(Student Outreach and Research)

The Balkan Center’s SOAR Fellowship provides medical students, ophthalmologists, and researchers the opportunity to foster a passion for vision research.


Opportunities for Medical Students:


The SOAR Fellowship allows medical students with research interests in pediatric eye disease to gain additional experience while completing their medical degree. The program focuses on principles of research from exposure to international programs for blindness prevention, ocular genetics, community outreach, and gaining knowledge in biostatistics and manuscript writing.


Opportunities for Physicians and Researchers:


The SOAR Fellowship provides physicians, ophthalmologists, or ophthalmic researchers, early in their careers, the opportunity to collaborate and expand their scope of research with a focus on international pediatric eye disease research and outreach.


Potential Areas of

  • Virtual Reality Visual Fields


  • Telehealth Initiatives


  • Quality of Life in Children with Visual Impairments and their Families


  • Clinical Operations and Patient Experience (COPE)


  • Geodemographic Analysis of Congenital Cataract Distribution


  • Genetic Studies of Open Angle Glaucoma in the Haitian Community


  • Health Knowledge Assessment and Dissemination using

  • Faith-Based Assemblies

Programs and

  • Childhood Glaucoma Research

       Network (CGRN)

  • Pediatric Preventable Blindness


  • Patients, Parents, and Providers

       Support Initiative (3PSI)

  • WeCare

  • Ocular Genetics

The SOAR  Fellowship

Is a donor-funded education program of the Samuel & Ethel Balkan International Pediatric Glaucoma Center at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. This full-time program is designed to provide a year of focused research experience to students and early career physicians with an interest in clinical research and/or outreach in vision. Fellows are instructed in the principles of research and manuscript writing by working closely with the physicians of The Balkan Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s career researchers.


Our established national and international programs and initiatives provide a structure from which Fellows choose Basic Science/Genetics, Public Health, or Neuroscience tracks of study. Students of varied ophthalmic knowledge backgrounds are welcome. A stipend for UM Medical Students is offered to offset living expenses.



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Danielle McLaughlin, BA, MD Candidate

Medical Student, East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine

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Dr. Kirsten Da Silva, MBBS

Senior House Officer

Dept. of Ophthalmology,

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados

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Raquel Quintanilla, MD

Pediatric Surgeon of Peru

Former researcher

The University of Ohio

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Annika Patel, BS,

MD Candidate

Medical Student University of Miami School of Medicine 


For consideration submit your current CV along with a personal statement to Hounsh Munshi, Assistant Director, SOAR Fellowship Program, hxm453@miami.edu