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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 7, 2007
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
240-221-2905
jamesj@eyeresearch.org

NAEVR COMMENDS HOUSE AND SENATE CONFEREES FOR CONTINUED ELIGIBILITY OF EYE AND VISION RESEARCH FOR DOD PEER-REVIEWED MEDICAL RESEARCH FUNDING

(Washington, DC) Today, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) commended House and Senate conferees to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Defense Appropriations bill for continuing eye and vision research’s eligibility for funding within the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Congressionally-directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). Eye and vision research is one of 21 fields of research that can compete for funds within the CDMRP’s Peer-reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP), which was funded at $50 million. The FY2008 Defense Appropriations conference bill was scheduled for House floor action later today.

"This is the third year that eye and vision research has been listed, which reflects both the applicability and importance of defense-related vision research," stated NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky, who noted that 16 percent of all Iraq war injuries affect the eye, with optic nerve trauma the most severe. In its first year of listing (FY2006), the vision research community submitted 52 of the 651 total grant requests, or eight percent, and received 7 of 51 awards, representing $6.3 million. Although eye and vision research was listed in FY2007, PRMRP funding was not included in the in the year-long Joint Funding Resolution due to jurisdictional issues, which have subsequently been resolved.

Previously funded research has included ways to improve corneal transplantation by studying the regulation of the lymphatic pathway servicing the cornea and ongoing support for a “Retinal Implant” to restore vision through electronic stimulation of the retina.

In its justification for the listing submitted to Congress earlier this year, NAEVR identified three major areas of defense-related vision research:

  • Acute and chronic implications of corneal and retinal eye trauma, healing, infection/inflammation control, and associated vision rehabilitation;

  • Metabolic and physiological processes that relate to visual clarity, contrast sensitivity, and spatial orientation; and

  • Characterization of visual disparities based upon gender, race, or age and determination of the underlying physiological basis to develop treatments and therapies.

The National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) is a nonprofit advocacy coalition comprised of 55 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.