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ARVO Trustees Educate Key Congressional Offices about Their Vision Research

Legislative Update
October 23, 2006

On October 20, members of the Board of Trustees of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) held a Capitol Hill Lobby Day. With the elections looming, the 40-plus visits to Members on both sides of the aisle enabled these researchers to educate their Senators and representatives from work/home districts about the importance and broad implications of NEI-funded vision research being conducted locally. Participants also visited House Appropriators and Energy and Commerce Committee Members from neighboring districts. As with NAEVR Board President Dr. Stephen Ryanís October 10-11 Congressional visits, NAEVR placed an emphasis on meetings with Senate HELP Committee Members regarding the NIH reauthorization issue, now that the House has passed a bill.

Dr. Robert Frank (Wayne State University) and Dr. Barry Winkler (Oakland University)Left to right: Dr. Robert Frank (Wayne State University) and Dr. Barry Winkler (Oakland University), whose Detroit Tigers cap drew attention from staff and tourists from Michigan. Commented Dr. Winkler, "I was delighted to hear from offices about the credibility of NAEVRís voice regarding the value of vision research and the importance of appropriate NIH reauthorization."
  
Dr. Todd Margolis (University of California at San Francisco) meets with Dr. Wendell Primus, Senior Policy Advisor to House Minority Leader Cong. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)Left to right: Dr. Todd Margolis (University of California at San Francisco) meets with Dr. Wendell Primus, Senior Policy Advisor to House Minority Leader Cong. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). "Since Mr. Primus is an economist by training, we primarily discussed the cost-effectiveness of prevention, and I was able to cite NEIís recent announcement of the second phase of its Age-Related Eye Diseases Study (AREDS) as an applicable vision example," said Dr. Margolis.
  
Dr. David Hunter (Childrenís Hospital Boston/Harvard University) meets with Dr. Derek Scholes of the Senate HELP staff of Ranking Member Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)Left to right: New ARVO Trustee and first-time advocate Dr. David Hunter (Childrenís Hospital Boston/Harvard University) meets with Dr. Derek Scholes of the Senate HELP staff of Ranking Member Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). "Since Dr. Scholes is a Science Policy Fellow assigned to this office from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), I focused my comments on the gene-based studies being conducted in vision research," said Dr. Hunter.
  
Dr. Nicholas Delamere (University of Arizona) was joined by Incoming ARVO President Dr. Martine Jager (Leiden University/The Netherlands) Left to right: Dr. Nicholas Delamere (University of Arizona) was joined by Incoming ARVO President Dr. Martine Jager (Leiden University/The Netherlands) in a visit with the office of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Said Dr. Delamere, "Having been recently recruited to Arizona, I apprised staff of the NEI grant dollars and associated jobs that I have brought to the state."
  
Dr. Mark Petrash (Washington University) relates his visits to NAEVR Legislative Counsel John PorterLeft to right: New ARVO Trustee and first-time advocate Dr. Mark Petrash (Washington University) relates his visits to NAEVR Legislative Counsel John Porter. "I emphasized the importance of NEIís trans-Institute research, especially the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network," noted Dr. Petrash.