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Myopia: Fundamental Understanding Needed

MyFUN is an In Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme under the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions, comprising 7 European Universities, research institutions and companies, coordinated by Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany. The duration of the project, entitled “Myopia: Fundamental Understanding Needed”, is 48 months, starting on January 01, 2016.

MyFUN provides an international, interdisciplinary platform to train 14 young scientists at the interface of physics and biology, to study unresolved questions about the visual control of eye growth. It has been extensively documented that the growth of the eye is controlled by closed-loop visual feedback, using retinal image defocus as an error signal. However, with tense education, predominant indoor activity and extensive near work, the eyes of young people grow too long and become near-sighted (myopic), reaching a prevalence of 95% in some Asian cities and 50% at German universities. While myopia is clearly a civilization disorder, it is strikingly unclear by which visual stimuli it is triggered, and how it can be stopped. The answers to these MyFUN research questions will fundamentally improve our understanding of myopia.