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Schepens Military Vision Symposium: AEVR Releases Defense Vision Brochure, DOD Announces $14 Million in Awards to 21 Vision Researchers

Left to right: Joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence (VCE) Director Colonel Donald Gagliano, M.D., Harvard Medical School Ophthalmology Department Chair Joan Miller, M.D., Cong. Michael Capuano (D-MA), and Massachusetts Eye and Ear President and CEO John Fernandez each welcomed attendees during the keynote session
Left to right: Joint DOD/VA Vision Center of Excellence (VCE) Director Colonel Donald Gagliano, M.D., Harvard Medical School Ophthalmology Department Chair Joan Miller, M.D., Cong. Michael Capuano (D-MA), and Massachusetts Eye and Ear President and CEO John Fernandez each welcomed attendees during the keynote session
On September 18, at the Fifth Military Vision Symposium on Ocular and Vision Injury held by the Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, Massachusetts, Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) Executive Director James Jorkasky released a new AEVR Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiative brochure entitled Value of Defense-related Vision Research. Summarizing the last seven years of education by AEVR and advocacy by the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR), to address deployment-related eye injuries from combat operations, the brochure educates about the Vision Trauma Research Program (VTRP) budget line in Defense appropriations, especially as to how VTRP-funded research addresses Department of Defense (DOD)-identified needs. AEVR plans to distribute the brochure to all Congressional offices. The author of NAEVRís Cost of Military Eye Injury and Blindness study Kevin Frick, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) also presented a poster of study results, which are presented on the front page of the AEVR brochure.

Robert Read, the Vision Program Manager for the DODís Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) which manages the VTRP, announced that TATRC is awarding $14 million to a total of 21 vision researchers in its Fiscal Year (FY) 2011-2012 funding cycle. NAEVR will post awardee abstracts on its Web site when released by TATRC.

At the Symposium, researchers and clinicians addressed a variety of defense-related eye injury issues, including eye blast injuries, visual dysfunction as a result of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), inflammation and infection, ocular pain, and regenerative medicine. Meeting attendance included ophthalmologists and optometrists from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), vision researchers, and advocates for research, such as NAEVR and Blinded Veterans Association (BVA). Meeting attendees were welcomed by Cong. Michael Capuano (D-MA), a champion for vision research, who spoke about the importance of the research and advocacy for its funding in a tight fiscal environment.

ďNAEVRís David Epstein and I are honored to be part of this Symposium, which is held every two years and engages those involved in the front lines of research into battlefield eye injuries,Ē said James Jorkasky who added that, ďMuch of what NAEVR has learned and uses in its defense-related vision research advocacy is a result of interactions at this meeting.Ē

DODís Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) Vision Program Manager Robert Read announced $14 million in awards to 21 researchers in the FY2011-2012 VTRP funding cycle
DODís Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) Vision Program Manager Robert Read announced $14 million in awards to 21 researchers in the FY2011-2012 VTRP funding cycle
Blinded Veterans Associationís (BVA) Tom Zampieri, Ph.D. provided a history of the advocacy to create and fund the Vision Center of Excellence and the VTRP budget line in defense appropriations
Blinded Veterans Associationís (BVA) Tom Zampieri, Ph.D. provided a history of the advocacy to create and fund the Vision Center of Excellence and the VTRP budget line in defense appropriations
Left to right: TATRCís Francis McVeigh, O.D. with FY2009-2010 VTRP awardees Randy Kardon, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Iowa) and Tonia Rex, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University)
Left to right: TATRCís Francis McVeigh, O.D. with FY2009-2010 VTRP awardees Randy Kardon, M.D., Ph.D. (University of Iowa) and Tonia Rex, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University)
Schepens/Massachusetts Eye and Ear Senior Scientist Darlene Dartt, Ph.D., who chaired the Planning Committee for the 2012 Symposium
Schepens/Massachusetts Eye and Ear Senior Scientist Darlene Dartt, Ph.D., who chaired the Planning Committee for the
2012 Symposium
Past President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Mark Petrash, Ph.D. (University of Colorado at Denver) views the poster presented by NAEVR consultant Kevin Frick, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) summarizing the Cost of Military Eye Injury and Blindness study
Past President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Mark Petrash, Ph.D. (University of Colorado at Denver) views the poster presented by NAEVR consultant Kevin Frick, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) summarizing the Cost of Military Eye Injury and Blindness study
Left to right: Former Optometric Consultant to the U.S. Air Force Colonel Ray Santullo, O.D. ,   Acting National Program Director for VA Ophthalmology Glenn Cockerham, M.D. (Stanford University), and Chief of the Visual Services Branch of the U.S. Armyís Aeromedical Research Lab Lieutenant Colonel Jose Capo-Aponte, O.D., Ph.D.
Left to right: Former Optometric Consultant to the U.S. Air Force Colonel Ray Santullo, O.D. , Acting National Program Director for VA Ophthalmology Glenn Cockerham, M.D. (Stanford University), and Chief of the Visual Services Branch of the U.S. Armyís Aeromedical Research Lab Lieutenant Colonel Jose Capo-Aponte, O.D., Ph.D.
Colonel Gagliano (center) with Past ARVO President Todd Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. (E. F. Proctor Foundation/University of California at San Francisco, left) and James Chodosh, M.D. (Massachusetts Eye and Ear, right), who addressed ocular pain
Colonel Gagliano (center) with Past ARVO President Todd Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. (E. F. Proctor Foundation/University of California at San Francisco, left) and James Chodosh, M.D. (Massachusetts Eye and Ear, right), who addressed ocular pain
Colonel Gagliano (center) with Colonel Randall Beatty, M.D. of the U.S. Air Force (left) and Colonel David Hilber, O.D. of the U.S. Army Public Health Command who addressed combat-related eye injuries and protective equipment
Colonel Gagliano (center) with Colonel Randall Beatty, M.D. of the U.S. Air Force (left) and Colonel David Hilber, O.D. of the U.S. Army Public Health Command (right) who addressed combat-related eye injuries and protective equipment