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ISER Eyes on the World -- Newsletter from the International Society for Eye Research
Volume 4, Issue 2 / Spring 2014
President's Message · ISER 2014 Biennial Meeting · Lab Profile
Steven J. Fliesler, PhD

President's Message


As I write this column, it appears that the ravages of Winter are finally receding (though not without a fight!) and Spring is making a rather timid, but long-awaited appearance. The last remnants of snow are now almost gone, due to rain and warming temperatures, here in my part of the Northeastern U.S. I hope all of you managed to endure what has been one of the worst Winters we’ve seen here in many years. Now, on to more positive things.
 
It is my great pleasure to announce the names of the recipients of the 2014 ISER Prizes and Awards, which will be bestowed formally at ISER’s XXI Biennial Meeting this coming July in San Francisco (July 20-24, 2014). These awardees were selected from a robust list of exceptionally outstanding candidates. Patricia A. D’Amore, PhD, MBA (Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School) will be the Endre A. Balazs Prize awardee. This international prize is awarded to honor a distinguished scientist whose outstanding contributions provide significant progress in the field of experimental eye research, and is named in honor of Endre A. Balazs, MD, for his distinguished lifetime’s work in eye research and his seminal contributions to the organization of ISER. Thomas Yorio, PhD (University of North Texas Health Science Center) will be the Ernst H. Bárány Prize awardee. This international prize is named in honor of Professor Ernst H. Bárány, for his distinguished work in the field of ocular pharmacology, and is presented to an outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to research that has increased our understanding of ocular pharmacology directly related to or applicable to glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, or related retinal diseases. Robert E. Marc, PhD (Moran Eye Center, University of Utah) will be the recipient of the Retina Research Foundation’s Paul Kayser International Award in Retina Research. This award is presented on behalf of the Retina Research Foundation to honor the memory of Paul Kayser, a long-time friend and benefactor of the Foundation, and with the purpose of fostering greater awareness of the need for intensive study of the retina, its role in the visual process, and the retinal diseases that threaten and/or destroy eyesight, by recognizing outstanding achievement and sustaining meritorious scientific investigations worldwide.
 
Finally, the recipient of the Ludwig von Sallmann Prize will be Christine A. Curcio, PhD (University of Alabama at Birmingham). Although not issued by ISER, this prize is awarded at ISER’s biennial meetings. Dr. von Sallmann was a distinguished ophthalmologist and researcher of international reputation. The award honors this legacy, and is presented every two years at an ISER Biennial Meeting to an individual who has distinguished himself or herself by making a significant contribution to vision research and ophthalmology.
View prior award recipients »
I’d like to thank, in particular, the Chairs and members of the selection committees, who devoted many hours of their time and effort in vetting the nominees for these prestigious prizes/awards.
 
I’m also happy to report that ISER will be supporting Travel Awards for 32 young investigators to attend the XXI Biennial Meeting. Five of these individuals are being supported specifically by funds generously provided by the BrightFocus Foundation, which underwrites research pertaining to glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, two lens researchers will receive a Bettelheim Travel Award, generously provided by the National Foundation for Eye Research. The names of all the Travel Award recipients will be announced at the Biennial Meeting in July.
 
In March, ISER sent out an eblast solicitation, requesting nominations for service on various ISER committees. I’m happy to say that the response was overwhelming! In fact, we received far more volunteers than we have currently open positions to fill. The Executive Committee is (as of this writing) reviewing the nominees, and will be making decisions soon regarding committee membership assignments. Thanks to all who volunteered their service! If you were not chosen this time, we very much appreciate your interest and willingness to serve, and we will keep your name and contact information on file for future service opportunities.
 
The scientific program for the XXI ISER Biennial Meeting is essentially complete, with assignment of abstracts for platform and poster presentations. [For an update, see the column (below) in this Newsletter by Drs. Suraj Bhat and David S. Williams, the Co-Chairs of the Program Organizing Committee.] The Committee, via its Section and Session Chairs, has put together another exciting group of platform and poster sessions that should be of broad interest to ISER’s membership. As in prior years, ISER (more so than any other professional society) specifically will be featuring the work of “young investigators,” the latter defined as predoctoral or postdoctoral (PhD/MD/OD/DVM/DO, or equivalent) students, clinical residents or fellows engaged in vision/eye research for no longer than 7 years since their terminal degree. I strongly encourage all ISER members to attend the upcoming Biennial Meeting in July.
Read more about the Biennial Meeting »
Finally, as in some of my prior columns, I encourage all lab heads to consider submitting a Lab Profile. [For examples, see prior issues of this Newsletter.] This is a great vehicle for advertising the research your lab does, as well as for recruiting new students, postdocs, and staff. If interested, please send your lab profile information to: mail@iser.org.

