nei’s research partnerships around the world & vision loss prevention activities

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NEI’s Research Partnerships Around the World & Vision Loss Prevention Activities. World Sight Day 2012: From Vision Research to Vision Loss prevention October 11, 2012. John Prakash, PhD, MBA Associate Director, International Programs National Eye Institute- National Institutes of Health - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • NEIs Research Partnerships Around the World & Vision Loss Prevention Activities

    John Prakash, PhD, MBAAssociate Director, International ProgramsNational Eye Institute- National Institutes of HealthTel: (301) 496-2234; Fax:301-496-9970Email:

    Department of Health and Human ServicesWorld Sight Day 2012: From Vision Research to Vision Loss preventionOctober 11, 2012

  • 1. Goals of the NEI International Program 2. Research Partnerships Around the World Intramural CollaborationsExtramural Collaborations

    3. Sample Case Studies Trachoma Corneal ulcer Brain neuroplasticity


  • NIH MISSION STATEMENTAn agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH conducts and supports medical research to uncover new knowledge that will improve the health of all Americans and the human condition throughout the world.

  • High-throughput technologies in genomics and nanotechnologyDeveloping diagnostics, preventative strategies and therapeutic tools through publicprivate partnershipsReining in the costs of health care with comparative-effectiveness research and personalized medicineExpanding research into diseases affecting the developing worldIncreasing budgets and investing in training & peer review to achieve a predictable funding trajectory

  • to conduct and support research, training, and other programs with respect to blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, mechanisms of visual function, preservation of sight, and specific health problems and needs of the blind.NEI Mission

  • Office of International Programs-Global HealthGood Eye Research Anywhere is Good Eye Research Everywhere

  • Broad Functions

    Coordinate and support collaborative international research programs that focus on selected eye diseases of substantial health importance to the US and other countries

    Maintain a knowledge base of the Institute's research programs and policies in coordination with the National Institutes of Health - Fogarty International Center (FIC)

    Identify relevant programs of other federal domestic agencies, bilateral research agencies, multilateral research organizations, and volunteer agencies involved in international health activities

    Advise the NEI Director on program relationships and opportunities for collaborationOffice of International Programs-Global Health

  • Three Goals for NEI International Programs

    Goal I: Coordination

    Address the daily needs of the international business and actively participate in the NIH and the USG wide programs that may affect vision research and training

    Goal II: Research Collaboration

    Foster a sustainable international research environment, expand collaborations in the countries across the globe that are interested in the advancement of vision research, and support international partnerships providing scientific value to the NEI-NIH programs

    Goal III:Training

    Develop human capital in the US to support the future needs in the areas of vision research and training, support mentoring activities for the next generation of scientists and professionals interested in global health and vision research


  • 1. Goals of the NEI International Program 2. Research Partnerships Around the World Intramural CollaborationsExtramural Collaborations

    3. Sample Case Studies Trachoma Corneal Ulcer Brain neuroplasticity


  • Summary of the Latest International Collaborative Activities at NEI-intramural

    >50 international collaborations, projects, affiliations, CRADAs, and other engagements on all 6 continents

    40% collaborative engagements are in Asia, 35% in Europe and 25% in other countries

    23 Major International Initiatives over past 2 years

    6 Recent Achievements in Global Health Activities

    10 International Partnerships & Collaborations

    5 Current Memberships on Global Health Committees/Working Groups

    Currently training 66 international scientists and fellows

    18 scientists trained in the past two years have gone back (to their native countries)


  • Major International Initiatives over Past Two years*

  • Summary of New International Partnerships & Collaborations

    US-NIH & UK-NIHR Collaboration with NEI, UCL and University of Bristol - UNITE

    CRADA with Genomatix in Munich, GERMANY, to develop meta-analysis tools for omic data to identify novel biomarkers and to develop therapies for retinal and macular diseases

    CRADA with Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center, Sun Yat-sen University, China

    Indo-US Joint Working Group

    Various ARVO international group participation and support

    Lowy Institution, Sydney, Australia. Participation in design & conduct of a natural history study & clinical trial

    Retina Institute, Japan, Serving on the Scientific Advisory Board

    Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France: Collaborations with several scientists

    Cell Cure Neurosciences, Israel. Serving as a board member for the Medical Advisory Board

    Singapore Eye Research Institute. Serving as a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel


