NEI Premieres Audacious Goals Video at ARVO Annual Meeting
May 8, 2015
On May 1, the National Eye Institute (NEI) announced that it has posted on YouTube a new video about its Audacious Goals Initiative (AGI), which NEI Director Paul Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. premiered at a May 6 AGI Update Session at the ARVO Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. NEI’s May 1 press release also announced five initial AGI grants funded for a total of $3.8 million, which Dr. Sieving also acknowledged at ARVO. These projects, awarded in response to an NEI Request for Applications (RFA) entitled Addressing Technical Needs and Opportunities for Imaging the Visual System, will provide a “window into the visual system by providing tools that will enhance the study of functional changes in the retina and optic nerve—in real time and at the cellular level—when evaluating new regenerative therapies for eye diseases,” said Dr. Sieving.
es in the retina and optic nerve—in real time and at the cellular level—when evaluating new regenerative therapies for eye diseases,” said Dr. Sieving.
Paul Sieving, M.D., Ph.D.
He also set forth a schedule of Town Halls and Workshops to be held on conjunction with the annual meetings of ARVO and the Society for Neuroscience (SFN) over the next two years. The Workshops will generate white papers and Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) on topics such as Rewiring and Reconnecting Neurons, Retinal Ganglion Cells, and Achieving Success with Neuronal Transplants (clinical aspects).
NEI’s Audacious Goals Initiative is a coordinated effort to spur new therapies for blinding diseases. The central AG is to restore vision by generating neurons and neural connections in the eye and visual system.
In its written testimonies to Congress regarding Fiscal Years (FY) 2015 and 2016 NEI funding, NAEVR has cited Dr. Sieving’s comments about the AGI, made at AEVR’s February 25, 2015, 20th Anniversary Congressional Reception, where he spoke about its promise:
“The goals are bold but achievable. They are beyond what medicine currently can do. We are planning for a 10-12-15 year effort to reach these endpoints. Success would transform life for millions of people with eye and vision diseases. It would have major implications for medicine of the future, for vision diseases, and even beyond this, for neurological diseases.”