Symposium promotes work in vision and aging

August 15, 2005

Columbus, OH—Vision researchers, eyecare specialists, bioscientists, public health, and government leaders gathered recently here in what is billed as a unique opportunity to foster collaboration in the study of vision and aging.

Columbus, OH-Vision researchers, eyecare specialists, bioscientists, public health, and government leaders gathered recently here in what is billed as a unique opportunity to foster collaboration in the study of vision and aging.

The Ohio Vision Loss Prevention Research Symposium, held June 6 at the Center for Science and Industry, was created as a project of Ohio's Aging Eye Public Private Partnership, an initiative formed by Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and supported by the Ohio Department of Aging.

Its goal was to craft a strategic plan to address issues relating to vision care public policy, vision care services, vision education, and vision loss prevention research affecting Ohio's senior citizens. By bringing experts together, the partnership hoped to promote the translation of vision research discoveries into the creation of health-care products and services, and to encourage better collaboration between institutions, industries, and public policymakers.

The program was chaired by Tim Kern, PhD, professor of medicine and ophthalmology and director of the Center for Diabetes Research at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), and Marc Cloutier, PhD, special assistant for biotechnology, Ohio Department of Development.

Joe Hollyfield, PhD, director of research at Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, presented an overview of what research and clinical trials are being done in Ohio and challenged Ohioans to "improve, expand, and innovate."

Others pointed to innovative work being done at the Genome Research Institute and on stem cell regeneration at CWRU as examples of unique life sciences work being done in Ohio.

Specialists each presented information relating to age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract. Bill Tacon Sr., program director at OMERIS, and John Rice, PhD, of Triathlon Medical Ventures, discussed new sources of funding for start-up businesses, including venture capital funds and angel funds, which is money investors put up after initial start-up, before venture capitalists typically start backing novel work.