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March 23, 2009
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director


(Washington, D.C.) The Department of Defense (DOD) recently issued a document entitled Vision Research Portfolio which summarizes defense-related vision research conducted within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) and the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) within the DODís U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC). Examples of research include: corneal (healing, protection for burn patients, and improvements in transplantation); retinal (treatment of laser-induced retinal injuries; retinal neuro-protective factors introduced via a non-invasive ocular drug delivery system, and retinal implants); and battlefield repair of penetrating eye injuries.

NAEVR has distributed a copy of the Vision Research Portfolio, as well as its FY2010 defense-related vision research request, to House and Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Members. NAEVR asks the appropriators to maintain the Peer Reviewed Medical Research-Vision dedicated line item and increase funding to $10 million.

A large portion of the research described in the Portfolio for Fiscal Years (FY) 2006 and 2008 resulted from vision researchers competing against 20 other research areas within a pool of $50 million of funding within the CDMRPís Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). In FY2006, vision researchers received seven grants totaling $6.3 million. In FY2008, PRMRPís initial mid-January 2009 announcement awarded vision researchers 6 grants totaling about $8-10 million (final negotiations remain). These were primarily for clinical and translational research, reflecting their importance in addressing the immediate needs of troops in the battlefield.

FY2009 defense appropriations for the first time created a separate line item, Peer Reviewed Medical Research-Vision, funded it at $4 million. The FY2009 research program is being managed by TATRC, which is currently developing its award mechanisms and funding announcement.

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