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January 14, 2009
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director


(Washington, D.C.) Yesterday, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) announced the awards to researchers who submitted grants in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP), a $50 million pool of peer reviewed funding. Although the award notice is preliminary and does not include grant abstracts or negotiated funding amounts, vision researchers received six grants as follows:

  • 2 of 4 Advanced Technology/Therapeutic Development Awards
  • 2 of 4 Clinical Trial Awards
  • 2 of 7 Translational Research Awards
No vision researchers were listed as recipients of investigator-initiated research awards. However, in the past, the CDMRP has awarded additional grants after the initial negotiation process had been completed.

"The fact that the vision research awards are primarily in clinical and translational research reflects their importance in addressing the immediate needs of our troops in the battlefield," said National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) Executive Director James Jorkasky, who added that NAEVR has already informed its Capitol Hill champions about the vision community’s success in the FY2008 PRMRP program.

From FY2006-2008, vision was one of 21 areas of research that could compete for PRMRP awards. In FY2009 defense appropriations, Peer Reviewed Research-Vision was made a separate line item and funded at $4 million. Vision researchers will now compete against vision researchers for research awards to target the various causes, effects, and treatment of visual injuries. An FY2009 Peer Reviewed Research-Vision program announcement should issue within first-quarter 2009.

The vision community is currently awaiting the announcement of awards in the CDMRP’s Deployment Related Medical Research Program (DRMRP), which is a $92 million pool of funds created by the mid-year FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act. The DRMRP has specifically requested grant proposals in the vision space, including visual/ocular trauma treatment and rehabilitation, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and wound infection.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a 501(c)4 non-profit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 professional, consumer, and industry organizations involved in eye and vision research. Visit the Web site at