ARVO meeting promises latest research initiatives, results


For thousands of ophthalmologists and vision researchers, a springtrip to Fort Lauderdale, FL, is an annual tradition that mixes alittle bit of sunshine with a whole lot of academics. Thattradition continues this year, with the 2006 Association forResearch in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting fromSunday, April 30 to Thursday, May 4.

For thousands of ophthalmologists and vision researchers, a spring trip to Fort Lauderdale, FL, is an annual tradition that mixes a little bit of sunshine with a whole lot of academics. That tradition continues this year, with the 2006 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting from Sunday, April 30 to Thursday, May 4.

Scientific sessions begin Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and conclude Thursday at 3:15 p.m. A wide variety of symposia will be held Sunday.

Additionally, the exhibit hall offers an opportunity to bump into old friends and meet representatives from many ophthalmic companies, including Ophthalmology Times at Booth 802. The exhibit hall will be open daily from Sunday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Here is a look at some of the highlights planned for the event.

Keynote session

The ARVO/Alcon Keynote Session will be held Sunday from 5:15 to 7 p.m. Paul Sieving, MD, PhD, director of the National Eye Institute (NEI), will discuss work under way at the NEI and the Fogarty Center at the National Institutes of Health. Gullapalli N. Rao, MD, president of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and chairman of the board for the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, will present "Global Partnerships: A Way Forward for the Control of Avoidable Blindness."

Awards will be presented at this session, and several award lectures will be given during the annual meeting as well. On Monday, from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m., they are:

  • Proctor Medal and Lecture: Trevor Lamb, ScD, FRS, FAA, of Australian National University, and Edward N. Pugh Jr., PhD, of Scheie Eye Institute, will discuss "Phototransduction, Dark Adaptation, and the Retinoid Cycle of Vision."

  • Weisenfeld Award and Lecture: Evangelos S. Gragoudas, MD, of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, will discuss "Proton Beam Irradiation of Uveal Melanomas: The First 30 Years."

Two award lectures are scheduled Tuesday, also from 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. They are:

  • Friedenwald Award and Lecture: David R. Williams, PhD, of University of Rochester, will discuss "The Limits of Human Vision."

  • Cogan Award and Lecture: Joshua Lawrence Dunaief, MD, of the Scheie Eye Institute, will discuss "Iron-induced Oxidative Damage as a Potential Factor in Age-related Macular Degeneration."


Symposia of broad scientific interest will be held Sunday. They are:

  • Ocular Proteomics: Implications for AMD and Glaucoma (8:30 to 10:30 a.m.): Current work performed in the retina and optic nerve.

  • Developments in the Biochemistry and Cell Biology of Myopia (8:30 to 10:30 a.m.): Biochemical mechanisms and cell biology of myopia.

  • Hereditary Retinal Degeneration: Clinical Genetics, Animal Models (Small and Large), and Gene Therapy (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.): The spectrum of hereditary retinal degeneration and a therapeutic update.

  • Scar Wars (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.): The basic science mechanisms and clinical implications of scarring in the anterior segment and in skin.

  • Basic/Clinical Lecture: Advances in Imaging of the Fundus: Implications to Basic Understanding and to Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease (2:30 to 4:30 p.m.): Advances in retinal imaging that are revolutionizing understanding of eye development and disease mechanisms.


Each ARVO scientific section is sponsoring a minisymposia. Here are the topics that are planned:

  • Advances in Anterior Segment Imaging (Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.): The relevant optical, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging modalities available today.

  • Advances in the Anti-Microbial Treatment of Endophthalmitis (Monday, 3 to 4:45 p.m.): Developments and controversies related to antibiotic use with endophthalmitis.

  • Allergic Eye Disease in a Blink (Wednesday, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.): An overview of allergic eye disease and the use of allergic conjunctival challenges, human conjunctival fibroblast cultures, or animal models to aid in the understanding and development of therapeutics for allergic disease.

  • The Challenge of Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy: A Synthesis of Perspectives (Wednesday, 3 to 4:45 p.m.): A panel review of the unanswered questions in the nearly 100 years since the first patients with clinical evidence of diabetic retinopathy presented and why progress has been so slow.

  • Color Vision in Primates: New Ideas about Spectral Coding and Processing (Wednesday, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.): Advances and unresolved issues in color visual processing, focusing on physiological, morphological, and perceptual experiments that will challenge current understanding of the mechanisms of color vision signaling, processing, and perception.

  • Complex Genetics of Ocular Disease (Wednesday, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.): The complex genetics of ocular disorders, including a discussion of disease and susceptibility genes, approaches to the study of complex diseases, quantitative genetics, and epigenetics.

  • Current Therapies for Retinal Vascular Occlusion (Wednesday, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.): The latest treatment options for retinal vascular disease.

