AEVR Announces Congressional Briefing on Children’s Vision Research

June 6, 2007
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director
[email protected]


(Washington, DC) Today, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) announced a Congressional briefing entitled Children’s Vision Research to be held Thursday, June 28, 2007, from 12 Noon -1:15 pm in Rayburn House Office Building Room B-339. The featured speakers are Dr. Lynn Cyert (Northeastern State University College of Optometry) and Dr. Michael Repka, M.D.(Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine).

Dr. Cyert, a principal investigator in NEI’s Vision in Preschoolers (VIP) Study, will report on this multi-center study’s research into the accuracy of vision screening tests. Since she works with the Cherokee Nation Head Start, she will also address children’s vision issues in the Native American population.

Dr. Repka, co-chair of NEI’s Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG), will describe this collaborative network of research into treatments for strabismus (misaligned eyes), amblyopia (often called “lazy eye,” where the brain and eye do not coordinate properly), and other eye disorders that affect children. He will report on the latest PEDIG breakthroughs, as well as the Multi-Ethic Pediatric Eye Disease Study (MEPEDS) and Baltimore Pediatric Eye Disease Study (BPEDS), which are evaluating eye disorders in multi-ethnic populations. He will also comment on just-released NEI research into treatment of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), where abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina (light-sensitive back of eye), causing it to scar.

In announcing the briefing, AEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky noted that the doubling of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget in Fiscal Years 1998-2003 enabled the NEI to significantly expand children’s vision research. “With flat-to-negative funding since the doubling ended, the renewal of these studies could be jeopardized,” said Jorkasky, who added that, “NEI’s large population studies that characterize disease prevalence and determine best treatments represent a rapid translation of basic research into clinical practice, thereby maximizing patient benefit.”

Lynn Cyert, Ph.D., O.D., is a Professor of Optometry and Chief of the Pediatric and Infant Vision Service at Northeastern State University College of Optometry in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where she has also served as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Interim Dean. She is a former member of the National Advisory Eye Council to the NIH.

Michael Repka, M.D., is a Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, at which he also serves as a Professor of Pediatrics. He is the immediate-past President of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation dedicated to education about the importance of federal funding for eye and vision research. AEVR is pleased to host this widely attended event, with a meal value of less than $50. To attend, call 202-530-4672 or email [email protected].