Academy Post Annual Meeting
The link to the meeting handouts will continue to be available to Orlando attendees: http://www.softconference.com/aao/slist.asp?C=20,512
The audio recordings have been included on the site, but you will need a password to log in. Your password will be emailed to you when you purchase the audio recordings. With a meeting of this magnitude and with so many concurrent sessions, there is sure to be something you missed.
Deadlines for Academy 2010 San Francisco
- Next year's meeting will take place at Moscone Center West in San Francisco, CA, November 17 to 20, 2010.
- Lectures & Workshops Submissions will be accepted January 1 to February 2, 2010, through the Academy's website.
- Call for Awards Nominations deadline is April 2, 2010. All Fellows can nominate someone for an award.
- Paper and poster submissions will be accepted May 1 to 31, 2010, also through the website.
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National Advisory Eye Council Welcomes Four New Members, Including Academy of Optometry Fellow
The National Advisory Eye Council for the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announce the appointment of four new members: Joseph A. Bonanno, OD, PhD, FAAO, James Chodosh, MD, MPH, Col. Donald A. Gagliano, MD, and Alberta L. Orr, MSW. The council advises the NEI about conducting and supporting research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs that address blinding eye diseases and disorders, visual function mechanisms, sight preservation, and health needs of visually impaired individuals. The group's 12 appointed members are leaders in the fields of ophthalmology, optometry, and basic sciences, as well as public policy, law, health policy, economics, and management.
“We are excited to welcome these accomplished council members, who offer a wide range of expertise,” said NEI director Paul A. Sieving, MD, PhD, “We look forward to their guidance as the NEI continues to advance vision science and the eye health of the nation.”
Joseph A. Bonanno, OD, PhD, FAAO, is an associate dean and professor of optometry and vision science at Indiana University School of Optometry, where he teaches biochemistry and physiology. During the last 18 years, Dr. Bonanno's research has primarily involved the ion and fluid transport properties of the corneal endothelium. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and has previously served as member and chair of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Physiology/Pharmacology Program Planning Committee, ad hoc reviewer for several NEI grant panels, and member of the NIH Center for Scientific Review Anterior Eye Disease Study Section.
One of Academy's Great Statesmen has Lost his Battle with Cancer
It was with heavy hearts that colleagues headed for the Annual Meeting of the Academy in Orlando, November 2009. One of the Academy's great statesmen had lost his battle with cancer. We believe Rex Ghormley had attended 45 prior consecutive Academy meetings.
The Academy expressed the following obituary for Rex. Dr. N. Rex Ghormley past president of the American Academy of Optometry passed away November 4, 2009. He graduated from the Southern California College of Optometry in 1964. During the Vietnam War, he served as a Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1967. He began the private practice of optometry in St. Louis in 1970.
Regionally, Dr. Ghormley served on the Advisory Committee of the UM-St. Louis School of Optometry and as an adjunct assistant professor continued yearly to educate students at the school and in his private practice. He served on the Heart of America Contact Lens Society Board of Directors from 1976 to 1982 and was President in 1980.
Nationally, Dr. Ghormley served 14 years on the Executive Council of the American Academy of Optometry from 1980 to 1994 where he helped to make the Academy's Annual Meeting one of the top educational meetings in Optometry. While serving as President from 1991 to 1992, he was instrumental in the genesis and execution of International Academy Meetings. From 1994 to 1999, he was Chair of the Academy's Corporate Financial Support Committee. Dr. Ghormley was a diplomate of the Academy's Section on Cornea and Contact Lenses and a charter member of the AOA Section on Contact Lenses. His educational contributions to optometry include being co-editor of International Contact Lens Clinic for over a decade. He performed clinical research with every major corporation in the pharmaceutical and contact lens field. He educated the profession nationally and internationally as a welcomed lecturer in the field of contact lenses and anterior segment. He was named “Optometrist of the Year” in 1985 by the Heart of America Society and recognized as Distinguished Practitioner by the National Academy of Practice in Optometry in 1987. He received the St. Louis Optometric Society's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, the 2003 AOA Contact Lens and Cornea Section Achievement Award, and the 2006 American Academy of Optometry Emminent Service Award.
Friend and practice partner David B. Seibel, OD, FAAO, offered this personal reflection: “Rex leaves in his wake countless optometrists and ophthalmologists world wide enabled with his knowledge and passion for caring for patients. This commitment never wavered as he continued to provide exceptional care to his patients up until just weeks before his passing. I was truly blessed to have the opportunity to work day after day with him for more than 22 years. Without Rex's guidance I am sure I would not be a diplomate of the Academy today—an achievement that continues to give back to my patients and me each day. In his last days, he only wanted to be with friends, family, and to heal his patients. His passion of healing patients lives on in his request for charitable donations to be given to the American Optometric Foundation (AOF). My mentor, my friend, you will be dearly missed.”
