Goal: Develop a physiologically competent 3-D retina organoid model
The National Eye Institute (NEI) has its sights set on stimulating researchers to move rapidly toward treatments for retinal diseases. The NEI 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge (3D ROC) is a prize competition to develop a physiologically-competent 3-D retina organoid model. A retina organoid is similar to a human retina but it’s grown in a lab from stem cells. Scientists can use retina organoids to study eye diseases and treatments.
The first part of 3-D ROC was an ideation challenge. The winning and honorable mention teams were selected in fall 2017.
The second part of 3-D ROC, called Reduction to Practice, launched in 2018. This challenge offers multiple prize opportunities for participants who submit data showing their ability to create functional human retina organoids. Phase 2 solutions must be submitted by October 1, 2020.
Phase 2 submission period: September 14, 2020 – October 1, 2020
Phase 2 judging period: October 2, 2020 – November 20, 2020
Phase 2 winners announced: December 2020
The benefits for scientists who participate in this challenge include:
A chance to win up to $1M in prizes (only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to win prize money)
Exposure to industry partners, vision advocacy groups, small businesses, cell banks, and other stakeholders
The opportunity to team up with scientists from diverse fields such as developmental biology, stem cell biology, bioengineering, and materials science
Want to learn more? Read the challenge FAQs.
Spurring research, collaboration, and new treatments
With this challenge, we aim to:
Deliver a robust 3-D retina organoid system that the broader research community can leverage for their work.
Galvanize cross-discipline collaborations to encourage transformational advances that will result in meaningful therapies.
Eliminate limitations in current organoid protocols and accelerate development of 3-D retina organoids that faithfully model human tissue.
Model retinal diseases and test treatments in a system directly relevant to humans.
Thank you to our sponsors! See the list of sponsors.
Get news and stay connected with 3-D ROC
- NEI awards prize for progress toward developing lab-made retinas (Dec. 4, 2018)
See more 3-D retina organoid challenge news.