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Cutting-edge research focus of 2014 ARVO


More than 11,500 clinicians and researchers will gather in Orlando to learn more about leading eye and vision research at the 2014 meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.



More than 11,500 clinicians and researchers will gather in Orlando to learn more about leading eye and vision research at the 2014 meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

ARVO View By Katrina Norfleet

Orlando-Under the banner of “Leading Eye and Vision Research,” the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) will commence its 2014 meeting with an expected 11,500-plus clinicians and researchers gathering at the Orange County Convention Center from May 4 to 8.

ARVO President Justine Smith, FRANZCO, PhD, FARVO, shared the significance of this year’s theme in her spring ARVONews column: ARVO members are leading research efforts in diverse areas, such as imaging, neuroscience, and public health, and the ARVO annual meeting is the event where eye and vision researchers can expect to hear research that is on the cutting edge across many fields.

ARVO/Alcon Keynote Series

How curiosity-driven research can lead to the Nobel Prize

Barry J. Marshall, FRACP, FRS, FAA

2005 Nobel Laureate, Physiology

University of Western Australia

Sunday, May 4, 12:15 to 1:15 pm

In the opening keynote session, Nobel Laureate and physician Barry J. Marshall will share how curiosity-driven research has led to new discoveries and paradigm shifts in science by using examples from other Nobel Prize recipients. Among his favorite are Albert Einstein, Kary Mullis, Watson and Crick-all excellent examples of how discoveries can be made outside the laboratory with a little infrastructure in a relatively short time.

Marshall’s own discovery of Helicobacter pylori (by drinking it himself), yet another more recent example of curiosity-driven research, has led to benefits for millions of people and potentially billions more in the 21st century.


Seeing the light with retinal gene therapy: Things you wished you’d known early on your way to late stage trials

Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, FARVO

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Thursday, May 8, 2 to 3:15 pm

ARVO's own Jean Bennett will close out the annual meeting with a first-of-its-kind session focusing on novel gene therapy strategies to treat degenerative and ocular neovascular diseases. In the closing keynote address, Bennett will describe her team’s experiences in developing retinal gene therapy, bringing a behind-the-scenes perspective from the surgeon, a young patient-who is now sighted-and others. Through the interactive presentation, she will present examples of opportunities, surprises, challenges, and successes that could confront new investigators.

Bennett also has the distinction of being the first woman to be an ARVO annual meeting keynote speaker.


Basic Clinical Lecture

From Bench to Therapy: Translating Molecular Genetics into Clinical Practice

Sunday, May 4, 5:15 to 7:15 pm

Researchers will update physicians on current molecular genetic techniques and their application to clinical practice. The recent evolution of molecular genetics has advanced research in vision and ophthalmology, including inherited and degenerative retinal diseases, glaucoma, oncology and pathology. Attendees will learn about how these innovative molecular genetic methodologies now assist in all aspects of patient care - from diagnosis and genetic counseling, to treatment.

New session: Where are the Women? Exploring Roles in ARVO

Tuesday, May 6, 5:30 pm

This unique forum will explores the role of women in ARVO’s leadership in the context of some of the critical issues facing women in the scientific, medical, and academic workforce today. Presenters will discuss approaches to the gender gap from the institutional, organizational and country level perspectives; explore the pros and cons of quotas; and share statistics unique to ARVO about women in our globally diverse membership.

The eye-opening session is designed to be a platform for attendees to actively participate and share ideas about how to strengthen ARVO by ensuring that more women members become leaders.

Student/trainee events

Pizza and Breakfast with an expert

Sunday, May 4, 1:30 to 3 pm

Wednesday, May 7 to 8:30 pm

The popular Pizza with an Expert session, which takes place on Sunday, offers informal discussions over lunch on a wide range of topics to provide personal guidance, insight and skills to help students and trainees advance their career. New this year is the Breakfast with an Expert on Wednesday morning. Topics will focus on professional development, career counseling and best practices of interest to basic and clinical trainees and clinician-scientists.


Career Forum

Monday, May 5, 1 to 2:30 pm

Small-group discussions will take place in form of roundtables focusing on topics ranging from preparing a CV to negotiating a startup package. Attendees should bring their own lunch.

Clinician-scientist Forum: How to Become a Successful Clinician-scientist
Wednesday, May 7, 1 to 2:30 pm

Clinician-scientists at various stages in their career will share their experiences with attendees. Plus, an extramural representative from the National Eye Institute will be available to discuss funding mechanisms for clinician-scientists.

ARVO Achievement Awards and Lectures

Proctor Award

Wolfgang Baehr, PhD, FARVO

Monday, May 5, 5:45 to 6:30 pm

“Membrane Protein Transport in Photoreceptors”

Friedenwald Award

Krzysztof Palczewski, PhD

Wednesday, May 7, 6:45 to 7:30 pm

“Structural biology of the fundamental steps in vision”

Weisenfeld Award

Jose Cunha-Vaz, MD, PhD

Monday, May 5, 6:45 to 7:30 pm

“Phenotypes and biomarkers of diabetic retinopathy”

Cogan Award

Kirill Martemyanov, PhD

Wednesday, May 7, 5:45 to 6:30 pm

"G protein signaling in the retina and beyond"

The Orange County Convention Center, conveniently located on International Drive in Orlando, is close to hotels, shops, outlets, restaurants, and some of the world’s greatest theme parks. For additional meeting highlights or to learn more about ARVO 2014 registration, hotel, or program or social events, visit arvo.org/am.


Katrina Norfleet is assistant director of communications for the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Readers may contact her at 240/221-2924 or knorfleet@arvo.org.


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