Dr. Ghormley is survived by his loving wife Sandy, his children, Scott, Erin, Kerry, and his grandchildren Kylie, Caden, and Logan. Dr. Ghormley's wish is that memorial donations be made to the Rex Ghormley Fund of the AOF. Donations can be mailed to: AOF, 6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 506, Rockville, MD, 20,852. The AOF Board has worked with Rex's family to establish an annual scholarship, fellowship, or award in his honor.
NEI Recognizes Outstanding Contributions of Academy Fellow
The NEI recently presented an award to Dr. Velma Dobson, PhD, FAAO, for her outstanding contributions to the field of infant and child vision research and for her distinguished service to the NEI.
Over many years, Velma has contributed her time and expertise to the NEI as an exceptional investigator, advisor, peer-reviewer, and Data and Safety Monitoring Committee member. She has been an integral part and invaluable resource for a number of NEI-funded clinical research studies including the Cryotherapy for Retinopathy of Prematurity trial, the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity trial, the Amblyopia in Astigmatic Children-Development and Treatment study, and the Vision in Preschoolers study. Velma was the lead guest editor of an Optometry and Vision Science feature issue (June 2009) “Infant/Child Vision Research: Present Status and Future Directions.” The journal dedicated the entire groundbreaking feature issue to her. Dr. Dobson is on the faculty at the University of Arizona where she holds appointments in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Psychology.
ORGANIZATION & INSTITUTION NEWS
Vision Research Means Hope: Celebrating National Medical Research Day
On October 21, 2009, National Medical Research Day, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (NAEVR) issued a statement on the importance of vision research:
“On behalf of the eye and vision research community, NAEVR is proud to participate in activities in support of National Medical Research Day. More than ever, vision research funded by the NEI within the NIH is bringing hope to individuals by preventing blindness and restoring vision.
In 2009, the United States Congress recognized these efforts by passing H. Res 366 and S. Res 209, which acknowledged NEI's 40th anniversary and designated 2010 to 2020 as the Decade of Vision. NAEVR calls on the Obama Administration and Congress to work together to ensure robust medical research funding, especially for vision, since:
- The first wave of 78 million Baby Boomers will turn 65 in 2010, and each day for 18 years afterward, 10,000 Americans will turn 65.
- The fast-growing Hispanic and Black populations experience disproportionate incidence of eye disease.
- More than 50 million Americans will be blind, have low vision, or an age-related eye disease by 2020 unless they receive appropriate treatments and therapies.
The NEI is a leader in basic research, working with NIH's Human Genome Project to translate discoveries of genes related to eye disease and vision impairment, which comprises one quarter of all genes discovered to-date, into diagnostics and treatments. NEI is also a leader in clinical research, funding more than 60 clinical trials.
Vision research means hope—to increase productivity, maintain independence, and improve quality of life. By delaying and preventing healthcare expenditures, especially those by the Medicare and Medicaid programs, it is also a cost-effective investment.”
Giving Sight by Therapy with Genes
Early in November, the New York Times (Pam Belluck, 11/2/09) highlighted a report in Lancet November 7, 2009 that will surely catch your attention.
The article in Lancet reported that “Patients had at least a 2 log unit increase in pupillary light responses, and an 8-year-old child had nearly the same level of light sensitivity as that in age-matched normal-sighted individuals. The greatest improvement was noted in children, all of whom gained ambulatory vision.” The story of the 8-year-old boy is highlighted by the New York Times. The study actually involved five children and seven adults, from Belgium, Italy, and the United states, with a type of Leber's congenital amaurosis.
The eyes of the patients, injected with a virus with the normal version of the gene REP65 inserted into its genome, invaded the photoreceptors and inserted its own DNA that included the crucial human gene, into the cells' DNA.
By 2 weeks, “all 12 had significant improvement,” said Stephen Rose of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which helped support the study. The New York Times also reported that Dr. Jean Bennett, an ophthalmology professor at University of Pennsylvania who was a leader of the study, said participants could “read signs or see numbers on their cellphones, stripes on their clothes, patterns on furniture, wood on a violin or marble on a table …. Some read several more lines on eye charts. Children improved the most, perhaps because fewer photoreceptors had decayed. But even the oldest patient, Tami Morehouse, 44, who was sometimes housebound, now walks to meet her children coming from school and saw her daughter hit a home run,” Dr. Bennett said.
For the full New York Times article visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/health/03eye.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper
Laser Surgery, Corneal Endothelium, and Cornea Donors
In a small study published in the November Archives of Ophthalmology, it was reported that laser surgery to correct refractive errors had no long-term detrimental effects on the corneal endothelium. The authors raise the possibility that LASIK patients may be able to offer to subsequently donate their corneas.
