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DODís FY2009 Peer Reviewed Vision Research Program to be Managed by Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center

Legislative Update
March 16, 2009

Vision Center of Excellence (VCE) Deputy Director Claude Cowan, Jr., M.D and Director Colonel Donald Gagliano, M.D., serve on the Programmatic Panel that is establishing the new Peer Reviewed Vision Program
The Department of Defense (DOD) has assigned the newly established Peer Reviewed Vision Research Program to be managed by its Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) rather than the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). TATRC and CDMRP are Ďsisterí agencies within the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USMRMC). NAEVR understands that this decision was made due to TATRCís extensive experience with managing vision-related medical research programs.

Unlike in previous years, when eye and vision research was grouped with 20 other areas of medical research in CDMRPís Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP), in FY2009 Congress decided to fund eye and vision research as its own distinct research program at a funding level of $4 million.

NAEVR Advocacy Manager David Epstein with Colonel Robert Mazzoli, M.D., Chief of Ophthalmology at Madigan Army Medical Center, who also serves on the panel
It is expected that TATRCís Program Announcement, which will detail all relevant information on the FY2009 program, will be released in late April 2009. NAEVR will host a briefing on Monday May 4 at the ARVO annual meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to offer the opportunity for researchers to learn more about this grant program.

NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky and Advocacy Manager David Epstein, along with ARVO Executive Director Joanne Angle, recently served as Consumer Advocates on the TATRC panel that is tasked with establishing the programís grant mechanisms and specific areas of research that it will seek to fund in FY2009. They will participate in the Programmatic Review portion of the awards process. The panel also had representatives from TATRC, CDMRP, the DOD Vision Center of Excellence, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Food and Drug Administration, as well as military ophthalmology and optometry consultants.