Sept. 21 – In recognition of Healthy Aging Month and International Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Week 2022, AEVR and the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) hosted its fourth Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Congressional Briefing. 

The Briefing featured speakers James T. Handa, MD of the Wilmer Eye Institute/Johns Hopkins University, and Laura Carabello, an entrepreneur and person living with AMD and representing the AMDF. The AMD Briefing was the first in-person briefing conducted by AEVR since March 2019. Learn more

Sept. 21 – AEVR's Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Initiative hosted its Eighth Annual Emerging Vision Scientists (EVS) Day on Capitol Hill. Twenty-one early-stage investigators from around the country attended AEVR's annual International AMD Awareness Week Congressional Briefing and showcased their research via posters in an evening Congressional Reception. 

On Sept. 22, under the auspices of NAEVR, the EVS visited their Congressional delegation offices and advocated for final, robust NIH/NEI appropriations. Learn more about the researchers and EVS Day


July 13 – In recognition of Dry Eye Awareness Month, AEVR and the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) hosted their seventh annual Dry Eye Awareness Month Congressional Briefing. This disease continues to be a global epidemic affecting more than 30 million people in the United States alone. It happens when the eye does not produce tears correctly or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too rapidly. Dry Eye Disease remains one of the most frequent cases of patient visits to eye care providers, and with the many risk factors such as age, medication side effects, staring at screens for too long, along with it not having a cure, it needs to stay a priority. 

The Briefing features a panel of experts who speak to the lifestyle challenges of Dry Eye Disease, the research that impacts patients, and how research continues to be vital to further the understanding of the causes and continues to improve outcomes. Watch here


Maria Markoulli, PhD, MOptom,
GradCertOcTher, FBCLA, FAAO

Associate Professor
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Anat Galor, MD, MSPH
Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Fla.

Tannin Schmidt, PhD  
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
UConn School of Dental Medicine, Farmington, Conn.


 image of Leon Herndon  image of Trinh Green  

Hosted in conjunction with:


May 25 – In recognition of May as Healthy Vision Month, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) continued its Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Initiative with this important virtual Congressional Briefing. The chairs of the DRCR Network, Jennifer Sun, MD, MPH, and Daniel Martin, MD, talked about advancements in research and its impact on the treatment of diabetic eye disease. Brian Sheehan, vice president of Lions Clubs International, also shared his perspective on diabetic retinopathy and the importance of supporting eye and vision research to further improve patient outcomes. Watch here


Daniel Martin, MD
NEI's DRCR Network

Jennifer K. Sun, MD, MPH
NEI's DRCR Network

Brian Sheehan  
Vice President
Lions Clubs International


 image of Daniel Martin image of Brunner  image of Trinh Green  

Hosted in conjunction with:


March 8 – AEVR hosted a virtual Congressional Briefing recognizing World Glaucoma Week (March 6 - 12). The second leading cause of preventable vision loss in the United States, glaucoma affects more than 2.7 million Americans over age 40, with that number estimated to more than double by year 2050. Glaucoma is also a driving factor in the annual cost of vision impairment projected to reach $717 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars by year 2050.

Groups at highest risk of developing glaucoma include African Americans over age 40, individuals over age 60, and those with a family history of the disease. Progression can vary based on factors ranging from gender to ethnic and racial differences, and can be genetic or based on lifestyle choices (e.g., smoking). The Briefing talked about glaucoma and examined these differences, while identifying unmet needs as researchers and clinicians seek to optimize patient care. Watch here.


Leon W. Herndon, Jr., MD
Professor of ophthalmology
Duke University Medical Center

Thomas Brunner
President & CEO
Glaucoma Research Foundation

Trinh Green, MD    
Patient Representative
Glaucoma Research Foundation


 image of Leon Herndon image of Brunner  image of Trinh Green  

Hosted in conjunction with:


Nov. 17, 2021 – AEVR continued its series of educational briefings on exciting new developments in eye and vision research during the second annual Thyroid Eye Disease Awareness Week (Nov. 14-20). Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) is a serious, debilitating, and vision-threatening rare autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks muscles and other tissue behind and around the eyes. Because TED is progressive, early management and treatment is critical. People living with TED frequently experience long-term functional, psychosocial, and economic burdens, including inability to work and perform activities of daily living that can result in depression and accelerated mortality. This Briefing features physician and patient/caregiver perspectives on living with TED, as well as a dynamic discussion about the Society for Women’s Health Research’s initiatives on women’s eye health. Watch here.


