National Eye Institute Celebrating 25 Years Of Visionary Research

The National Eye Institute (NEI) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. But, as institute director Carl Kupfer notes, while its accomplishments over the years have more than justified its formation as a separate research agency of the National Institutes of Health, it took a bit of persuasion to carry out that vision. FAR-SIGHTED FOCUS: Cal Kupfer, the institute's first director, recounts NEI's past successes and looks forward to achieving new goals in treating eye disease. "In the 1950s,

Neeraja Sankaran
May 14, 1995

The National Eye Institute (NEI) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. But, as institute director Carl Kupfer notes, while its accomplishments over the years have more than justified its formation as a separate research agency of the National Institutes of Health, it took a bit of persuasion to carry out that vision.


FAR-SIGHTED FOCUS: Cal Kupfer, the institute's first director, recounts NEI's past successes and looks forward to achieving new goals in treating eye disease.
"In the 1950s, ophthalmic research was a small branch in the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Blindness (NINDB)," recounts Kupfer, then a professor of ophthalmology and an NINDB grantee at the University of Washington. But many ophthalmologists felt that advances in the field would be limited under a research institution whose interest encompassed the entire neurosciences. Hence, they began to lobby for the formation of an independent institute that would focus on the...

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