ARVO meeting to highlight eye diseases of aging

"The Aging Eye" will be the focus of this year's Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting to be held in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Sunday, May 6, through Thursday, May 10, 2007.

Key Points

Because age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma are the leading causes of blindness in the world's aging population, with an enormous impact on the global economy, ARVO wants to highlight new ways to prevent and treat these conditions at the meeting, which is expected to draw more than 10,000 clinical and research-oriented vision experts.

Pre-event education courses will begin Saturday, and the meeting itself will open Sunday. Here are some highlights of what attendees can expect.

Three education courses will be held on Saturday. Separate advance registration is required. They are:

This workshop will focus on key elements in the design, construction, and execution of a clinical trial. Topics will include randomization, criteria for eligibility and impact on generalizations, determinations of endpoints, role of stand-ardization, masking, data and safety monitoring, and special facets of multicenter trials. Faculty will include biostatisticians, epidemiologists, and clinicians.

This session will focus on rapidly emerging concepts in basic fields of research-from genomics and development to metastasis and immunology-that have direct impact on the understanding and management of ocular tumors.

This course will address the impact of ocular disease on neural processing and cognition and will facilitate the interaction of researchers and clinicians from both vision and neurologic sciences to understand better how diseases affect structure and function of the eye and, subsequently, neuroprocessing and cognition in older patients.

Keynote session

William Novelli, chief executive officer, AARP, will present the address, discussing the role of individuals, communities, the workplace, and health-care systems in increasing and promoting sight preservation in older adults.

Paul Lee, MD, JD, professor of ophthalmology, Duke University, known for his work in assessing cost-effective approaches to improve the vision and quality of life of those with major blinding eye diseases, will highlight specific areas in which the eye-research community can have an impact.

ARVO will present the following awards during the Keynote Session:

ARVO/Pfizer Ophthalmics Research Awards. The ARVO/Pfizer Ophthalmics Translational Research Awards honor excellence in research and fundamental scientific discoveries, concepts, and novel technologies leading to clinical evidence of diagnosis, prevention, or amelioration of the pathologic eye and/or an understanding of the normal vision processes. This award has been established through a grant from Pfizer Ophthalmics. This year's awardees: