29th Annual North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Meeting, Snowbird, Utah, February 8–13, 2003
The second combined NANOS/Walsh meeting was enjoyed by 297 attendees at Snowbird, Utah, February 8–13, 2003, bringing to 35 the number of annual Frank Walsh Society Meetings and to 29 the number of NANOS meetings.
The Walsh meeting, organized by a team from the Mayo Clinic, including Jacqueline Leavitt, MD (Rochester, MN) and Brian Younge, MD (Rochester, MN), brought the considerable talents of Mayo neuropathologist Caterina Giannini, MD and neuroradiologist Glenn Forbes, MD to bear on the usual bumper crop of 20 interesting and unusual cases, with runaway discussion held in check at times by moderators Patricia McNussen, MD (Urbana, IL), Misha Pless, MD (Pittsburgh, PA), Pamela Chavis, MD (Richmond, VA), Nick Hogan, MD, PhD (Dallas, TX), Susan Benes, MD (Coumbus, OH), Wayne Cornblath, MD (Ann Arbor, MI), Kimberly Peele Cockerham, MD (Pittsburgh, PA), and Lyn Sedwick, MD (Orlando, FL).
After a warm-up with the Walsh session, the NANOS part of the meeting started with a neuro-oncology symposium including invited guest speaker Lisa DeAngelis, MD (New York, NY). That afternoon, there was the first of two practical sessions on office management and insurance issues called “Skip's Tips” by Skip Legge, MD (Omaha, NE). In the evening, there were 78 posters to peruse with brew in hand.
The following day featured platform presentations and a controversies session on functional visual loss, which included attorney Dave Williams (Salt Lake City, UT) and psychiatrist Noel Gardner (Salt Lake City, UT), a session on clinical research strategies by Terry Cox, MD (Bethesda, MD), a biostatistics wet lab with Laura Balcer, MD (Philadelphia, PA), and a skills transfer course on the digital office taught by Preston Calvert, MD (Alexandria, VA), Jade Schiffman, MD (Houston, TX), Rosa Tang, MD (Houston, TX), and Edmond FitzGibbon, MD (Bethesda, MD).
Day three brought more platform presentations, which included a fascinating videography on nystagmus in dogs treated with gene therapy by Louis Dell'Osso, PhD (Cleveland, OH). On day four, we were privileged to have a session on multifocal electroretinography and visual evoked potentials directed by Donald Hood, PhD (New York, NY) and an explanation by Lee Jampol, MD (Chicago, IL) of unusual retinal syndromes (AZOOR, AMPPE, AIBSE, MEWDS) that can be confused with non-retinal anterior visual pathway disorders.
At the closing banquet on Wednesday night, Stanley Thompson, MD (Iowa City, IA) accepted an award for having presented the 2nd Hoyt Lecture at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting in 2002. The meeting brought together 18 of Dr. Thompson's former neuro-ophthalmology fellows. Posing for a group photograph, they were a formidable team.
Michael Brodsky, MD (Little Rock, AR) announced the following new NANOS members: Alec Ansons, MD, FRCS (Manchester, UK), Oliver Backhouse, MD (West Yorkshire, England), Rudrani Banik, MD (Bronx, NY), Jane Bailey, MD (Omaha, NB), Lawrence Buono, MD (Durham, NC), David Chesnutt, MD (Durham, NC), Rod Foroozan, MD (Houston, TX), Mohammad Fouladvand, PhD (New York, NY), Kenn Freedman, MD (Lubbock, TX), Steven Gross, MD (Palm Harbor, FL), Robert Keaney, MSPH (Irvine, CA), Michael Lee, MD (Cleveland, OH), Natalie Lopasic, MD (Troy, NY), David Newman-Toker, MD (Baltimore, MD), Janet Rucker, MD (Cleveland Heights, OH), James Shepherd III, MD (St. Louis, MO), Robert Shin, MD (Baltimore, MD), David Soloman, MD (Philadelphia, PA), Sharon Tow, MD (Singapore), and David Victor, MD (Lexington, MA).
Dr. Brodsky also announced the new NANOS fellows: Sean Donahue, MD, PhD (Nashville, TN), Todd Goodglick, MD (Chevy Chase, MD), Aki Kawasaki, MD (Lausanne, Switzerland), and Anat Kesler, MD (Petach-Tikva, Israel).
New senior NANOS members include Robert Bedrossian, MD (Vancouver, WA), Ronald Burde, MD (Bronx, NY), David Singer, MD (Aspen, CO), Kenneth Stover, DO (Rancho Santa Fe, CA) and Jonathan Wirtschafter, MD (Minneapolis, MN).
The Young Investigator Award this year was given to Agnes Ming-Fong Wong, MD, PhD, (Toronto, ON) for her work with congenital strabismus and the effect of early correction on brain pathways. She and her co-workers simulated strabismus in infant macaques with prism goggles, and then studied the different visual outcomes when the goggles were removed at age three weeks (equivalent human age of three months) versus age 3–6 months (equivalent human age, l2 to 24 months). They found that monkeys with reversal of induced strabismus early had considerably better outcomes as assessed by horizontal smooth pursuit, fixation stability, and large field optokinetic movements, which correlated with abnormalities in the later-corrected macaques in layers 2–4 of the striate cortex.
Born in Hong Kong, Dr. Wong came to Boston University for her undergraduate work, and graduated from medical school at McGill University. She did her ophthalmology residency at the University of Toronto and a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology with James Sharpe, MD (Toronto, ON) at the same institution, followed by a fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at Washington University, St. Louis, MO. She did simultaneous work toward a PhD in neuroscience at the University of Toronto, with a thesis titled “Three Dimensional Disorders of Gaze and Binocular Alignment after Brainstem and Ocular Motor Nerve Lesions,” under the guidance of Dr. Sharpe and Douglas Tweed, MD, PhD, together with postdoctoral work in collaboration with Lawrence Tychsen, MD, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University, and Andreas Burkhalter, PhD, associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology, Washington University. Dr. Wong, who welcomed her first child, James, on June 7, 2003, is assistant professor of ophthalmology and neurology at the University of Toronto and adjunct assistant professor of ophthalmology, Washington University.
This year's Best Presentation by a Resident/Fellow award went to Nitza Goldenberg-Cohen, MD (Baltimore, MD), who is currently a pediatric ophthalmology fellow at the Wilmer Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Born and raised in Israel, she received her medical degree, master's degree in health administration, and ophthalmology residency training at Sackler Medical School, Tel-Aviv University. In 2001, she came to Wilmer for a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology under the direction of Neil Miller, MD, and sponsored in part by the Krieger Fund. Her research, which has been guided by Steven Bernstein, MD, PhD, associate professor of ophthalmology, neurobiology, and genetics, University of Maryland, has focused on an elegant mouse model for anterior ischemic optic neuropathy, using photoembolization with a photosensitive dye to selectively target capillaries that serve the anterior optic nerve and spare the retinal blood supply. Her neuro-pathologic findings suggest that early damage to oligodendrocytes may lead to retinal ganglion cell loss. Dr. Goldenberg-Cohen, her husband, and their three children have enjoyed their sojourn in the United States but planned to return this summer to Petah-Tikva, Israel, where she hopes to continue her research and apply her clinical skills at Schneider Children's Medical Center, Tel Aviv University.