The GL section has assembled 13 sessions that are focused on key areas of research exploring the basic pathological mechanisms of glaucoma plus cutting edge diagnostic and treatment strategies. Two of our sessions are dedicated to discussing the genetics that underlie susceptibility for different forms of glaucoma, including primary open-angle, angle closure and exfoliation. Three of our sessions are focused on novel therapeutic strategies for glaucoma including drug delivery, gene therapy, and cellular-based treatments. The bulk of our sessions (7) are programmed to explore the complicated pathological mechanisms that underlie glaucomatous damage at the level of the optic nerve head plus the molecular and cellular mechanisms in the conventional outflow tract that regulate intraocular pressure.
Our sense of sight is critically dependent on the ability of the lens to correctly focus light onto the retina. To achieve this feat the lens needs to maintain its refractive and transparent properties over many decades of life. The age dependent loss of these functions results initially in presbyopia in middle age, and in the elderly, lens cataract – the leading cause of blindness in the world today. To advance our understanding of how the lens establishes and maintains its optical properties and how these properties are impaired in presbyopia and cataract, an exciting lens section has been developed. The program will include sessions on lens development and regeneration, the cellular biology and physiology of the normal lens and how the integrated cellular structure and function of the lens contributes to its overall optical properties. These sessions will be complemented by sessions that focus on the causes of presbyopia and underlying pathology of lens cataract, including secondary cataract or posterior capsular opacification.
Cornea and Ocular Surface
Our topic covers all aspects of the corneal and ocular surface. We will have about 15 sessions devoted to such topics as corneal immunology and regeneration, the microbiome and infection of the ocular surface, dry-eye disease and contact lens wear, ocular surface biomaterials, and the role of nerves in homeostasis and pathologies.
RPE-Choroid Biology and Pathology
The RPE-CHOROID BIOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY section will present sessions covering key areas of research addressing fundamental RPE functions such as phagocytosis and ion transport, intracellular communication in RPE and choroidal cells, interactions of immune cells with choroid and RPE, and metabolic links between RPE and neural retina. Recently explored relationships between iron homeostasis and bisretinoid oxidation will be presented as will therapeutic strategies aimed at enhancing degradative and oxidative capacities of RPE. The broad range of topics will include physiological mechanisms that allow the retinal vascular system to adapt to changing neural function and metabolic demands and transcription factor cross-talk between liver X receptors and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors and their impact on RPE health. Speakers will discuss recent advances in the molecular mechanisms of RPE, choroid and outer retina signaling that are relevant to healthy retina and defective in retinal/ocular disease. Sessions will feature prominent invited speakers from academia together with young scientists presenting hot topics selected from submitted abstracts. The sessions are designed to enable networking opportunities. The discussions will be relevant to diseases involving RPE, photoreceptor cells and choroid.
Retinal Cell Biology and Development
The Retinal Cell Biology and Development section has 12 sessions that cover key areas of research addressing fundamental biological processes in neuroretinal and retinal pigment epithelial cells, in normal and pathological states, spanning basic physiological and pathological mechanisms, novel disease models, and cutting edge diagnostic and treatment strategies. Sessions are organized to provide opportunities to host contributions from established and early stage (in-training) clinical and basic scientists. Aiming to provide a rewarding environment of communication and great networking opportunities, the sessions are specifically designed to promote both cutting-edge retinal cell biology research and interactions among emerging and established investigators.
In recent years there have been tremendous advances in our understanding or the causes of treatments of retinal degenerations. The retinal Degeneration section has assembled a number of highly informative sessions covering the key advances in the field. Session topics range from novel ways of identifying progression of disease, using in vitro methods to model retinal degenerations, mechanisms of photoreceptor death and several session of novel therapies for retinal degenerations. These sessions bring together speakers from all over the world who are at the cutting edge of their research fields. In addition, each session will showcase the work of early career scientists, and will generate discussion and networking opportunities. We hope you enjoy these sessions.
The ophthalmic genetics / genomics section will cover the latest information on genetics ranging from single gene disorders to complex genetics. The section will cover genetics across the lifespan from paediatric genetic disorders through to diseases of the elderly such as age related macular degeneration. As well as genetic associations, functional genomics, epigenetics and the influence of non-coding genetic variation on ocular disease will be reviewed. The role of genetics in unravelling pathogenic mechanisms of ocular disease will be extensively discussed. These sessions will feature renowned invited speakers from academia. Additionally, young scientists will be selected to address emerging hot topics based on the abstracts submitted.
Presentations in the Ocular Immunology Section will cover a broad range of topics. There will be sessions on both infectious and non-infectious inflammatory eye diseases and pathological mechanisms, covering anterior and posterior segment conditions. Speakers are basic science and clinical experts who work at the forefront of this wide field around the globe.
Epidemology of Eye Disease
The Epidemiology of Eye Disease Section broadly covers ophthalmic disease and its management including epidemiological surveys, genetic epidemiology, exploration of methodological challenges, results of randomised controlled trials, telemedicine and digital models of care. An exciting range of sessions have been put together covering angle-closure glaucoma, glaucoma in populations of African descent, international collaboration in the post-COVID-19 era and telemedicine.
Ocular Imaging & Psychophysics
The Ocular Imaging section will consist of sessions that address key topics in retinal imaging for diagnostics as well as for the understanding of the healthy eye. Topics will include the probing of vision at the level of single photoreceptors, multiphoton contrast in the living eye, imaging of retinal therapeutics, anterior segment imaging, artificial intelligence in imaging, analysis of blood flow and retinal vasculature, and adaptive optics retinal imaging both for human and animal model studies. Finally, an advanced technologies session will cover a wide range of emerging ocular imaging methods. The session organizers, and the invited speakers, are all leaders in their respective fields.
Ocular Pharmacology / Therapeutics
The Section on Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics is planning 10 sessions focusing on key areas of research involving new and emerging areas of ocular treatments for numerous eye diseases. Two sessions are dedicated to treatments for wet and dry age-related macular degeneration. Two session will cover new glaucoma therapeutic strategies divided into drugs and surgical approaches. Other sessions will discuss the latest drug delivery strategies, neuroprotection and neuro-restoration possibilities, and genetic treatments. The sessions are designed to generate discussions and opportunities for networking.
Visual Neuroscience (VN)
The Visual Neuroscience section covers research on the neural mechanisms, structural organization, and function of the visual system including the retina and central visual pathways of vertebrate and invertebrate species. Topics include neural processing in the inner and outer retina, structure and function of the macula, ion channels, gene replacement and editing strategies, retinal plasticity and novel approaches to measure neural activity in the retina. Sessions are organised to provide opportunities for early career researchers to present their work and will be of interest for basic researchers and clinicians.