Department of Defense
United States Army Medical Research and Development Command
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

Released: February 9, 2022

VRP Hosts In-Progress Review and State-of-Science Meeting on Retina and Optic Nerve Injury Research

On January 31, 2022, the Department of Defense (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Vision Research Program (VRP) hosted a virtual In-Progress Review and State-of-Science Meeting on retinal and optic nerve injury research. Stakeholders representing different branches of the military, Veterans, funding agencies, and advocates attended the meeting.

LTC Marcus Colyer, Ophthalmology Consultant to the Surgeon General of the United States Army, gave an overview on the management of vitreoretinal injuries following combat ocular trauma. Five VRP-funded investigators presented their research aiming to develop therapies for a number of retina and optic nerve injury conditions. After the presentations, speakers and attendees participated in open discussions on ocular trauma models, approaches of therapeutic development, and considerations for clinical translation.

Research presented at the meeting showcased the breadth of the VRP’s investment into this critical area and the outcomes. The VRP has consistently invested in retina and optic nerve injury research since the program was established in 2009. The investments have resulted in a variety of potential interventions at different stages of development, more than a dozen patent applications, and several studies entering or near clinical trials. VRP-sponsored research also enabled the development of multiple trauma models that are crucial for the characterization of pathobiology and the testing of potential therapies. Find information about the VRP here.

COL Scott McClellan, Branch Chief of the DOD Vision Center of Excellence, found the meeting “informative and productive”. He stated, “The meeting facilitated the VRP Programmatic Panel’s goal of focusing research initiatives, critically evaluating DOD health care processes, establishing guidelines for clinical care, and enhancing outcomes for our Service members.”

For more information about the CDMRP, our research programs, previous awardees, as well as research highlights please visit the website at

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Last updated Wednesday, February 9, 2022