new and/or improved treatment to otherwise untreatable diseases. With the help of clinical trial volunteers, we were able to bring drugs to market for the treatment of wet AMD, but we still do not have any FDA approved treatment for dry AMD. Tax deductible donations to The Institute for Retina Research will allow us to:

  1. Participate in more unfunded trials.
  2. Conduct independent research.
  3. Send staff and students to educational meetings that will help bring new trials to our research facility.
  4. Improve our curriculum for visiting students.
  5. Assist patients with transportation and diagnostic testing if not covered by a clinical trial

Unfunded Clinical Activities

Not all clinical trials and activities are funded by pharmaceutical companies or National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants. Donated funds to The Institute for Retina Research will allow Austin Clinical Research to participate in independent investigator-initiated trials, case studies, retrospective analyses, and trials that are not funded by other sources.

Tax deductible donations to The Institute for Retina Research allow us to offer our patients the opportunity to participate unfunded trials at minimal or no cost to the patient.

In addition to unfunded trials, the physician may require additional testing or intervention for patients actively participating in clinical trials that are not part of the study protocol and therefore not funded by the sponsor. The patient may not be eligible for any existing funding resources through state or federal programs that could help with the expenses associated with these diagnostic tests or procedures. In specific situations of this nature, donated funds can be used to offset the costs.

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