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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2006
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

FY2006 Defense Appropriations Bill Makes Eye and Vision Research Eligible For Funding in the $50 Million Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Program

(Washington, DC) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) announced that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Defense Appropriations Conference Report (HR 2863), passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 30, 2005, has added "eye and vision" to research eligible for peer-reviewed funding under the Department of Defense's (DOD) Congressionally-directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). As a result, researchers can submit defense-related vision research grants for consideration by the program, which is funded at $50 million in FY2006. The CDMRP Web site at http://cdmrp.army.mil currently states that program announcements will issue shortly for research included in FY2006 funding.

"Optimal visual performance is essential, whether in direct battlefield conditions or in any of the vital functions that support our troops," said NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky, who added that, "15 percent of wartime injuries include the eye, with optic trauma being most grave." NAEVR had submitted an extensive justification to Congress early in the FY2006 appropriations process for the addition of vision-related defense research to the CDMRP program. The justification emphasized that vision is the sense most vulnerable to battlefield conditions, whether from direct trauma, biohazards or environmental conditions that foster abrasion and infection, and included three key areas of research: visual acuity, eye trauma and infection and health disparities.

Jorkasky concluded by announcing that NAEVR would work with its member networks to educate researchers about CDMRP grant requirements.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 50 professional, consumer and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. NAEVR's goal is to achieve the best vision for all Americans through advocacy and public education for eye and vision research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Eye Institute (NEI) and other federal research entities. Visit NAEVR's Web site at www.eyeresearch.org to read the full text of NAEVR's CDMRP justification.