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Homemieditorialmivision Issue 184 November 2022

mivision Issue 184 November 2022

There’s plenty of exceptional, highly innovative work underway in optometry and ophthalmology in Australia right now, as you’ll read in this issue of mivision.

We’ve covered research on myopia-control therapy in a multi-racial cohort of children reflective of the broader Australian population; vision testing as an essential element of stroke evaluation; drug and gene therapy treatments for Usher syndrome, and modifiable risk factors for Acanthamoeba keratitis – all being undertaken by academics from Australia. We’ve also put the spotlight on emerging stars in optometry from University of New South Wales Sydney, who were recently internationally recognised for their research projects.

Research requires extensive funding, which can be extremely difficult to attract, particularly in the current economic climate. Most funding for health research in Australia comes from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which distributes around AU$800 million each year, and the Medical Research Future Fund, which provides an additional $650 million but focuses more on big-picture ‘missions’ than researcher-initiated projects.1

The NHMRC’s funding has remained flat over the past 10 years, despite rising costs of research, so the available money is achieving less. Consequently, only about 10–15% of applications for funding are approved these days compared to around 20% back in 2012.

All of this puts more pressure on business and individuals to come up with the funds needed to progress our knowledge. So, we’re delighted to report on grants recently distributed by Glaucoma Australia and the Future Vision Foundation, the latter a not-forprofit research foundation established just last year by Vision Eye Institute. Coming up is grant funding from Macular Disease Foundation Australia – applications are due on 31 January, so if you’ve got a macular research project in the pipeline – even if it’s blue sky – don’t miss out on the chance for funding. You’ll find details in the coming pages.