WISER stands for Women of the International Society for Eye Research. WISER was formed because the executive leadership of the society (ISER) recognized the great need and potential benefits to young female investigators if they could have personal interactions with senior investigators during attendance of our bi-annual meetings.

ISER's Biennial Meetings are held on a rotation basis between North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For this reason, there is ample opportunity for attendees to enjoy some R & R at wonderful tourist locations. Our WISER and Young Investigator (YI) social functions are organized to ensure maximal opportunity to interact during meeting times and in the evenings.

ISER's Asia-Pacific Vice President, Professor Frank Lovicu organized ISER's version of speed dating during the welcome reception in Tokyo in 2016, which was appreciated by all YI as it meant they could form networks to enjoy the rest of the meeting, with others with similar research and social interests.

WISER organizes an evening dinner during each ISER Biennial Meeting where senior investigators attend and sit amongst the YIs and share their experience and advice in all aspects of professional and family life. This dinner is typically attended by 20-30 attendees and feedback from the YIs have been outstanding as the intimate relaxed setting and small group meant that no one was afraid to ask questions or to share their experience.

WISER has had another surprising benefit in that it has also forged new friendship and collaborations amongst senior female and male investigators who attend and support our functions. Some of our best 'mentor/mentee', 'lab collaborations' and 'peer to peer professional networks' are formed during the informal sessions at our meetings, and WISER continues to maximise these opportunities for our YIs. The success of WISER during our earlier meetings and the recognition that young male investigators would also benefit from these special opportunities have led us to welcome male and female attendees to all WISER functions. Having male leadership attend and hear the difficulties faced by females is essential to facilitating equal access to the best training opportunities for all. So please, encourage all your trainees to register to attend WISER and YI functions planned for the upcoming Biennial meeting as well as during the ISER/Bright Focus co-sponsored meetings in alternate years.

Click HERE to read the history of WISER.

Lab Exchange Program

This program supports ISER's mission and goal to encourage and support students and young investigators entering the field of eye and vision research worldwide. The program is designed to facilitate exchanges of Trainees, at any training level, between ISER member labs. By encouraging and facilitating Trainee exchanges, we help Trainees augment their skill sets, enable technology transfer among member labs, and expand the productivity of both participating labs.

Exchanges are arranged directly between ISER members' labs - a Mentor Lab sends their Trainee to a Host's Lab. A typical exchange is 3-4 weeks, but could be adjusted to meet the needs of all involved.

Emphasis is on having the Trainee learn a new technique that is a specialty of the Host Lab.

Each exchange brings an opportunity for a new, long-term collaboration, while enhancing the training experience that each Mentor can provide each Trainee in their lab.

Trainees benefit by expanding their experience, learning a new technique, seeing how another lab works, and by interacting with a new Mentor. They also have the opportunity to present the work developed during the exchange as a poster or talk at an ISER Biennial Meeting. If accepted, the Trainee's meeting registration fee will be waived.

The Host Labs benefit by learning about new applications for techniques existing in their laboratory and possibly formalizing a collaboration with another colleague. In addition to providing training for the visitor, the Host lab can also screen the individual as a potential post-doc candidate or junior faculty member. Additionally, the Host receives half-off of their Biennial Meeting registration.

The Mentor Lab benefits by bringing a new technique into their laboratory, and possibly adding a key experiment to a paper or grant using a technique unavailable at their home base. Each exchange brings the opportunity for a new, long-term collaboration, while enhancing the training experience that each Mentor can provide each Trainee in their lab. Additionally, the Biennial Meeting registration fee (for the meeting where the Trainee presents his/her work) for the Host [Mentor] is reduced by half.

Trainees will receive the following additional benefits:

  • Complimentary Biennial Meeting registration;
  • Podium or Presentation Opportunity at Biennial Meeting; and
  • Complimentary 2-year ISER Membership.

The idea is that the Host Lab will help facilitate safe and inexpensive housing (possibly on-campus dorms for summer exchanges), and the Mentor Lab will help cover the cost of the Trainee's transportation. In order to provide these benefits to as many recipients as possible, each Host/Mentor and Trainee are only eligible to receive these benefits once.

If you are interested in participating in this exciting program, please contact the ISER office and provide your contact information and current areas of research.

ISER Mentoring Program

A panel of leading scientists and clinicians involved in vision and ophthalmology research at various stages of their careers, and representing a diverse range of research expertise and geographical and gender spread, are poised to offer their time and advice on career advancement. This is an opportunity to obtain advice beyond your institutional colleagues/boundaries on matters such as inter-institutional and international collaborations, manuscript and grant writing/reviewing opportunities, how to become a successful clinician-scientist, research tools and methods, strategies for improving your skill set, as well as other topics related to your professional development.


The mentee shall be an ISER member who demonstrates a desire to participate in the program and is willing to abide by all ISER Mentoring Program policies and procedures. Please indicate from the list below which topics you would like advice on as well as 2-3 mentors whom you would like to work with. If you would like to become a mentee please contact at us at mail@iser.org. Please also provide a 1 page biographical sketch including your current areas of interest.

  • Career changes
  • Green Card Applications
  • How to become an independent scientist
  • Strategies for success as a clinician-scientist
  • Specific research tools/strategies
  • Funding opportunities
  • Lab exchanges
  • How to write grant proposals, applications
  • How to get your work published
  • International Post-doc Experience
  • Other...........please specify


The Mentor list is updated regularly. Please click here for the latest list. To view tips on how to be a successful mentor please click here or visit SmartCompany.

If you are in need of mentoring please contact at us at mail@iser.org . If you would like to sign up to become a Mentor please send us your contact information and your area of expertise to mail@iser.org .