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ARVO Foundation and Merck to provide prestigious global ophthalmic research award

Rockville, MD -- The ARVO Foundation for Eye Research (AFER) and Merck & Co., Inc. are pleased to announce a series of awards that honor young scientists throughout the world for their innovative contributions to ophthalmology research. Each award cycle is worth a total of $70,000 in grants.

The ARVO-AFER/Merck Innovative Ophthalmology Research Award (IORA), formerly Merck's Chibret Award, created in honor of French ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Chibret, is designed to encourage researchers to undertake investigative work in critical areas of ophthalmology. Since its initiation in 1982, more than 50 scientists age 45 or younger have received the award.

Merck, a leader in ophthalmology for over 50 years, will sponsor the ARVO-AFER/Merck Innovative Ophthalmology Research Award through a donation to AFER. The award will be presented biennially beginning in 2009 (for submissions received in 2008). In addition to monetary prizes, the awards cover recipients' travel expenses and registration fees for the ARVO Annual Meeting, which takes place in Fort Lauderdale, FL, each April/May.

"Merck is proud to support the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research by continuing to sponsor this global award that recognizes promising scientists and their pioneering work in the field of ophthalmology," said Anastasia Daifotis, MD, Vice President, Global Medical Affairs, Merck & Co., Inc. "We hope that AFER's global efforts to encourage innovation and promote support for eye and vision research will continue to inspire even more young scientists."

"AFER is looking forward to opening more doors for young researchers through the Innovative Ophthalmology Research Award," added Gary Abrams, MD, Chairman of AFER's Board of Governors. "We welcome Merck's continuing support and commitment to rigorous, inventive ophthalmic research."

2009 ARVO-AFER/Merck IORA:

The application period for the 2009 award ended in June 2008. AFER, with assistance from ARVO, will conduct the review and selection process of eligible submissions. AFER will announce recipients of the 2009 awards in conjunction with the ARVO 2009 Annual Meeting (May 3-7). There will be first and second place award grants for each of two categories (glaucoma and back-of-the-eye diseases). The four grants total $70,000.

2010 and beyond:

Beginning in 2010, investigators at the MD, PhD or equivalent doctoral level degree from any part of the world will be invited to apply for the 2011 awards. ARVO will select two research topics and award six grants totaling $70,000.


Contact: Joanne Olson
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology

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