Research. Industry. Philanthropy. These three facets-each with a unique purpose-will come together for the 2017 installment of the annual Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) Glaucoma 360 meeting. The three-day event will occur Feb. 2 to 4, 2016.
Research. Industry. Philanthropy. These three facets-each with a unique purpose-will come together for the 2017 installment of the annual Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) Glaucoma 360 meeting.
The three-day event, Feb. 2 to 4, will combine a philanthropic gala, a day-long review of the latest innovations in industry, and a half-day of continuing medical education for ophthalmologists.
“This is unlike any other meeting in that it brings together all the different players involved in preventing and treating glaucoma,” said Tom Brunner, president and chief executive officer of the foundation.
All events-co-chaired and co-founded by Andrew Iwach, MD, and Adrienne Graves, PhD-will take place at San Francisco’s historic Palace Hotel.
Dr. Iwach summarized the mission for the trio of events as “we celebrate, we innovate, and then we educate.”
Ophthalmology Times is a sponsor for the event.
As in previous years, the meeting will kick off Thursday evening, Feb. 2, with the Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala. This annual benefit will showcase the visionaries and catalysts who share GRF’s mission to prevent vision loss from glaucoma by investing in innovative research, education, and support with the ultimate goal of finding a cure, according to the organization. To date, more than $3 million has been raised from this event to for- ward research, education, and support programs.
During this event, the 2017 Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research will be presented to Richard T. Libby, PhD, associate professor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Rochester Medical School, Rochester, NY, for his research project titled “Understanding Axonal Degeneration Pathways in Glaucoma.”
Also, Eugene de Juan Jr., MD, holder of the Jean Kelly Stock Distinguished Chair in Ophthalmology, University of California-San Francisco, will receive The Catalyst Award. As a retina specialist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and educator, Dr. de Juan “has made a real difference in this field,” Brunner said.
Gala tickets are $495 per person, which includes dinner, silent and live auctions, entertainment, and research progress reports. Proceeds will help fund glaucoma research.
New Horizons Forum
The sixth annual New Horizons Forum will be held Friday, Feb. 3. This event will invite leaders in clinical care, research, industry, financing/ venture capital, and the FDA, as well as patients, caregivers, and donors, to collaborate and exchange ideas on research innovations and advances in glaucoma.
This mixture of attendees is one of the keys to the event’s success, Dr. Graves said.
“We bring together all of the people who can help turn an idea into a solution for patients, from new drugs to delivery systems, surgical techniques, and diagnostics,” she said.
The opening keynote speaker (Drs. Henry and Frederick Sutro Memorial Lecture) for the New Horizons Forum will be Joel S. Schuman, MD, chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York.
Registration for the New Horizons Forum is $495 for physicians until Dec. 15 and $595 after that date.
The first half of Saturday, Feb. 4, will feature a continuing medical education event for ophthalmologists, with faculty committed to providing useful clinical pearls that attendees can put into practice right away, Dr. Iwach said.
Annually, more than 400 physicians from across the United States and beyond register to attend this half-day symposium, according to the organization.
“We certainly will introduce some theory but our focus is to make it a practical meeting,” he said. “Glaucoma practitioners are being asked to do more today, and typically, unfortunately, are being paid less. This makes their time more valuable than ever and we want to provide them with a useful, productive session.”
Keynote speaker (Shaffer-Hetherington- Hoskins Lecture) for this morning session will be Alan S. Crandall, MD. The topic will be “The Marriage of Glaucoma and Cataract.” He is presidential professor of ophthalmology and visual services, senior vice chairman, director of glaucoma and cataract; and co- director, Division of International Ophthalmology, John A. Moran Eye Center, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.
On Saturday afternoon, a medical education session introduced to the program in 2016 and geared toward optometrists will be held. “This will cover a variety of topics on diagnostics and screening, as well as the implications of how our medications and surgeries can impact an optometric practice,” Dr. Iwach said.
The optometry event’s faculty will come primarily from the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry.
Registration at the Saturday educational events is complimentary.
“This (free registration) is possible because we have been awarded unsolicited grants, based on the quality of our morning meeting over the past 20 or so years, which was a pleasant surprise, but validates the work that we do,” he said.
An increasing number of glaucoma practitioners are seeing patients who also have surface disease and dry eye, Dr. Iwach noted.
These topics will be included in the New Horizons Forum as well as the two educational forums on Saturday.
“There are many new drugs available for helping patients with dry eyes,” he said. “Patients who take glaucoma drops for extended periods of time can really suffer from this, and the good news is that there
are ways we can help this population. We want to provide our attendees with the tools to do this.”
Dr. Iwach said organizers’ goal is to “hit glaucoma from all sides.”
“You can have great innovations, but unless eye-care professionals know about it, they won’t be able to implement it and help patients,” he said. “That’s what we’re all about- helping patients.”
Many attendees participate in all three days of Glaucoma 360, whereas others may attend one or two events as their schedule and interest allows, according to Brunner.
He also noted that the meeting is growing each year, with about 1,000 people total attending one or more events.
“It shows that we have really hit a nerve and created something useful,” he said.