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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Office of Fellowship Training (OFT)

OFT Mission

The mission of the Office of Fellowship Training is:

  • To support and promote a productive and fulfilling research training experience in the NIMH Intramural Research Program
  • To encourage career planning and guide career management through trainee use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
  • To provide programs and services to assist trainees in discovering and clarifying career choices
  • To provide opportunities and to encourage trainees to build a professional skill set which enables them to become world leaders in academic and non-academic careers

Come visit our booth and speak with an OFT staff member about the fellowship and training opportunities we offer at the NIH/NIMH. We will be at the following scientific meetings: Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET), Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Society of Biological Psychiatry (SOBP) and Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

Trainee Successes: Past & Present

Corinne Beier, Ph.D.

Corinne Beier, Ph.D., is a visual neuroscientist investigating how light information is parsed by the retina and thalamus to drive visual behaviors. She completed her undergraduate training with a degree in Physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder before joining the Electrical Engineering graduate program at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2011. There she was captivated by a live recording of retinal ganglion cells responding to light flashes in Dr. Alexander Sher’s lab and she never looked back. In her graduate research, Dr. Beier focused on understanding whether circuits in the mammalian retina can correctly rewire after an injury. In 2017 she joined Dr. Samer Hattar’s lab section on Light and Circadian Rhythms at the NIMH to investigate the retinal circuits underlying subconscious light-driven behaviors such as circadian photoentrainment, the pupillary light response, and sleep. More recently she has been studying the retina-to-brain circuits responsible for modulating these behaviors. Dr. Beier is interested in understanding how retinal ganglion cells that are thought to drive conscious vision also influence subconscious visual behaviors.

In 2022, Dr. Beier was awarded a K99/R00 from the National Eye Institute to investigate retina-thalamic circuits. As an independent investigator, Dr. Beier will use the ventral lateral geniculate nucleus as a model to understand why light-influenced behaviors require input from both conscious and subconscious visual pathways.


Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A., Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder

Selected Publications

  1. Z. Zhang*, C. Beier*, T. Weil, and S. Hattar, “The retinal ipRGC-preoptic circuit mediates the acute effect of light on sleep.” Nature Communications (2021)
  2. C. Beier, U. Bocchero, Z. Zhang, N. Jin, S. C. Massey, C. P. Ribelayga, K. Martemyanov, S. Hattar, J. Pahlberg, “Retinal circuits driving a non-image forming visual behavior.” bioRxiv (2020)
  3. C. Beier, Z. Zhang, M. Yurgel, and S. Hattar, “The projections of ipRGCs and conventional RGCs to retinorecipient brain nuclei.” J. of Comparative Neurology (2020)