National Plan for Eye and Vision Research
Our eyes and the parts of our brain that allow us to understand the visual information we receive from our eyes make up a unique and awe-inspiring sense known as sight. Our eyesight provides intimate detail of our daily life in the world around us. It allows us to recognize the faces of those who are important to us and perform complex tasks for work or pleasure that would otherwise be impossible.
Out of its concern for the eyesight of the American people, the Congress created the NEI in 1968. In recognition of its special responsibility to address the visual health needs of the Nation, the NEI and the NAEC offer this vision and commitment for the future:
The National Eye Institute will continue to protect and improve the visual health of the Nation through the support and performance of the highest quality laboratory and clinical research aimed at increasing our understanding of the eye and visual system in health and disease and developing the most appropriate and effective means of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, and through the timely dissemination of research findings and information that will promote visual health.
This vision statement is the logical extension of the NEI mission to "conduct and support research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, mechanisms of visual function, preservation of sight, and the special health problems and requirements of the blind."
Inherent in this mission is the investigation of normal tissue and normal visual processes, so that a more complete understanding may be gained of the abnormal processes that lead to diseases of the eye and disorders of vision. These investigations are conducted in hundreds of extramural laboratories and clinics throughout the United States and in the NEI's intramural facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.