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Funding Opportunity for Defense-related Vision Research

Eye and vision research was again included as an eligible area of study in the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) in the FY2008 Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. The CDMRP has released the list of grants recommended for FY008 funding.

The PRMRP is part of the larger Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), which manages the grants process for a number of medical research programs, including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) research.

NAEVR would greatly appreciate hearing from researchers that applied for the grants about their experiences with the program and the results of their application. Please send this information to David Epstein, depstein@eyeresearch.org or at 240-221-2902. If you are interested in receiving email updates when new information is available, please send an email to that address.


Information about the PRMRP and grants submission process is at http://cdmrp.army.mil/prmrp/default.htm. A factsheet about the program is also available here.

The following are examples of applicable research:

Eye Trauma, Healing, and Infection, and Rehabilitation

This research relates to acute and chronic implications of corneal and retinal eye trauma, healing, infection/inflammation control, and associated vision rehabilitation.

  • Treatment of eye trauma caused by a physical, chemical, or biological agent insult; associated healing issues; and infection/inflammation control (including infections associated with skin around the eye, the corneal surface, or within the ocular globe, and the impact of environmental conditions that promote infection)
  • Treatment of eye injury caused by the offensive use of lasers; laser-use safety issues
  • Ocular surface reconstruction and treatment of corneal damage by corneal transplantation or through corneal stem cell transplantation
  • Retinal and optic nerve regeneration (either through identification of genes involved and associated gene therapy or through other biomedical processes)
  • Treatment and prevention of Chronic Dry Eye
  • Optimal vision rehabilitation management after acute injury

Visual Function/Visual Acuity

This research relates to the metabolic and physiological processes that relate to visual clarity, contrast sensitivity, and spatial orientation.

  • Impact of metabolic modulation or stress on visual acuity and contrast sensitivity (e.g., effect of lowered blood glucose levels on central vision)
  • Visual image processing (better understanding of the biological/electrochemical interface in the vision process to improve acuity and advance "artificial vision" and other assistive technology)
  • Spatial orientation processing (relation of motor control and perception, especially relating to depth perception of objects in a visual field; enhance peripheral vision
  • Next-generation refractive error correction and vision augmentation research (e.g., LASIK, visual implants/prostheses and associated corneal healing issues)

Vision Health Disparities

This research relates to characterization of visual disparities based upon gender, race, or age and determination of the underlying physiological basis to develop treatments and therapies.

  • Epidemiologic studies of military populations to determine extent/physiological basis of vision health disparities (e.g., greater incidence of glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy in the African/American/Hispanic populations)
  • Low vision research (result of traumatic eye injury or chronic eye disease, such as age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma)
  • Age-related macular degeneration research (leading cause of blindness in US/leading cause of blindness in Americans age 60+)

If you have any questions, you can contact NAEVR Director of Government Relations David Epstein at 240-221-2902 or depstein@eyeresearch.org.