The Vision Health Research Network (VHRN; http://visionnetwork.ca) was established in 1995 through the dedication of a few vision scientists who wished to better coordinate research efforts in Quebec and ultimately improve vision health in the population. The VHRN receives its core funding from the Quebec government via the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé (FRQS). The FRQS fostered the creation of research networks in the early 1990s to help mobilize and structure various research communities to enhance their productivity and competitiveness on the national and international stage, and to maximize the potential benefits of their research.
To reach this goal, the VHRN provides funds for collaborative research projects, state-of-the-art infrastructures and tissue banks, studentship and fellowships, and for the organization of an annual research symposium. The scientific discoveries of the members of the VHRN have led to great advances in the understanding of normal and pathological visual function, the development of better therapeutic strategies, the early diagnosis of diseases of the eye and the brain, visual training, rehabilitation, and in the field of visual implants.
The VHRN brings together nearly 130 principal investigators and 200 graduate students, residents, and postdoctoral trainees who are affiliated to either research axes of the VHRN, which cover all areas of vision health (retina and posterior segment, cornea and anterior segment, brain and perception, visual impairment and rehabilitation). VHRN members are affiliated to either of the four departments of ophthalmology and to more than a dozen basic science departments from universities across the province, to the School of optometry, a dozen centers and research institutes, and to vision rehabilitation institutions such as the Nazareth & Louis-Braille Institute.
The VHRN is constantly looking for national and international partnerships that could increase the impact of its activities, while stimulating scientific interactions with vision health researchers outside Quebec.
The VHRN is supported by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) and la Fondation Antoine-Turmel.