NEI/NIH Funding

NAEVR/AEVR Commend the NEI on the Release of its Strategic Plan Grounded in the Realities of Vision Challenges

(Washington, D.C.) On November 1, the National Eye Institute (NEI) released its Strategic Plan: Vision for the Future (2021-2025) which identifies opportunities for NEI to achieve its mission through leadership to drive innovation research, inspire and train a talented and diverse next generation, and translate progress into practice. In this process, NEI revised its Mission Statement—the first time in 50 years—to reflect its goal to eliminate vision loss and improve quality of life through leadership to drive innovation, foster collaboration in vision research, recruit, inspire, and train a diverse new generation of the vision workforce, and educate broadly about vision research’s impact on health and quality of life. NEI’s strategic plan includes seven areas of emphasis that represent challenges impacting multiple facets of vision science:  

  • From Genes to Disease Mechanisms
  • Biology and Neuroscience of Vision
  • Immune System & Eye Health
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Data Science
  • Individual Quality of Life
  • Public Health & Disparities Research

NEI states that, although these areas of emphasis don’t replace the existing core program structure based on eye structure, function, or disease, they highlight important perspectives and expertise, especially in evolving areas that will require collaboration across disciplines.

NAEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky made the following statement on the plan:

“NAEVR commends NEI Director Michael Chiang, MD and the entire NEI staff for this innovative, forward-looking approach to its mission. Acknowledging the importance of scientific collaborations across disciplines to drive innovation, as well as a diverse workforce to accomplish these goals, the plan also recognizes the important role of patients and stakeholders in its work. It is grounded in the reality of the vision challenges it faces—including an aging population, disproportionate risk/incidence of vision loss in minority populations, and the impact of visual implications from numerous chronic diseases and their drug therapies. As the privately funded “Friends of the NEI,” the NAEVR and AEVR Alliances commit their efforts—including AEVR’s sustained education through its Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Initiative—to complement and enhance NEI’s activities pursuant to the plan.

To coincide with the release of the NEI Strategic Plan, Dr. Chiang has written an editorial for JAMA Ophthalmology and released a podcast in which he discusses the Plan. The editorial and podcast are available on the JAMA Ophthalmology Web Site.

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 www.eyeresearch.org