The leaves are turning… I don’t know what happened to summer as it appears to have rushed past leaving me to wonder just what happened to most of the year. Fall is one of my favorite times of year and I look forward to the sights and smells but it also means giving up warm mornings on the porch drinking coffee and reading Science, time in the garden harvesting fresh vegetables and herbs and opportunities to hike and bike through cool mountain forests and the hills just above where I work.

We were fortunate to take a little drive over Guardsman’s pass to see the leaves changing color on Sunday just prior to the first snow that fell on the Wasatch front this year. It was in fact, lightly snowing when i was out taking photographs and H and I were able to marvel at how beautiful it was.

While it is not yet time for an end of year retrospective, I will say that so far 2007 has been a very difficult year for a number of reasons that I will not go into here, but H and I have struggled mightily both at work and at home and have not seen as much productivity as we had hoped. Professionally, for me at least, this has also meant being extraordinarily busy at work, but not having much to show for it in terms of publications so far (one so far this year and another two in the works hopefully before the end of the year). However, the foundations have been laid for a number of papers next year and for seriously exciting scientific outcomes over the next couple of years. Our retinal reconstruction project is moving forward and I have been very busy over the past month working on that and taking lots of ibuprofen to keep my fingers and wrists from showing too much strain. We’ve also had an MD/PhD student, James Tucker come into the lab to join James Anderson, our neuroscience grad student, but that typically means a not insigificant increase in my effort to get students up to speed. I am hopeful however, as James Tucker appears to be very intelligent and willing to contribute to the outcomes of projects greater than I would have imagined we would have had the opportunity to participate in. It is an exciting time here at the Moran Eye Center and there are efforts underway to really make a difference in vision science and assemble a team of people that will work collaboratively together to make a difference in both basic science and transitional medicine.

I hope that this excitement came through in a talk I gave a talk last Friday at our Clinical Faculty Day and that the passion behind our work is starting to show externally. I suspect it is as the feedback after the talk was encouraging including a bit of discussion with Lloyd Williams, a physician who expressed interest in working with us after he gets back from working in Africa for his non-profit, Help Mercy International. Lloyd need to get accepted to our residency program first, so I’ll see what I can do to help with that.

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