Members of the Indo-U.S. Vision Research Collaborative Program gathered virtually to look back on the program’s genesis and accomplishments and to plot the program’s future. The bilateral program was initiated in 2005 with the purpose of fostering eye disease research between the two nations.
The August 13, 2021, meeting was organized by Pawan Sinha, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Sudha Iyengar, Cleveland Clinic; and Preetha Rajaraman, Health and Human Services health attaché for India. They’re Indian counterparts were S. Natarajan, Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital; Umang Mathur, Shroff Charity Eye Hospital; and Bhavna Chawla, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The meeting occurred on the heels of the fourth funding opportunity announcement (FOA) by the program. As with prior funding rounds, this FOA encourages multiple principal investigator applications from U.S.-based institutions with an Indian institution partner to conduct research on basic biology, the genetics of ophthalmic diseases, or both.
Early projects supported by the program explored diverse topics, including the genetics of inherited retinal disorders, congenital glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract. These binational collaborations through the program have helped Indian investigators tap into U.S. technology and expertise. In exchange, U.S. researchers have tapped into India’s vast and unique biorepositories. Together, the two nations work to ease the burden of vision disorders common to both.
Moving forward, the program aims to support data science, artificial intelligence, regenerative medicine, and training.