NIH solicits next-generation retina organoids in prize competition – WebEx informational session today!
A competition for radical ideas in the fight against blindness will move to its next phase by challenging participants to build functioning human retina prototypes. The National Eye Institute (NEI) 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge (NEI 3-D ROC 2020) is a $1-million federal prize competition designed to generate 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.
3-D ROC 2017, the Ideation phase, awarded $90,000 to Erin Lavik, Sc.D., at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, for her concept to screen-print retinal neurons in layers to mimic the structure of the human retina.
The implementation challenge, 3-D ROC 2020, calls for the generation of 3-D prototype organoids and demonstration that they function as disease models or drug screening tools. Participants need not have competed in the ideation phase to compete in the second round.
In December 2018, NEI will award up to $100,000 each to as many as six teams whose models best address the scientific criteria outlined in the challenge announcement. The final submissions will be accepted in March 2020, and submitting teams will have the opportunity to win $400,000 plus any remaining prize money.
Details of the 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge prize competition are available at https://nei.nih.gov/3DROC. For more information about the logistics of the challenge and the criteria for evaluating solutions, visit challenge.gov and search NEI 3-D ROC 2020. A WebEx information session will be held on February 16 at 3:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET for interested participants. The link is: http://bit.ly/2n7wOtb (link is external), the meeting number is 627 011 787 and the password is 3DROCS!