DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

Vision – Transform visual system trauma care for our armed forces and the nation

Vision  Research Program Cover Image
» Click on Image to View Program Booklet

Vision Research Program Cover Image
» Click on Image to View Strategic Plan

Vision Research Program Overview Image
» Click on Image to View Program Overview
Eye injury and visual dysfunction resulting from military exposure affect a large number of Service Members and Veterans. Between 2000 and 2017, there were more than 275,000 eye injuries in the U.S. Armed Services, more than 6,000 of which were categorized as high risk of blindness.1  In addition, through the third quarter of 2021, more than 449,000 Service Members have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI),2 which can have significant impact on vision even when there is no injury to the eye.

The Vision Research Program (VRP) was established by Congress in 2009 to "target the various causes, effects and treatment of vision injury" as related to military exposure. The VRP was administered by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center from fiscal year 2009 (FY09) to FY12 and was transitioned to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) for administration starting with the FY13 program cycle. The VRP challenges the scientific community to design innovative research that will significantly advance the understanding, prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, and/or treatment of eye injury or visual dysfunction associated with military exposure and research that will enable the delivery of care in the military operational environment.

1Frick KD, Singman EL. Cost of Military Eye Injury and Vision Impairment Related to Traumatic Brain Injury: 2001-2017. Military Medicine. 2019 May 1;184(5-6):e338-e343. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usy420.
2https://health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Centers-of-Excellence/Traumatic-Brain-Injury-Center-of-Excellence/DOD-TBI-Worldwide-Numbers

Resources for Investigators:


Congressional Appropriations

Congressional Appropriations

  • $164.95 million
    FY09-22
  • $20 million
    FY23

Funding Summary

Funding
Summary


Related Videos

CAPT Walter Steigleman, MD


Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
Advancing Research for Military Vision Trauma

MAJ Thomas Zampieri (USA Ret.), PhD, PA

Blinded Veterans Association
Restoring Hope for Service Members with Eye Trauma

Michael Steinmetz, PhD

National Eye Institute
Generating New Treatments for Warfighters and Their Families

COL Mark Reynolds, MD

DoD Vision Center of Excellence
Addressing the Unique Challenges of Military Eye Trauma

Last updated Monday, April 15, 2024