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ICCVAM Biennial Report 2018-2019

Biennial Progress Report 2018-2019 Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods

National Eye Institute 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge

Throughout 2018 and 2019, the National Eye Institute, part of NIH, conducted the implementation phase of the 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge. This competition was designed to support development of lab-grown human retinas from stem cells. Organoids developed for the competition will mimic the structure, organization, and function of the human retina, the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. The goal of these models is to advance therapies for degenerative retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. In this phase of the challenge, the National Eye Institute will award up to $100,000 each to as many as six teams whose models best address the challenge's scientific criteria. A team led by Wei Liu, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine, received an award in December 2018; additional entries will be accepted and awards granted in fall 2020.