AAO returns to a rebuilding New Orleans

The 2007 annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology will be held Nov. 10 to 13 in New Orleans. Numerous opportunities to interact with colleagues will be offered, and spouses and other guests will be able to participate in several events designed to give them a taste of the city. In an effort to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the meeting will be preceded by a home-building event, EyeBuild, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity.

Key Points

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) will return Nov. 10 to 13 to one of its favorite cities, New Orleans, a community that is working hard to rebuild its infrastructure and reputation-and welcome back tourists-2 years after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.

"New Orleans is as safe as any other large city in the country, especially in the convention area," he said. "Tourism is very important, and the city is working hard to protect it. What is seen on the news is what is on the news, but we expect this will be a safe, fun meeting for our members."

The number of registrations from physicians and exhibitors is high, proving that the decision to not relocate the meeting was the correct one, he added. "We took a justifiable risk 2 years ago in deciding to stay, and it was the right thing to do," he said.

In a letter sent to AAO members in April, Dr. Hoskins stated that "the city's core is functioning well and in some ways better than ever." The letter included the following information:

As part of the AAO's commitment to help with the rebuilding of one of the few American cities with convention facilities large enough to accommodate its annual meeting, the organization is sponsoring a home-building event, EyeBuild, with Habitat for Humanity on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before the meeting convenes.

The event is open to all meeting attendees and exhibitors. No special skills are necessary, and volunteers with physical limitations are welcomed. On-site training will be provided. The cost is $25 per day; lunch, an EyeBuild T-shirt, and shuttle transportation will be provided. Registration ahead of time is required. More details are available at http://www.aao.org/.

Sunday highlights

The opening session will be Sunday, Nov. 11, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Keynote speaker Judah Folkman, MD, will talk about antiangiogenic ocular therapy.

His hypothesis in 1971 that all tumor growth is angiogenesis-dependent opened a field of investigation pursued by scientists worldwide. Dr. Folkman's laboratory discovered the first angiogenesis inhibitors and initiated clinical trials of antiangiogenic therapy. Today, angiogenesis inhibitors have received FDA approval for treatment of cancer and macular degeneration.