The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology hosts several events at the American Academy of Ophthalmology/the European Society of Ophthalmologists joint meeting in Atlanta

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) will be organizing two events at the 2008 Joint Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the European Society of Ophthalmology in Atlanta in November. ARVO is also supporting the participation of the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) in a third session.

Clinical trials workshop

"Designing and managing clinical trials in eye research" is part of ARVO's clinical trials education series on Saturday, Nov. 8. Clinicians who are involved in any way with clinical trials will find this 1-day course useful in keeping up with the ever-changing trial environment.

Additional 1-day courses will be held in conjunction with major events on the ophthalmic meeting calendar, including Asia-ARVO in Hyderbad, India (Jan. 15, 2009) and the ARVO 2009 annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale (May 2, 2009).

Immunology symposium

ARVO also will sponsor a symposium at the AAO meeting in Atlanta entitled "How does immunology help in treating ocular oncology patients?" on Tuesday, Nov. 11. The session will be chaired by Martine J. Jager, MD, and Jerry Niederkorn, PhD.

The session will focus on tumors such as uveal melanoma, intraocular lymphoma, and retinoblastoma. Such tumors typically are accessible with local therapies but can be rendered deadly by systematic spreading. Treatment options often are limited.

The presence of an immune response against the tumor cells originally was considered to be an important defense system, until it became clear that immune responses may be an indicator of systemic spread.

Also, immunosuppressive immune responses may interfere with attempts to vaccinate patients against their tumors. Presenters will discuss what can be learned from animal experiments and what is the current state of the art technology with regard to immunotherapy to help patients for whom no other options exist.

Combat-related research

NAEVR's James Jorkasky will be discussing funding opportunities for defense-related vision research at a session on Monday, Nov. 10. That topic has become a crucial funding area as more ophthalmologists deal with significant eye injuries as well as the vision-related consequences of traumatic brain injury. Also participating will be representatives from the Society of Military Ophthalmologists and Association of Veterans Affairs Ophthalmologists.

Abstracts for ARVO 2009

ARVO's abstract submission system for the 2009 annual meeting (May 3 to 7 in Fort Lauderdale) opens Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 5. Look for an insert with details in the summer/fall issue of "ARVONews," or visit for more information.

The theme of next year's meeting will be "Reducing disparities in eye disease and treatment."

Vision scientist on staff

Bobbie Ann Austin, PhD, has joined ARVO as assistant director, science policy and programs. She will help develop scientific policy statements, collaborate with committees and members on enhancing the scientific content of ARVO programs, and serve as a scientific advisor.

Dr. Austin's vision science background includes graduate studies in a myopia research lab (University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND), a postdoctoral fellowship to study ocular herpes simplex virus 1 infections (University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK), and an intramural training fellowship to study age-related macular degeneration (National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute Laboratory of Immunology).

ARVO foundation news

The ARVO Foundation for Eye Research (AFER) and Pfizer Ophthalmics honored John E. Dowling, PhD, during or at a gala on April 27 at the ARVO 2008 annual meeting in Fort Lauderdale, raising more than $75,000 for programs to support vision research.

The event recognized Dr. Dowling, the first chairman of the AFER Board of Governors, for his novel efforts in vision research and his dedicated leadership of the foundation. Read about the event, learn more about AFER's work, and donate at

Joanne Olson is assistant director of communications with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Readers may contact her at 240/221-2923 or

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