In 2009, the NEI celebrated its 40th anniversary as the NIH’s lead Institute that manages and funds the nation’s commitment to save and restore vision. Accordingly, Congress recognized NEI’s anniversary by passing H. Res. 366 and S. Res. 209, which also designated 2010-2020 as the decade of vision and recognized NAEVR/AEVR leadership. AEVR’s Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiative was a sustained educational effort about the benefit of federally funded vision research for patients. The decade was especially important because of the growth of the aging population, disproportionate incidence of eye disease in fast-growing minority populations, and the impact on vision of chronic diseases.
In 2018, AEVR led the recognition of the 50th anniversary of Congress creating the NEI within the NIH. This included sponsorship of two Congressional Receptions and a September 2018 “foreword’ in a USA Today Vision and Hearing supplement about 50 years of NEI-led vision research breakthroughs.
Under the auspices of the DOV, AEVR hosted/co-hosted 4-7 Congressional Briefings annually on a breadth of vision research, held its annual Emerging Vision Scientists Day on Capitol Hill events, and issued fact sheets, studies, and publications. Recent highlights include:
- AEVR launched its new Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Initiative which hosted six virtual global Congressional Briefings: World Glaucoma Week (March), Dry Eye Awareness Month (July), International AMD Awareness Week (September), Myopia (October), World Keratoconus Day (November), and Thyroid Eye Disease Awareness Week (November)—all available in the video library on the AEVR Web site.
- AEVR held its Seventh Annual Emerging Vision Scientists (EVS) Day on Capitol Hill virtually, engaging 28 EVSs in research videos and a 30-minute video conversation Moving Beyond COVID in My Career Pathway. Following the publication of the 2020 EVS COVID Conversation in the July 1, 2021, edition of JAMA Ophthalmology, AEVR has submitted a written version of the 2021 Conversation to JAMA Ophthalmology.
2021 and Beyond: AEVR’s Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Initiative
In mid-2020, the AEVR Board approved a new Initiative to build upon the Decade of Vision Initiative that reflects the focus of NEI’s sight-saving and vision-restoring research. In 2021, AEVR introduced the Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Initiative as the umbrella under which it will conduct its sustained education consisting of Congressional Briefings, EVS Days, and fact sheets, studies, and publications. As with the DOV, this education will focus on the impact on patients and consider unmet need and impact on underserved populations.
Commitment to Diversity
The AEVR Board of Directors has adopted the attached Diversity Policy.
AEVR Board of Directors
Paul Lee, MD, JD (Kellogg Eye Institute/University of Michigan) Board President
Eduardo Alfonso, MD (Bascom Palmer Eye Institute/University of Miami)
T. Rowan Candy, MCOptom, PhD (Indiana University School of Optometry)
Steven Feldon, MD, MBA (Flaum Eye Institute/University of Rochester)
Marissa Goldberg (Doheny Eye Institute)
Mark Gordon (Alcon)
Brian F. Hofland, PhD (Research to Prevent Blindness)
Judy Kim, MD (Medical College of Wisconsin)
Kelly K. Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD (University of Alabama at Birmingham) Secretary
Joan O'Brien, MD (Scheie Eye Institute/University of Pennsylvania)
S. Grace Prakalapakorn, MD, MPH (Duke University)
Rajesh Rajpal, MD (Johnson & Johnson Vision)
Michael Robinson, MD (Allergan, an AbbVie Company)
Iris Rush, CAE (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) Vice President
Gregory Skuta, MD (Dean McGee Eye Institute/University of Oklahoma) Treasurer
AEVR Executive Director
AEVR Director, Education
David H. Epstein