Glaucoma 360 inspires philanthropy, industry, CME

November 20, 2015

Organizers for Glaucoma 360 say that interest for the upcoming fifth annual installment of this meeting, set for Jan. 28 to 30, 2016, is higher than ever.

 

By Beth Thomas Hertz

San Francisco-Organizers for Glaucoma 360 say that interest for the upcoming fifth annual installment of this meeting, set for Jan. 28 to 30, 2016, is higher than ever.

“We have seen a lot more people registering early,” said Tom Brunner, president and CEO of the Glaucoma Research Foundation, which is overseeing the meeting. “Many physicians and companies are planning to attend and are telling us they are excited to be part of this annual event focused on the latest in glaucoma discovery and diagnostics and ways to help patients. This has really become one of the important meetings in glaucoma.”

The meeting once again combines a philanthropic gala, a day-long review of the latest innovations in industry, and a half-day of CME. “We summarize the three days as ‘we celebrate, we innovate, and we educate,’” he said.

Brunner estimated that more than 1,000 people will attend at least one of the events.

 

The New Horizons Forum unites key clinical, industry, financial, and FDA leaders in a unique exchange on research innovation and advances in glaucoma treatment.

(Video courtesy of Glaucoma Research Foundation)

 

 

Andrew Iwach, MD, executive director of the Glaucoma Center of San Francisco and chairman of the Board of Glaucoma Research Foundation who co-founded and co-chairs the event with Adrienne Graves, PhD, said he is thrilled to see how far the program has come in just four years.

Ophthalmology Times is a sponsor for the event.

Annual Gala

The meeting begins Thursday, Jan. 28, with Glaucoma 360 Annual Gala. The annual fundraising event supports the Glaucoma Research Foundation’s mission to fund research and provide education and support for glaucoma patients and their caregivers. Individual tickets are $495 for this black-tie-preferred event at the Palace Hotel in downtown San Francisco.

This is the tenth year the gala has been held. It has raised more than $3.5 million to date. Attendees include donors and volunteers, researchers and clinicians, and industry leaders, Brunner said.

The event includes dinner, a silent auction, and entertainment. It begins at 6 p.m. (an invitation-only pre-event begins at 5 p.m.)

Dr. Iwach described it as a fun evening that has a serious purpose. “It is a chance to celebrate how far we have come in terms of glaucoma research, and to raise money to continue that work,” he said.

New Horizons Forum

The “New Horizons Forum,” set for Friday, Jan. 29, will be a full day of presentations, panels, and discussions featuring CEOs from start-up companies, industry executives, ophthalmic leaders, venture capitalists, and FDA directors. It is the centerpiece event of Glaucoma 360.

“It is a unique platform to bring together all the people who can make changes happen,” said Dr. Iwach. “People who have ideas about how to help glaucoma patients can find all the components they need to make it real here. We get people to come out of their silos and work together.”

 

The Keynote Speaker, giving the 2016 Drs. Henry and Frederick Sutro Memorial Lecture, is Richard A. Lewis, MD, co-founder, Sacramento Eye Consultants, and former director of glaucoma, University of California, Davis. He also is immediate past president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and past president of the American Glaucoma Society. The topic of his speech will be “Bullish on Glaucoma: A 30-year Perspective on Patient Care, Clinical Research, and Industry.”

New this year will be a session presenting novel ways to bring about vision restoration and optic nerve regeneration. “We will be talking about cutting-edge ideas that are under way, from stem cells and gene therapy to stimulating areas of the retina for plasticity in the brain and the ability to regain vision where it’s been lost,” Brunner said.

He called it “a little out there” but also sees it as exciting and intriguing. “I think it will be a highlight of the meeting.”

Bringing people together to discuss new ideas such as these is the point of the meeting, he added.

“Collaborating and networking bring together all the people who can influence glaucoma care,” he said. “We are committed to bringing up new ideas.”

In fact, Brunner said he sometimes hears from people that they connected with just the right people to forge an alliance to move a project forward at a past New Horizons event. “That type of cross-pollination is exactly what we want,” he said.

 

Half day of CME

Then on Saturday, Jan. 30, the Glaucoma Symposium CME event will be held. In its 20th year, this symposium for clinicians highlights advances in glaucoma management, medications, and surgical technique. The target audience is practicing ophthalmologists, residents, and fellows.

Dr. Iwach said that about 400 ophthalmologists typically attend this half-day event, scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“It includes a diverse panel of experts that brings everyone up to date on the best, safest ways to help glaucoma patients today,” he said.

The 2016 Shaffer-Hetherington-Hoskins Keynote Lecture will be presented by Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD, who is the Frances and Ray Stark Professor of Ophthalmology at Jules Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and is a professor of epidemiology at UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles.

Topics at the CME symposium will include retinal advancements and the impact on glaucoma, managing narrow angles, common mistakes in uveitic glaucoma, and new devices.

The Glaucoma Symposium CME is complimentary but advance registration is required.