Sincerely,
 
Steven J. Fliesler, PhD
President
Suraj Bhat, PhD
David Williams, PhD

XXI Biennial Meeting Update


The Science


The XXI Biennial Meeting of ISER welcomes scientists and ophthalmologists from all over the world to the exciting city of San Francisco, CA. Attracted by the location of this year’s ISER congress in San Francisco, a leading center of academic and industrial science, we have been able to put together a program that includes a large list of top eye researchers. Over 400 invited speakers from all over the world will present their lectures in 78 platform sessions. The sessions will address the latest research in a wide variety of basic research, disease pathogenesis, and treatment approaches in protecting and maintaining functional vision. Multiple sessions on ocular stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, are included in different sections of the program, from cornea to the retina. Sessions on disease treatments will be presented by leaders in gene and cell therapies for the eye. Basic molecular and physiological research will be presented and debated. Mechanisms of disease including the role(s) played by age, genetics, environment and immune function in the pathogenesis of Glaucoma, cataractogenesis and age-related macular degeneration will be covered in many sessions. The platform sessions will be complemented by poster sessions. The complete 2014 ISER program overview can be examined on the Biennial Meeting website; updated sessions and speakers will be posted shortly, along with a personalized scheduler.
View the Biennial Meeting program »

The City


San Francisco is a vibrant city offering a wide variety of cultural and sensory experiences. Visit the website for ideas for things to see and do during your stay and watch for regular updates over the next weeks leading up to the meeting. Registration opportunities for popular tours and attractions, details about the Gala Banquet, and much more will be shared as we begin the final countdown toward the meeting.
 
There are an abundance of hotels in San Francisco; however, the city experiences high tourist visits during the summer months. If you have not yet booked a hotel, please do so immediately. The ISER meeting hotel, the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, is nearly sold out.
Book your room at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco »
There are many other housing options to suit different budgets as well, that are within an easy commute distance to the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Hotels in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, Financial District, and many other sections of the city are easily connected by the SF Muni bus and historic trolley system and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), which have stops just outside the Hyatt Regency.
 
Please visit the website often over the next two months and watch your email for regular updates! We hope you will have a rewarding scientific experience while enjoying San Francisco.
 
If you have not registered for the meeting be sure to register by June 19th. Higher onsite registration rates apply beginning June 20th.
Register now »

Lab Profile

Dr. Yves Courtois [Centre de Recherches des Cordeliers – Team 17 – UMRS 1138 – 15 rue de l’Ecole de Médecine – 75006 Paris Cedex 06, FRANCE]
The team “From Physiopathology of Retinal Diseases Towards Clinical Applications” is a group of interdisciplinary fundamental researchers, clinicians, and pharmacists, strongly oriented towards clinical therapeutic and industrial translation. Its research is dedicated to the development of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of retinal diseases affecting millions of individuals, with the objective to develop mid-term means to delay blindness, the most feared handicap in the population.

Interdisciplinary in physiopathology and in therapeutic innovations together with clinic translation constitute our strengths. Our strategy is to analyze endogenous mechanisms that contribute to retinal homeostasis in the normal retina, such as immunosuppressive micro-environment, anti-oxidant mechanisms, efficient hydro-ionic drainage to maintain the retina in a dehydrated and transparent state, and that could be affected in retinal models of uveitis, retinal degeneration, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.

Our previous work has led to the identification of innovative and original pathogenic mechanisms and to potential regulatory targets in retinal edema. These different processes will be studied on animal models of aging and diabetic retinopathy and will provide a solid basis for further hypotheses. We have created a strong relation with the clinic that has allowed us to validate most of our hypothesis either on human samples or through clinical studies. Moreover, we have the ability to build appropriate strategies for local and targeted drug or gene delivery on animal models and for further clinical applications. Collaborations have been created with French and European clinical teams to increase our clinical resources (human samples and clinical cases).

For more information, please contact: Dr.Yves Courtois (yves.courtois@inserm.fr).
 
If you would like to submit a Lab Profile for a future ISER Eyes on The World issue, please email mail@iser.org.
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EER -- Official Journal of ISER
Register Now for the ISER XXI Biennial Meeting
ISER Officers:
President – Dr. Steven J. Fliesler
Secretary – Dr. Tailoi Chan-Ling
Treasurer – Dr. Christine McGahan
Vice-President (Europe) – Dr. Ernst Tamm
Vice-President (Asia-Pacific) – Dr. Takeshi Iwata
Vice-President (Americas) – Dr. Gerard Lutty
Copyright © 2014 International Society for Eye Research, All rights reserved.


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