Kimberly Cockerham, MD, FACS
Private practice
Stockton, Calif.

Ron Barela & Vickie Barela      
Patient advocate/ caregiver

Kathryn Godburn Schubert, MPP, CAE      
Society for Women's Health Research
Washington, DC

Kira Baldonado, MPH
Prevent Blindness
Chicago, Ill.

 image of Kimberly Cockerham image of Barelas  image of Kathryn Schubert image of Kira Baldonado

Hosted in conjunction with:

  • Speaking with keratoconus patients about research and treatments

Nov. 10, 2021 – AEVR joined with the National Keratoconus Foundation (NKCF) to recognize World Keratoconus Day 2021. Keratoconus (KC) is an eye condition in which the normally round, dome-shaped cornea — the transparent front of the eye — becomes weak and irregular, resulting in vision distortion, double or blurry vision, and light sensitivity. Researchers believe that certain individuals have a genetic predisposition to develop it and a 2021 study from Australia suggests prevalence of 1.2 percent of the population, meaning it affects the lives of more than 3 million Americans. Featured speakers Christopher Rapuano, MD (Wills Eye Hospital) and Christine Sindt, OD, FAAO (University of Iowa) addressed how they speak with newly diagnosed KC patients about research and treatment options. Watch here.



Christopher Rapuano, MD
Wills Eye Hospital,
Philadelphia, Penn.


Christine Sindt, OD, FAAO      
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa



image of John Compton   image of Christine Sindt    


Hosted in conjunction with:

  • Myopia: A Public Health Crisis

Oct. 20, 2021 – Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one of several refractive errors that occur when the eye cannot clearly focus images from the outside world. Myopia affects 30 percent of the United States population and 28 percent of the world’s population and is expected to reach 50 percent by the year 2050. Studies estimate that the global impact of uncorrected myopia results in a $244 billion annual loss of productivity. Speakers Jason Compton, OD (Compton Eye Associates, New York) and Katherine Lee, MD, PhD (St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital) addressed myopia clinical care and research. Watch here.


Jason Compton, OD
Compton Eye Associates,
New York, N.Y.


Katherine Lee, MD, PhD      
St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital
Boise, Idaho



image of John Compton   image of Katherine Lee    


Hosted in conjunction with:


  • Congressional Briefing: Latest on clinical practice and research for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) patients

Sept. 21, 2021 – As part of its Seventh Annual Emerging Vision Scientists Day on Capitol Hill recognizing International AMD Awareness Week 2021 and Health Aging Month, AEVR hosted a Congressional Briefing featuring clinician-scientist Amir H. Kashani, MD, PhD, Wilmer Eye Institute/Johns Hopkins University and National Eye Institute (NEI) researcher Kapil Bharti, PhD. They addressed all aspects of AMD clinical practice and research. Matt Levine from the American Macular Degeneration Foundation and AEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky moderated a post-presentation discussion with the speakers. Watch here.


Amir H. Kashani, MD, PhD
Johns Hopkins Medicine,
Wilmer Eye Institute


Kapil Bharti, PhD      
National Eye Institute


Matt Levine
American Macular Degeneration

image of Amir Kashani   image of Kapil Bharti   image of Matt Levine


Hosted in conjunction with:


  • A Conversation: Moving beyond COVID-19 in my career pathway

Sept. 21, 2021 View AEVR's conversation with 28 early-stage vision scientists on how they have applied lessons learned from COVID-19 laboratory closures to their future research and career pathway. In addition, hear from each of the Emerging Vision Scientists (EVS) in personal videos about their breakthrough eye and vision research that addresses the question, “How will this research delay, reduce, and prevent the $717 billion annual cost of eye disease and vision impairment projected by year 2050?” Watch here.