  • Eye Shape and Peripheral Refraction in Emmetropization and the Development of Myopia (Thursday, 8:30 to 10:15 a.m.): The possible role of eye shape and peripheral refraction in emmetropization and myopia as seen in human and experimental animal models.

  • From Outside In: The Cytoskeleton as Signal (Tuesday, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.): A review of how the tissues of the eye provide excellent paradigms to study cytoskeleton function in important cell biological processes such as membrane compartmentalization, cell polarity, intracellular trafficking, and vectorial transport.

  • Genetics of Eye Movement Disorders (Wednesday, 8:30 to 10:15 a.m.): The clinical and radiological features and genetic basis of complex strabismus and nystagmus.

  • Ocular Drug Delivery for Glaucoma: Old Ideas and New Technologies for Intraocular Drug Delivery (Tuesday, 8:30 to 10:15 a.m.): Present and future technologies to enable efficient drug delivery to patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

  • Preconditioning: Endogenous Mechanisms of Ocular Protection (Monday, 8:30 to 10:15 a.m.): The latest findings about preconditioning, the phenomenon whereby a brief period of stress activates endogenous protective mechanisms that significantly reduce or prevent ocular tissue damage resulting from a subsequent, more lethal insult; to date, preconditioning-induced protection of retinal ganglion cells, photoreceptors, cornea, and lens from a variety of injurious stimuli has been documented in vivo and in vitro.

  • Race and Science: Disparities, Differences, and Detractors (Wednesday, 8:30 to 10:15 a.m.): A look at contemporary issues of race in epidemiological research.

  • The Representation and Visual Consequences of Blur (Wednesday, 3 to 4:45 p.m.): Developments in refractive surgery and technologies for measuring visual optics and the impact of blur on the visual system and its role in visual perception.


Workshops are being held through the ARVO meeting. Here is the schedule:Sunday, April 30:

  • Stem Cell Chimeras: Implications for Vision Research (1 to 2:30 p.m.): Chimeras are the result of the mingling of interspecies tissues. Many believe that chimeric animal models may provide the answers to complex questions relating to cellular differentiation and communication. The Animals in Research Committee will examine this evolving technology and its ethical and moral dilemmas.

  • Recent Developments in Intellectual Property Law: Impact on Inventors in the Academic World (1 to 2:30 p.m.): A look at certain research activities that are exempt from liability and patent infringement and recent court decisions on the topic.

  • Successfully Conducting International Research in Europe (1 to 2:30 p.m.): Jointly sponsored by the European Association for Eye and Vision Research (EVER) and ARVO. A primer to help researchers establish collaborations with European research centers.

Monday, May 1:

  • Getting a Job in the Private Sector or in Academia (1:15 to 2:45 p.m.): A review of employment opportunities in ophthalmic research, including drug companies, research institutes, and strictly academic departments, as well as a look at work assignments, tenure, contracts, salary requirements, and CV preparation.

  • A World of Good: Inclusion of Minorities as Research Subjects at Home and Abroad (1:15 to 2:45 p.m.): A look at how inclusion of minorities as research subjects raises many questions and ethical concerns and how this research leads to a reduction in health disparities, how to examine and address the significant gaps in knowledge about minority health, and how to ensure that participation in research will translate into tangible benefits for minority communities.

  • Ethical and Regulatory Issues in Stem Cell Research (1:15 to 2:45 p.m.): A panel discussion of the practical aspects of using stem cells in vision research, including mechanisms for working with non-approved human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines, political activism by scientists doing human ES cell work, collaborations with scientists in other countries, and ethical issues in therapeutic applications and fundraising.

  • NEI Grants Workshop (1:15 to 2:45 p.m.): An introduction to the National Institutes of Health transition to electronic grant submission through a common government site.

Tuesday, May 2:

  • Clinician-Scientist Forum (1:15 to 2:45 p.m.): Career development issues will be discussed by established clinician-scientists.

  • Strategies for Research Grants for International Members: Opportunities at NIH (1:15 to 2:45 p.m.): Strategies for international ARVO members to obtain funding.

  • Career Fair (noon to 4 p.m.): Hiring managers and all members interested in a new position are encouraged to attend.

Wednesday, May 3:

  • Pizza with a Prof: Ask the Experts (1:15 to 2:45 p.m.): A roundtable lunch discussion to allow senior scientists to give younger members professional guidance and career advice.

Social Events

The ARVO Social will be held Sunday from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m., immediately after the keynote session. Light hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served. All ARVO members and meeting attendees are invited.On Monday, there will be a members-in-training social, honoring travel grant recipients from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. All trainees attending the meeting are encouraged to attend. Tuesday brings the ARVO Rocks! concert from 8 to 11 p.m. This fourth annual event features dancing to the music of a band of ARVO members.The ARVO Classical Concert will be held Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. and is also open to all meeting attendees.

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