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NAEVR Central, the Vision Research Community’s “Town Hall,” Draws Record Number of Visitors at 2011 ARVO Annual Meeting

NAEVR’s James Jorkasky and David Epstein in front of NAEVR Central
NAEVR’s James Jorkasky and David Epstein in front of NAEVR Central
Prominently situated next to ARVO Central at the entrance to the Exhibit Hall, NAEVR Central at the 2011 ARVO Annual Meeting drew a record number of visitors. In addition to contacting Congress to urge Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eye Institute (NEI) funding at $35 billion and $794.5 million, respectively, researchers also visited with representatives of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) and the joint DOD/Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Vision Center of Excellence (VCE). At NAEVR’s May 2 Defense-Related Vision Research Opportunities session, TATRC announced that it would shortly issue a Program Announcement seeking grant submissions for its Vision Research Program (VRP) funded through the dedicated $4 million line item in the final Continuing Resolution (CR) that funded the government through the end of FY2011.

“NAEVR Central continues to serve as the ‘Town Hall’ for questions on vision research funding,” said NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky. "With a net one percent cut to the NIH/NEI funding level in FY2011, researchers were especially interested in DOD funding opportunities and how their research could meet DOD-identified gaps in vision research, such as corneal healing, corneal and retinal protection, visual dysfunction associated with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the eye blast phenomenon. I especially want to thank TATRC Vision Portfolio Manager Robert Read for meeting with researchers for three days in NAEVR Central, as well as NAEVR’s David Epstein for responding to so many questions and adding researchers to his 'DOD Interest Email List' to receive announcements about funding opportunities." [email depstein@eyeresearch.org to be added]

Jorkasky also participated in many of the meetings held by NAEVR member organizations, updating them on the latest on funding and NIH structural issues.

ARVO President Jeffrey Boatright, Ph.D. FARVO (Emory University School of Medicine), and Immediate-Past President J. Mark Petrash, Ph.D., FARVO (Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute/University of Colorado School of Medicine) meet with David Epstein after contacting Congres
ARVO President Jeffrey Boatright, Ph.D. FARVO (Emory University School of Medicine), and Immediate-Past President J. Mark Petrash, Ph.D., FARVO (Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute/University of Colorado School of Medicine) meet with David Epstein after contacting Congress
Left to right: DOD/TATRC’s Robert Read took a break from hosting researchers to meet in the Exhibit Hall with joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence (VCE) Director Colonel Donald Gagliano, M.D. and NEI Director Paul Sieving, M.D., Ph.D.  Colonel Gagliano sits on the NEI’s National Advisory Eye Council (NAEC), while NEI has a representative on the TATRC Programmatic Panel that oversees the Vision Research Program.
Left to right: DOD/TATRC’s Robert Read took a break from hosting researchers to meet in the Exhibit Hall with joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence (VCE) Director Colonel Donald Gagliano, M.D. and NEI Director Paul Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. Colonel Gagliano sits on the NEI’s National Advisory Eye Council (NAEC), while NEI has a representative on the TATRC Programmatic Panel that oversees the Vision Research Program.
Left to right: James Jorkasky and 2009 ARVO President Nicholas Delamere, Ph.D., FARVO (University of Arizona) describe defense-related vision research to high school students
Left to right: James Jorkasky and 2009 ARVO President Nicholas Delamere, Ph.D., FARVO (University of Arizona) describe defense-related vision research to high school students
Left to right: NEI’s Senior Advisor for Translational Research Matthew McMahon, Ph.D. with Allie Laban-Baker and Narinder Sharma from the AMD Alliance International, a NAEVR member, in the Exhibit HallLeft to right: NEI’s Senior Advisor for Translational Research Matthew McMahon, Ph.D. with Allie Laban-Baker and Narinder Sharma from the AMD Alliance International, a NAEVR member, in the Exhibit Hall
Left to right: Joel Schuman, M.D., FARVO (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) chats with Torrey de Keyser and Shirley Hamilton of the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, a NAEVR member. Dr. Schuman spoke on behalf of AEVR on Capitol Hill during World Glaucoma Week 2011
Left to right: Joel Schuman, M.D., FARVO (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) chats with Torrey Dekeyser and Shirley Hamilton of the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, a NAEVR member. Dr. Schuman spoke on behalf of AEVR on Capitol Hill during World Glaucoma Week 2011.
Researchers Pieter Poolman, Ph.D. and Matthew Harper, Ph.D. from the Iowa City VA Center for Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss, who work with Randy Kardon, M.D. (University of Iowa), a DOD-grant recipient whom AEVR featured in a February 2011 Congressional Briefing on visual dysfunction from Traumatic Brain Injury
Researchers Pieter Poolman, Ph.D. and Matthew Harper, Ph.D. from the Iowa City VA Center for Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss, who work with Randy Kardon, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Iowa), a DOD-grant recipient whom AEVR featured in a February 2011 Congressional Briefing on visual dysfunction from Traumatic
Brain Injury
Left to right: ARVO Executive Director Joanne Angle with 2008 ARVO President Martine Jager, M.D., Ph.D., FARVO (University of Leiden). Dr. Jager, the first international ARVO President and advocacy champion, was the featured speaker at the Women in Eye and Vision Research (WEAVR) luncheon
Left to right: ARVO Executive Director Joanne Angle with 2008 ARVO President Martine Jager, M.D., Ph.D., FARVO (Leiden University Medical Center). Dr. Jager, the first international ARVO President and advocacy champion, was the featured speaker at the Women in Eye and Vision Research (WEAVR) luncheon.