  • International Scientists in DIR(As reported in June 2012)


  • NEI Extramural ProgramsFunded NEI Grants International ProgramsArgentinaPrimary Open Angle GlaucomaAustraliaNuclear CataractCanadaRetinal Stem CellsChinaGenetics of Age-related Macular Deg.DenmarkDiabetic RetinopathyEthiopiaTrachomaFranceRetinal Pigment Epithelial/Stem CellsGermanyAdvanced Imaging for Eye DiseasesGhanaGlaucoma Genetic Risk FactorsIndiaCornea Ulcers TrialProject PrakashIsraelPhototransductionItalyOxidative Damage to TM-GlaucomaJapanMacular DegenerationSwitzerlandNanofabrication technology/T cellsUK Various Eye Disorders Supports 26 grants and 36 foreign sites in 15 countries

  • 1. Goals of the NEI International Program 2. Research Partnerships Around the World Intramural CollaborationsExtramural Collaborations

    3. Sample Case Studies Trachoma Corneal Ulcer Brain neuroplasticity


  • US Public Health Service officers examining migrants at Ellis Islandslide (modified) courtesy of Prof. Hugh TaylorCivilian Populations Crowded Slums of Industrial Revolution

  • Avoidable Blindness: Trachoma affects 11 Million People Worldwidephotos courtesy of Emily West, STAR Study TeamChlamydia trachomatis bacterial infection

  • STAR TRIAL - Eye Research Leads the Way: Single-dose Antibiotic Reduces Recurrence of In-turned Eyelashes after SurgerySTAR Study - Surgery for Trichiasis, Antibiotics for Recurrence. An NEI-funded clinical trial partnered with ORBIS International. in Archives of Ophthalmology, March 2006photo courtesy of Emily West, STAR Study Team

  • slide (modified) courtesy of Prof. Hugh TaylorBiannual Treatment of Azithromycin is Effective145 million doses to date

  • Trachoma Vaccine ?A new vaccine tested in monkeys shows promise against the disease. If successful in humans, it could be a very helpful tool within the global strategy

    NIAID, NIH-funded research

    J. Exp. Med. 2011;208(11):2217-23.

  • Treatment Topical Corticosteroids Found To Heal Severe Bacterial Corneal UlcersResearchers found significant vision improvementone and a half to two lines of improvement on an eye chartby using corticosteroid therapy on patients with severe ulcers.

    Steroids for Corneal Ulcers Trial (SCUT) - Arch Ophthalmol:130, Feb 2012UCSF and the Aravind Eye Care System, in Madurai, India500 participants with culture-positive bacterial corneal ulcer from US & IndiaRandomized placebo-controlled trial from September 2006-February 2010Half of the patients received 1% topical prednisolone sodium phosphate treatment and the other half received placebos. No difference in overall group, but a difference in severe ulcers subgroupNEI-supported International Research


  • Project Prakash-Video

  • The NEIs New World


    **************C. trachomatis is spread by interpersonal contact and by flies. In the study, six cynomolgus macaques received three doses each of the vaccine in eyedrops over the course of a few months, while six others werent vaccinated. One month after the last vaccine dose, all 12 monkeys were given eyedrops containing a highly virulent strain of C. trachomatis and were then monitored weekly.The unvaccinated monkeys showed moderate to severe eye disease for two to four months.In contrast, three of the vaccinated monkeys demonstrated strong immunity to the bacterium, remaining free of eye disease. The other three had partial immunity, characterized by significantly less infection immediately after exposure compared with the unvaccinated controls which also made them less likely to spread the microbe.Just one vaccinated monkey still showed signs of infection six weeks later. After 14 weeks of observation, monkeys with any lingering infection were treated with antibiotics to cure them. To make the vaccine, the scientists deleted a key component of C. trachomatis, a ring of DNA called a plasmid that was suspected to play a role in the disease. The eye damage caused by trachoma results less from the microbe itself than from the immune systems response to it. The infection triggers a hyper-reaction of inflammation of the eyelid, Caldwell says, which swells and eventually can turn inward. Over time, the eye lashes scratch the cornea, leading to scarring and blindness.The plasmid encodes a protein whose function is unknown, so exactly how the vaccine works is unclear. Caldwell suspects the plasmid is driving a very strong innate immune r