Cornea and Ocular Surface
The corneal section has put together ten distinct sessions on the cornea and ocular surface covering a broad range of topics including clinical, basic-science and translational research. Invited speakers are all internationally recognized andare well-known experts in their field. Subjects covered will include new advancements in the areas of corneal and ocular surface infection, corneal epithelium, endothelial cells, stromal repair, refractive surgeries, regenerative biology, and basic biology. Each of the corneal sessions have been organized to provide an excellent opportunity to receive contributions from younger (in-training) corneal clinical and basic scientists. Up to 15 of such scientists will be chosen from the submitted abstracts to present their work as an oral presentation to their peers and leaders in corneal biology and repair. The sessions are specifically designed to promote both cutting-edge corneal research and interactions among young-and-established investigators thus creating an environment for great networking opportunities.
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.
Over the past several years the field of ocular immunology has experienced a resurgence of interest. From mechanisms of innate immune surveillance to control of adaptive immune responses, new molecules have been identified as pivotal in disease pathophysiology and novel targets for disease treatment have been identified. The immunologic contributions to disease are now better understood for conditions such as uveitis, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy. The immunology sessions at ISER will highlight these areas of advancement and introduce cutting edge and innovative approaches to answer some of the more challenging questions in the field. Thought leaders will present original work from their laboratories and concepts that are applicable to many aspects of vision science. Topics will include: immunopathogenic mechanisms and novel treatments for uveitis and other inflammatory ocular disorders, the roles of resident microglia and recruited macrophages in progression of ocular diseases, how the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) forms an immune-suppressive barrier and controls complement cascade in the retina, and the role of fibrotic responses in inflammatory eye diseases.
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.
Retinal Cell Biology
The Retinal Cell Biology section has 17 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 pathological mechanisms, novel disease models and cutting edge diagnostic and treatment strategies. Sessions are organized to provide opportunities to host contributions from younger (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 young and established investigators.