news & updates

Current Advancements in Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Wednesday, August 14, 4 pm – 5:30 pm ET
1 CE Credit, RACE Approval pending

Speaker: Uchenna Nlebedum, DVM, PhD Candidate
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Click here for more details and registration!

*Please note that this program is designed for veterinary professionals.*

Make a Donation to the VAF Auction!

The VAF’s Soiree in Savannah will celebrate the legendary hospitality of this historic Southern city. The event, on Friday, October 25 from 6 pm -8 pm, will feature delicious food, drinks, a silent auction, raffles and more.   This year, the VAF will also recognize the establishment of the Cynthia S. Cook Endowment Fund via a generous bequest from the Cook-Pruitt Trust, in memory of ACVO diplomate Dr. Cindy Cook.

We are looking for auction items! Handcrafted items, art, vacations/stays at vacation homes, textbooks and ophthalmology related items are always popular– but we are open to your suggestions.  Be creative!

To make a contribution, please complete this online form.

The silent auction will take place during the ACVO Conference but will use a virtual platform, allowing for online bidding by anyone who is interested in participating, not just attendees at our October 25 fundraiser.  Items do not need to be sent to the VAF in advance.  Instead, we will connect donors with the winning bidders once the auction has closed so items can be shipped directly.

Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with any questions.  We can be reached at

Congratulations 2023 Resident Grant Award Recipients!

The ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation (VAF) is pleased to announce the 2023 Resident Grant Award recipients.  Award winners will receive a combined total of $38,247.

Ashley Bowyer, DVM, Kansas State University, $4,764
Pharmacokinetics and adverse effects of voriconazole administered orally q72 hours in healthy cats

Tiffany Chen, DVM, University of Pennsylvania, $3,500
Comparison of needle electrodes versus gold cup skin electrodes for scotopic clinical electroretinography in the dog

Paul McCarthy, Eye Clinic for Animals, Australia, $7,483
Evaluation of hearing in dogs with Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS)

Erinn P. Mills, University of California – Davis, $7,500
Determining the Effect of A Novel Topical Lipid Therapy on Tear Film Inflammatory Cytokine Profiles in Dogs with Evaporative Dry Eye Disease (EDED)

Callie Rogers, DVM, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, $7,500
The effects of photodynamic therapy with indocyanine green (EmunoDo®) and 810nm diode laser on the healthy equine

Aaron Sieve, DVM, University of Missouri, $7,500
A microbiota investigation of ophthalmic trypan blue commonly used in canine cataract surgery –

Thank you to the Grants Committee (see list of members below) and to all of the ABVO residents who submitted proposals this year.

ACVO Vision for Animals Grants Committee:  Drs. Andrew Lewin and Becky Telle, Co- Chairs; Drs. Chris Alling, Heather Chandler, Braidee Foote, Kelly Knickelbein, Keiko Miyadera, Georgina Newbold, Sami Pederson, Lionel Sebbag,  Colleen Sheridan, Alex Sigmund, Kyle Tofflemire

Registration is Now Open!

Registration is now open for the VAF’s next webinar.  The cost to attend is $20.  This program has been submitted to RACE for approval for 1 CE hour.

The session will be recorded and available to registered attendees for 2 weeks after the live date.  To learn more, click here

Make a Year-End Gift to the VAF!

The partnership and generosity of supporters like you makes the VAF’s mission to advance animal eye health through science and education possible. Please consider making a year-end contribution to the VAF. Your gift will ensure that the foundation can continue to fund grant making programs and launch new initiatives to support education within our profession.

You can make a secure contribution online here.

Resident Phaco Course is SOLD OUT!

**The VAF’s Resident Phaco Course is SOLD OUT. **

If you would like to be added to a waitlist please email us at

The ACVO Vision for Animals Foundation, in partnership with Alcon, is offering a Phacoemulsification Course for 2nd and 3rd Year ABVO Residents.  The course will take place on Friday, March 1, 2024 at the Alcon Experience Center in Fort Worth, Texas.  Enrollment is limited to 24 participants.

Participants will receive 6 CE hours (3 lecture, 3 wet lab).  This course will be submitted to RACE for approval.

More details and registration are available here.

SARDS Updates on VAF Funded Research

In 2021, the VAF awarded the Founders Clinical Research grant, in the amount of $9,098, to Dr. Ken Abrams and team for their submission, titled ‘*Olfaction Evaluation in Dogs with Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS); (Sniffin’ out SARDS!)*’.

The results of their study have been published in Veterinary Ophthalmology and the VAF and Dr. Abrams have covered the cost of the open access fee.

Olfaction evaluation in dogs with sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome is available here


VAF Fellowship Grant Awards Announced

The VAF is pleased to announce the following grants as part of the Fellowship program:

$75,000, Dr. Bret Moore, University of Florida, for his proposal, The outcomes, risk factors, and risk mitigators of phacoemulsification in veterinary ophthalmology: a 22-institutional multivariate analysis to guide current therapy and future prospective studies.

$15,000 Dr. Uchenna Nlebedum,  University of California-Davis for his proposal, Advanced training in identification and genotyping of a novel PRA in racing Greyhounds.

VAF Announces 2022 Grant Award

The VAF is pleased to announce that Dr. András M. Komáromy and his group from Michigan State University have been selected to receive a grant award, in the amount of $50,000, for their proposal “Keratoleptynsis for Management of Canine Glaucoma”.
The VAF is grateful to all of the applicants and to our volunteer proposal reviewers, Drs. Brian Leonard, Stephanie Pumphrey, Becky Telle and Dan Ward, for sharing their time and expertise.

Congratulations 2021 Resident Grant Award Recipients!

The VAF is thrilled to announce the following 2021 Resident Grant award recipients.  The award winners will receive a combined total of $21,385.

Dr. Billie Beckwith-Cohen, Michigan State University
Retinal remodeling and plasticity in a CABP4-mutant model of retinal degeneration

Dr. Kourtney Dowler, University of Missouri
Ophthalmic viscoelastics commonly used in cataract surgery: a microbiota investigation

Dr. Michael Minaldi, Mississippi State University
Effects of topical ropivacaine hydrochloride 0.5% and lidocaine hydrochloride 2% on corneal sensitivity in horses

Dr. Melanie Mironovich, Louisiana State University
Utilizing polymeric antioxidant-loaded nanoparticles as a delivery system to mitigate photo-oxidative stress of whole porcine lenses in vitro

Dr. Brett Story, UC Davis
Ocular pathology of Tay-Sachs disease in Jacob sheep

Thank you to Grants Committee Chair, Dr. Georgina Newbold, and committee members, Drs. Rachel Allbaugh, Heather Chandler, Andrew Lewin, Keiko Miyadera, Sami Pederson, Erin Scott, Gillian Shaw, Kyle Tofflemire, Sarah Thomasy and Tomo Wiggans. for your time and energy!