NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NEI/
National Eye Institute: Important Events in NEI History
August 16, 1968--Public Law 90-489 authorized formation of the National Eye
December 26, 1968--The National Eye Institute was established.
April 3-4, 1969--The National Advisory Eye Council held its first meeting.
January 11, 1970--Dr. Carl Kupfer was appointed NEI director.
December 15, 1970--Reorganization of NEI resulted in the formation of an Office of
Biometry and Epidemiology; an Office of the Director of Intramural Research; and a
Laboratory of Vision Research and a Clinical Branch as the foci of intramural research.
April 1975--Publication of the National Advisory Eye Councils report, Vision
Research Program Planning, was the first comprehensive assessment of major needs and
opportunities in vision research in the U.S.
April 1978--Publication of the National Advisory Eye Councils 5-year plan, Vision
Research: 1978-1982, included review and analysis of vision research and research
training in the U.S. and discussion of future priorities.
September 1978--A Laboratory of Sensori-motor Research was established within the
intramural research program.
November 1978--Public Law 95-623, Health Services Research, Health Statistics, and
Health Care Technology Act, authorized NEI to carry out a grants program for construction
or renovation of public and nonprofit private vision research facilities.
June 1981--A Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology was established
within the intramural research program.
May 1983--The National Advisory Eye Councils second 5-year plan (1983-87)
recommended future NEI programs.
March 1984--A Laboratory of Ophthalmic Pathology was established within the
July 19, 1984--The Office of Biometry and Epidemiology was transferred out of the
Office of the Director and established as the Biometry and Epidemiology Program.
August 1985--An Intramural Research Program reorganization abolished the Laboratory
of Vision Research and created the Laboratories of Mechanisms of Ocular Diseases; Retinal
Cell and Molecular Biology; and Immunology.
1987--The National Advisory Eye Councils, Vision Research--A National
Plan: 1983-1987, 1987 Evaluation and Update, discussed accomplishments since the
1983-87 plan was published, evaluated the status of NEI-supported research activities, and
revised priorities for the next 2 years.
December 1987--The Collaborative Clinical Vision Research Branch was established to
provide overall scientific management and administration for NEI grants, contracts, and
cooperative agreements supporting clinical trials and epidemiologic studies.
1988--NEIs fiscal year appropriation included funds that enabled the
institute to increase its commitment to the prevention of blindness through public and
professional education programs and the encouragement of regular eye examinations. These
education efforts are part of a National Eye Health Education Program.
February 1989--The Office of International Program Activities was created to
enhance coordination of NEIs international activities, particularly those relating
to cooperation with nongovernmental organizations, international agencies, and the
international components of other Federal agencies.
April 7, 1989--The Office of Planning and Reporting was renamed the Office of
Science Policy and Legislation.
February 10, 1990--The Ophthalmic Genetics and Clinical Services Branch was
established in the intramural program.
June 1991--A Laboratory of Ocular Therapeutics was established.
December 1991--NEI launched the National Eye Health Education Program.
Spring 1993-Spring 1995--A "Celebration of Vision Research" commemorated
the NEIs 25th anniversary.
June 1993--The NEI and its advisory body, the National Advisory Eye Council (NAEC),
produced and distributed its sixth long-range plan, Vision Research--A National Plan:
1994-1998, that contained policy recommendations and scientific program priorities.
This is the latest in a series of national vision research plans that began in 1975. Over
the next 5 years, NEI will monitor how closely the institutes actual program
development matches the plans recommendations.
October 17, 1995--The NEI launched, Ojo con su vision, a diabetic eye
disease program for Hispanics.