NEI and FDA Address the Use of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Medical Product Development
On October 13, 2009, the NEI and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held the third of a series of symposia that engage the vision community in discussions about the types of endpoints appropriate for use in clinical trials that support approvals for new drugs and devices. Entitled Use of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Medical Product Development, the meeting featured representatives from the reviewing divisions within FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and the Center for Devices and Radiological Health that oversee ophthalmic drug and device approvals, respectively. The meeting was organized by the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
“Simply stated, this meeting will address how patients report their perception of vision in relation to clinical outcomes,” stated NEI Director Paul Sieving, MD, PhD, who welcomed attendees and noted the importance of these discussions within the NIH.
Because patient-reported outcomes are increasingly being considered in new product evaluations across the FDA, representatives of its Division of Epidemiology provided insights into their development and use. Many of these concepts are incorporated into a draft FDA guidance document entitled Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures: Use in Medical Product Development to Support Labeling Claims, which will issue in final form shortly on the FDA's Web site.
Academy Board of Directors member, Tim McMahon, OD, FAAO, participated in the symposium. The Patient-Reported Outcomes Endpoints symposium was developed after a session on quality of life indicators at the second of the joint NEI/FDA meetings, Glaucoma Clinical Drug Trial Design and Endpoints, held in March 2008. The first symposium, Ophthalmic Clinical Trial Design and Endpoints, held in November 2006, focused on new treatments for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Lack of Diffusible VEGF Growth Factor can Cause Retinal Defects Similar to Dry Macular Degeneration
In a press release from Schepens Eye Research Institute, it was recently reported that their scientists “have found that when the eye is missing a diffusible form of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), i.e., one that when secreted can reach other cells at a distance, the retina shows defects similar to ‘dry’ macular degeneration, also called geographic atrophy (GA). This finding, published in the November 3, 2009 print edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences not only increases the understanding of the causes of this blinding disease but also it may impact the use of anti-VEGF drugs, such as Lucentis, which are designed to neutralize VEGF in eyes with ‘wet’ macular degeneration.”
“These results are significant for several reasons. We know little about what causes GA or how to treat it. Our discovery may be an important piece of the puzzle. It shows that reduced VEGF from the retinal pigment epithelium, the bottommost layer of the retina, to the choriocapillaris—the small blood vessels beneath retina—leads to degeneration of the choriocapillaris. Therefore, the continuous blockage of VEGF may contribute to the development of or a worsening of GA,” says Patricia D'Amore, principal investigator of the study and senior scientist at Schepens.
VSP Mobile Eyes Program: Outreach Impact Remains Strong
In the third quarter of 2009, the VSP Mobile Eyes program, in partnership with 105 VSP network doctors, provided outreach to more than 3400 low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals and families nationwide, bringing the total number for the year to more than 9500. VSP's two mobile clinics traveled to 34 locations, including providing eye examinations to infants for 2 weeks in Louisiana with InfantSEE, and a 3-day event in South Carolina. More than 350 VSP eye doctors have volunteered their time to work onboard the mobile eyecare clinics since inception of the program.
Tissue Banks International Announces Availability of First Sterile Cornea Allograft
Late in October 2009, Tissue Banks International announced the availability of the VisionGraft Sterile Cornea, a sterile cornea allograft. The VisionGraft Sterile Cornea (patent pending) is an irradiated cornea for use in tectonic transplant procedures. Tissue Banks International expects that surgeons from many ophthalmic specialties will find applications for the new allograft. The VisionGraft Sterile Cornea has already been used in glaucoma tube shunt coverage, as a patch graft, and with keratoprosthesis.
Canon U.S.A. Showcases the CX-1 Mydriatic/Non-Mydriatic Hybrid Digital Retinal Camera
Canon recently showcased the CX-1 as “the First Fully Hybrid Digital Retinal Camera from Canon and the World's First Digital Non-Mydriatic Retinal Camera to Take FAF Photography.”
Bausch & Lomb Unveils an Anti-Fog Treatment for Sports Goggles
On November 9, 2009, Bausch & Lomb (B & L) released the following: “Skiers, snowboarders and other outdoor sports enthusiasts in North America have a new solution to one of the biggest problems they encounter—fogging of goggles and face shields. Bausch & Lomb's new FogShield SportÔ premoistened towelettes simultaneously prevent fog from forming on goggles for 8 hours or more and help keep lenses clean with just one application.” “FogShield Sport costs about $2 per application.”
“Since the product has proven extremely effective in anti-fog protection for firefighters and hazmat professionals in industrial environments, we believe it will be effective for skiers, snowboarders, paintballers and scuba divers,” said B & L.
SynergEyes Launches New Training Modules
On November 5, 2009 SynergEyes, the high Dk hybrid contact lens manufacturer, launched new practitioner training modules for the SynergEyes A and SynergEyesMultifocal lenses on www.FitSynergEyes.com, a website dedicated to practitioner education and training. The new training modules include updated fitting and troubleshooting techniques, tips for patient communication and education, and practice development information.