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Vision Research

VCE continually strives to improve the recognition and management of ocular injuries and vision-threatening conditions across military and veteran populations. Such efforts supporting improved care and coordination of care are essential for maintaining the visual performance of U.S. Service Members and Veterans.

VCE Leadership in Vision Research

VCE identifies, prioritizes, translates, and implements vision-related research. In collaboration with established partners, VCE provides direct input into DoD and VA research prioritization and support initiatives that ultimately support improved eye injury prevention and Service member and Veteran care through enhanced screening, diagnosis, treatment, management, and rehabilitation of ocular injuries and dysfunctions.

Vision Research Briefs

Critical to VCE’s mission is ensuring that VCE researchers and physicians stay current on important vision research and clinical studies. To this end, VCE publishes "Frontlines of Eye Care," a quarterly research newsletter with in-depth research summaries including information about military vision care issues and recent topics from VCE's Monthly Worldwide Ocular Trauma Video Teleconference.

Resources for Vision Researchers

Vision Research Prioritization Initiatives

VCE works with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program (CRMRP) and Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) to identify and address emerging clinical needs through directed research efforts.

  • VCE leaders have contributed to the TATRC vision research portfolio which fosters innovative, military-relevant research in priority areas including visual dysfunction after concussive injury/TBI; protection against environmental hazards; modulating ocular response to injury; modulating ocular response to disease; ocular and visual restoration; tele-robotics and simulation; refractive surgery; and education and training.
  • In 2011, VCE leaders participated in a scientific steering committee for vision research to identify and prioritize capability gaps. This meeting resulted in a ranked list of capability gaps and sub-gaps that informed recommendations for Defense Health Program (DHP) funding for fiscal year 2011 and 2012.

DoD/VA Collaborative Research Support Initiatives

Collaborative research between DoD and VA personnel presents unique opportunities and particular considerations with regards to teaming agreements, research protocols, and approval processes. VCE contributed to the VA/DoD Collaboration Guidebook for Healthcare Research (2013) that introduces researchers to VA/DoD collaboration and provides guidance on effectively identifying and partnering with others with common research interests, and resources for planning and implementing collaborative projects.

VCE provides direct support for VA/DoD vision research projects, including primary and meta-analyses of ocular dysfunction prevalence data, simulation studies of ocular disease screening and diagnosis algorithms, and exploration of the application of natural language processing algorithms to ophthalmic texts and medical dictation.

Additional Resources for Vision Researchers

Clinical Trials

Prior to being approved for use in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most new medical treatments must undergo at least three clinical trial phases.

  • Phase I: New drug or treatment is evaluated for safety, dosage, and side effects in a small group of volunteers
  • Phase II: New drug or treatment is evaluated for effectiveness and safety in a larger group of volunteers
  • Phase III: New drug or treatment is evaluated to confirm effectiveness and safety, monitor side effects, and compare with existing treatments in even larger groups of people in the general population
  • Phase IV: New drug or treatment is evaluated post-marketing to monitor side effects and collect additional information on the performance of the drug in the general population

For more information on clinical trials as well as a listing of public and private clinical trials being conducted worldwide, please visit

Clinical Support Tools

VCE, in conjunction with experts from the field and leadership from DoD and VA, has created a series of Clinical Support Tools for primary and specialty care providers. These include fact sheets and pocket cards for quick reference, including: