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DOD Announces $12.2 M Allocated for Awards to Vision Researchers

TATRC Vision Program Manager Robert Read describes plans for the Vision Research programís FY2011/2012 funding cycle awards
TATRC Vision Program Manager Robert Read describes plans for the Vision Research Programís FY2011/2012 funding cycle awards
At a Monday, May 7, NAEVR briefing entitled Defense-Related Vision Research Opportunities and held at the 2012 ARVO Annual Meeting, the Department of Defenseís Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) announced that it has allocated $12.2 million for awards to vision researchers in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2011/2012 funding cycle for its Vision Research Program (VRP). Since TATRC is currently in negotiations with awardees, those individuals and the abstracts of their research projects will not be identified until later this year.

TATRC Vision Program Manager Robert Read described that, in addition to Congressional allocations of $4 million in FY2011 and $3.2 million in FY2012 under the dedicated Vision Trauma Research Program (VTRP) line in defense appropriations, other DOD divisions have added $5 million in funding in this cycle due to the quality of the grants requests received and their responsiveness to DOD-identified vision research gaps. TATRC initially received 151 pre-proposals in response to its August 5, 2011, Program Announcement that specified that two types of grants would be funded: Hypothesis Development Awards (maximum $250,000) and Investigator Initiated Awards (maximum $1 million). In TATRCís FY2009/2010 funding cycle, twelve vision researchers received $11 million in awards.

At the briefingís conclusion, consultant Kevin Frick, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) provided top-line results of a Cost of Military Eye Injury and Blindness study that he had just completed for NAEVR. In summary, based on published data from the 2000-2010 timeframe, all sources of military eye injury [superficial, non-superficial with ocular injury, and visual dysfunction from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)] cost the United States $25.1 billion, including of the present value of future benefits [Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Social Security], lost wages, and family care.

NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky urged the 200 attendees to consider signing up for a one-on-one session with the TATRC and joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence (VCE) representatives in NAEVR central. From Monday to Wednesday, those representatives spent more than 30 hours hearing from ARVO members hearing about research to potentially address DOD needs.

Contact NAEVRís David Epstein at depstein@eyeresearch.org to be added to the ďDOD Interest Email ListĒ to receive updates on funding opportunities and awards.

Left to right: TATRCís Robert Read, March Mitchell and Francis McVeigh, O.D. speak with ARVO President Peng Khaw, M.D., Ph.D., FARVO (Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK).  On May 21, Dr. Khaw will host NAEVRís James Jorkasky and a group of blinded US soldiers at Moorfields.
Left to right: TATRCís Robert Read, Marc Mitchell and Francis McVeigh, O.D. speak with ARVO President Peng Khaw, M.D., Ph.D., FARVO(Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK). On May 21, Dr. Khaw will host NAEVRís James Jorkasky and a group of blinded US soldiers at Moorfields.
Left to right: NAEVR consultant Kevin Frick, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence Deputy Director Mary Lawrence, M.D.
Left to right: NAEVR consultant Kevin Frick, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence Deputy Director Mary Lawrence, M.D.
Left to right: ARVO Executive Vice President-Elect Craig Crosson, Ph.D., FARVO (Medical University of South Carolina) speaks with Mr. Read
Left to right: ARVO Executive Vice President-Elect Craig Crosson, Ph.D., FARVO (Medical University of South Carolina) speaks with Mr. Read
Left to right: Mr. Read with Karla Zadnik, O.D., Ph.D., FARVO (Ohio State University), who serves as the President of the American Academy of Optometry
Left to right: Mr. Read with Karla Zadnik, O.D., Ph.D., FARVO (Ohio State University), who serves as the President of the American Academy of Optometry
Left to right: NAEVRís James Jorkasky and Colonel Ray Santullo, O.D., former Optometric Consultant to the Air Force
Left to right: NAEVRís James Jorkasky and Colonel Ray Santullo, O.D., former Optometric Consultant to the Air Force
Left to right:  Acting National Program Director for VA Ophthalmology Glenn Cockerham, M.D. (Stanford University) with NAEVRís David Epstein
Left to right: Acting National Program Director for VA Ophthalmology Glenn Cockerham, M.D. (Stanford University) with NAEVRís David Epstein