About the Rabb-Venable Research Program
The Rabb-Venable Research Award is named in honor of Dr. Maurice Rabb, Jr. and Dr. H. Philip Venable, two pioneering African American ophthalmologists and researchers. Dr. Rabb, who died in 2005, was internationally known for his pioneering work in cornea and retinal vascular diseases. Dr. Venable was the first African American to join the faculty of Washington University in 1958. He died in 1989 and was well known in St. Louis for his efforts to educate and train young African American physicians in the field of ophthalmology.

Each year, medical students and residents are invited to apply for this research award. Research may be in any of the subspecialties of ophthalmology and emphasize the latest developments in the understanding, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of the many sight-threatening diseases and conditions which affect minority patients as well as the general population.

Travel grants to the NMA Annual Convention and Scientific Assembly will be awarded this year. Each will cover roundtrip airfare to Honolulu, Hawaii, hotel costs and ground transportation. While at the convention, the awardees will present their research and meet with a NEI representative. In addition, there will be a workshop the day prior to their presentations which will focus on public speaking skills, grant writing and funding opportunities. Participants in the program will compete for three Rabb-Venable Awards for Outstanding Research, from 1,000 to $2,500.

The application deadline for the Rabb-Venable Research Competition is March 31, 2014.  Criteria by which research projects will be judged include: The importance of the research question; its potential impact (e.g. to patient care, healthcare disparities, etc.); quality of the study data; data analysis; background knowledge of subject; and knowledge/discussion of the limitations of the study, including the next steps the researcher would pursue.  Applicants to the Rabb-Venable Research Competition must be a medical student or resident. Applicants must submit an abstract consistent with the following guidelines.

Abstract Guidelines
•    Abstracts must be submitted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as a Microsoft Word Document. No other formats will be accepted.
•    The submitting author is designated as the presenting author.
•    All communications regarding the abstract submission will only be directed to the submitting author.
•    The primary author/presenting author must disclose their financial relationships with commercial entities.
•    An abstract must have a short, specific title (containing no abbreviations) that indicates the nature of the investigation.
•    Abstracts are limited to 500 words.  This does not include the title.  Abstracts over the 500 word limit will not be considered.
•    Nonstandard abbreviations (kept to a minimum) must be placed in parentheses after the first use of the word or phrase abbreviated.
•    The abstract should identify the presentation objectives and the gap in healthcare provider competency, performance, and/or patient outcomes examined.
•    Please proofread abstracts carefully to avoid errors before submission.
•    Use generic drug names.
•    The deadline for all abstract submissions is March 31, 2014.  

Abstract submissions must contain all of the following information:

  1. Name (first, middle initial, last)
  2. Graduate Degree(s)
  3. Professional Title
  4. Organization/Institution
  5. Mailing Address
  6. City
  7. State
  8. Zip/Postal Code
  9. Country
  10. Email Address
  11. Telephone Number
  12. Primary Author’s Name (if different than submitting author)
  13. Names of Additional Authors
  14. Abstract Title
  15. Abstract (limited to 500 words)
  16. Submitting Author Biography (limited to 250 words)

Abstracts must be submitted via email as a Microsoft Word Document to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  no later than March 31, 2014.


The NMA promotes the collective interests of physicians and patients of African descent. We carry out this mission by serving as the collective voice of physicians of African descent and a leading force for parity in medicine, elimination of health disparities and promotion of optimal health.

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