Moderator: Geoffrey Boynton, University of Washington Discussants: Houmam Araj, National Eye Institute (NIH); Todd Horowitz, National Cancer Institute; Michael Hout, National Science Foundation; and Cheri Wiggs, National Eye Institute (NIH)
You have a great research idea, but you need money to make it happen. You need to write a grant. This workshop will address various funding mechanisms for vision research. Our panelists will discuss their organization’s interests and priorities, and give insight into the inner workings of their extramural research programs. There will be time for your questions.
National Eye Institute (NIH)
Houmam Araj., has been with the NIH for over 20 years. He is currently Director of the Lens and Cataract Program; the Oculomotor Systems and Neuro-Ophthalmology Program; the Ocular Pain Program; and the Conference Grants at the National Eye Institute. Dr. Araj is also NEI point of contact for the Diversity/Disability and Re-Entry supplements, and since 2009, he has also been the NEI representative on the CCRP/CounterACT (Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats) Initiative. Over an 18-month period Dr. Araj led the NEI SAVP Program. Prior to becoming Program Director, Houmam served as Scientific Review Officer for ten years: 5 years at the NEI, and 5 years before that at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Among Houmam’s professional activities, and over a 5-year period, he co-led the NIH Common-Fund Transformative High-Resolution Cryoelectron Microscopy (CryoEM) Program as part of the inaugural coordinating committee. He also organized the Ocular Health Subgroup of the Indoor Air Pollution workshop and co-organized the Trans-Agency Scientific Meeting on Developing Medical Countermeasures to Treat the Acute and Chronic Effects of Ocular Chemical Toxicity. Prior to joining NIH, Houmam did a postdoc in the Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
National Cancer Institute
Todd Horowitz, Ph.D., is a Program Director in the Behavioral Research Program’s (BRP) Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch (BBPSB), located in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Horowitz earned his doctorate in Cognitive Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1995. Prior to joining NCI, he was Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Associate Director of the Visual Attention Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has published more than 70 peer-reviewed research papers in vision science and cognitive psychology. His research interests include attention, perception, medical image interpretation, cancer-related cognitive impairments, sleep, and circadian rhythms.
National Science Foundation
Michael Hout, Ph.D., is a Program Director for Perception, Action, and Cognition in the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences directorate (in the Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences division) of the National Science Foundation. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh and his masters and doctoral degrees from Arizona State University. He is a rotating Program Director on professional leave from New Mexico State University where he runs a lab in the Psychology Department and co-directs an interdisciplinary virtual and augmented reality lab as well. Prior to joining the NSF he was a conference organizer for the Object Perception, Attention, and Memory meeting and was an Associate Editor at Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics. His research focuses primarily on visual cognition (including visual search, attention, and eye movements), spanning both basic theoretical research and applied scenarios such as professional medical/security screening, and search and rescue.
National Eye Institute (NIH)
Cheri Wiggs, Ph.D., serves as a Program Director at the National Eye Institute (of the National Institutes of Health). She oversees extramural funding through three programs — Perception & Psychophysics, Myopia & Refractive Errors, and Low Vision & Blindness Rehabilitation. She received her PhD from Georgetown University in 1991 and came to the NIH as a researcher in the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition. She made her jump to the administrative side of science in 1998 as a Scientific Review Officer. She currently represents the NEI on several trans-NIH coordinating committees (including BRAIN, Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, Medical Rehabilitation Research) and was appointed to the NEI Director’s Audacious Goals Initiative Working Group.
University of Washington
Geoffrey Boyton is a VSS Board Member and studies visual attention, reading and prosthetic vision. After studying mathematics at U.C. San Diego and U.C. Santa Barbara, Dr. Boynton received a PhD in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences at U.C. Santa Barbara in 1994. After a decade at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, he joined the faculty at the University of Washington. In 2019 led an effort to develop a research MRI facility at the new Center for Human Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology which he now directs. He also teaches courses on visual perception and statistics.