Access this dossier book for detailed info. about each researcher (searchable by state)


(please click on each researcher's name/photo below to view their video)

Ji Won Bang, PhD
NYU Grossman School of Medicine
New Jersey
  Lea Bennett, PhD
The University of Oklahoma
  Roomasa Channa, MD
University of Wisconsin
 image of Ji Won Bang    image of Lea Bennett    image of Roomasa Channa
Xi Chen, MD, PhD
Duke University
North Carolina
  Lindsey De Lott, MD
University of Michigan
  Kimberly Gokoffski, MD, PhD
University of Southern California
 image of Xi Chen    image of Lindsey De Lott    image of Kimberly Gokoffski
Sylvia Groth, MD
Vanderbilt University
  Jarrod Harman, PhD
LSU Health Science Center
  Patrice Marie Hicks, PhD
University of Michigan
 image of Sylvia Groth    image of Jarrod Harman    image of Patrice Marie Hicks
Rachel Huckfeldt, MD, PhD
Massachussets Eye and Ear
  Archana Jalligampala, PhD
University of Louisville
  Stefan Kurtenbach, PhD
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
 image of Rachel Huckfeldt    image of Archana Jalligampala    image of Stefan Kurtenbach
Milica Margeta, MD, PhD
Massachussets Eye and Ear
  J. Patrick Mayo, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
  Mallory McLaughlin, OD
Illinois College of Optometry
 image of Milica Margeta    image of J Patrick Mayo    image of Mallory McLaughlin
Joseph Mertz, PhD
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  Ann Morrison, OD, PhD
The Ohio State University
College of Optometry
  Alex Muntz, PhD, MScOptom
University of Auckland
New Zealand
 image of Joseph Mertz    image of Ann Morrison    image of Alex Muntz
Leah Owen, MD, PhD
University of Utah
  Jennifer Patnaik, PhD
University of Colorado
  Margaret Reynolds, MD
Washington University
 image of Leah Owen    image of Jennifer Patnaik    image of Margaret Reynolds
Roksana Sadeghi, PhD
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  Daisy Shu, BOptom, BSc, PhD
Massachussets Eye and Ear
  Katelyn Swindle-Reilly, PhD
The Ohio State University
 image of Roksana Sadeghi    image of Daisy Shu    image of Katelyn Swindle-Reilly
Brian Thompson, PhD
Yale University
  Edmund Tsui, MD
UCLA Stein Eye Institute
  Kevin Willeford, OD, PhD
NOVA Southeastern University
College of Optometry
image of Brian Thompson    image of Matt LevineEdumund Tsui    image of Kevin Willeford
Thomas Wubben, MD, PhD
University of Michigan
image of Thomas Wubben        
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July 13, 2021 – In recognition of Dry Eye Awareness Month 2021, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), joined by the Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society (TFOS), hosted their sixth annual Dry Eye Congressional Briefing. The briefing consisted of an interview-style discussion led by AEVR Executive Director James Jorkasky, who is a Dry Eye Disease (DED) patient. Key leaders from TFOS’ next Global Workshop entitled “A Lifestyle Epidemic: Ocular Surface Disease,” also addressed the latest in lifestyle and environmental factors that result in Dry Eye.

This latest initiative follows TFOS’ Dry Eye Workshop II (TFOS DEWS II™) Report, released in July 2017 and published in The Ocular Surface journal. That re-examination of TFOS’ initial 2007 Report updated the definition, classification, and diagnosis of DED; critically evaluated the epidemiology, pathophysiology, mechanism and impact of the disease; addressed its management and therapy, and developed recommendations for design of clinical trials to assess therapies. Watch here.

Jennifer P. Craig, PhD, FCOptom
University of Auckland
New Zealand



David A. Sullivan, MS, PhD
TFOS Founder and
TFOS Chair, Board of Directors

  Christopher E. Starr
Weill Cornell Medicine,
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
 image of Jennifer Craig    image of David Sullivan   image of Christopher Starr


March 11, 2021 –  As part of its new Research Saving Sight, Restoring Vision Initiative, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) held its World Glaucoma Week 2021 Congressional Briefing entitled Glaucoma: Clinical Practice and Research to Optimize Patient Outcomes on March 11. Featured speakers included clinician scientist-educators Mona Kaleem, MD and Elyse Joelle McGlumphy, MD—both from the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine—who spoke about glaucoma and their respective clinical experiences in treating patients, as well as their research efforts to better understand and optimize the patient experience. Glaucoma Research Foundation’s patient representative Amanda Eddy, who was born with glaucoma, spoke about quality-of-life challenges presented by the disease. Watch here.

NAEVR/AEVR events archive