IMAGINING THE IMPOSSIBLE

13th International Low Vision Conference by the International Society for Low Vision
Research and Rehabilitation

Sunday 12th - Thursday 16th July 2020
The Convention Centre Dublin – Ireland

Hosted by:
VISPA (Vision Impaired Service Provider's Alliance)

VISPA Organisation members are:
NCBI, ChildVision, Irish Guide Dogs, Fighting Blindness

IMAGINING THE IMPOSSIBLE

13th International Low Vision Conference by the International Society for Low Vision
Research and Rehabilitation

Sunday 12th - Thursday 16th July 2020
The Convention Centre Dublin – Ireland

Hosted by:
VISPA (Vision Impaired Service Provider's Alliance)

VISPA Organisation members are:
NCBI, ChildVision, Irish Guide Dogs, Fighting Blindness

IMAGINING THE IMPOSSIBLE

13th International Low Vision Conference by the International Society for Low Vision
Research and Rehabilitation

Sunday 12th - Thursday 16th July 2020
The Convention Centre Dublin – Ireland

Hosted by:
VISPA (Vision Impaired Service Provider's Alliance)

VISPA Organisation members are:
NCBI, ChildVision, Irish Guide Dogs, Fighting Blindness

Keynote Speakers

Pearse A. Keane, MD

Pearse A. Keane, MD, FRCOphth, is a consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London and an NIHR Clinician Scientist, based at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London (UCL). Dr Keane specialises in applied ophthalmic research, with a particular interest in retinal imaging and new technologies. He is originally from Ireland and received his medical degree from University College Dublin (UCD).

In April 2015, he was ranked no. 4 on a worldwide ranking of ophthalmologists under 40, published in “the Ophthalmologist” journal (https://theophthalmologist.com/the-power-list-2015/). In 2016, he initiated a formal collaboration between Moorfields Eye Hospital and Google DeepMind, with the aim of applying machine learning to automated diagnosis of optical coherence tomography (OCT) images. In August 2018, the first results of this collaboration were published in the journal, Nature Medicine. 

Artificial Intelligence in Ophthalmology - Reinventing the Eye Exam

Ophthalmology is among the most technology-driven of the all the medical specialties, with treatments utilizing high-spec medical lasers and advanced microsurgical techniques, and diagnostics involving ultra-high resolution imaging. Ophthalmology is also at the forefront of many trailblazing research areas in healthcare, such as stem cell therapy, gene therapy, and – most recently – artificial intelligence. In July 2016, Moorfields announced a formal collaboration with the world’s leading artificial intelligence company, DeepMind. This collaboration involves the sharing of >1,000,000 anonymised retinal scans with DeepMind to allow for the automated diagnosis of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR). In my presentation, I will describe the motivation – and urgent need – to apply deep learning to ophthalmology, the processes required to establish a research collaboration between the NHS and a company like DeepMind, the initial results of our research, and finally, why I believe that ophthalmology could be first branch of medicine to be fundamentally reinvented through the application of artificial intelligence. 

Prof. Joseph Rizzo

Dr. Rizzo is graduate of the Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) and the LSU School of Medicine (New Orleans).  He is a Board-Certified Neurologist and Ophthalmologist who has worked at the Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary as a Neuro-Ophthalmologist since 1985.  Since 2006, Dr. Rizzo has served as Director of the Harvard-wide program in Neuro-Ophthalmology.  Dr. Rizzo dedicates his research to studying the mechanisms of vision loss, improving diagnostic methods, and developing new treatments for blinding diseases.  Dr. Rizzo divides his time evenly between evaluating patients with Neuro-Ophthalmic disorders and performing research to better understand causes of blindness and to search for treatments to restore vision to the blind.  In the late 1980s, Dr. Rizzo co-founded the Boston Retinal Implant Project as a multi-disciplinary research project based at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with the goal of developing a retinal prosthesis to restore vision to patients with outer retinal degenerations.  His clinical research has focused primarily on the study of optic neuritis/multiple sclerosis, ischemic optic neuropathy, pseudotumor cerebri, and giant cell arteritis.  Dr. Rizzo co-founded Bionic Eye Technologies, Inc, which has been pursuing development of the retinal prosthesis.

Abstract Coming Soon...

Coming Soon…

Prof. Rupert Bourne

Rupert Bourne is Professor of Ophthalmology at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Cambridge University Hospital, where he directs the Cambridge Eye Research Centre. He trained at Moorfields Eye Hospital and undertook two Glaucoma fellowships, one there and another at the Shiley Eye Centre/Hamilton Glaucoma Center in San Diego, California. He has a strong research interest, particularly in advanced techniques of Glaucoma diagnosis and progression and the management of Glaucoma in the community, along with overseas ophthalmology which has involved design and analysis of several large population-based surveys of eye disease, several national in scope, eg. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Trinidad. He is the Chair of the National Institute for Health Research Ophthalmology Specialty Group, responsible for NHS research delivery. In his role as Coordinator of the Vision Loss Expert Group of the Global Burden of Disease Study, he has overseen the long-term research into the world-wide prevalence rates of blindness and visual impairment, in partnership with the World Health Organization. He is Chief Investigator for the UK National Eye Health and Hearing Study due to start in 2020.

The Global Burden of Vision Loss- changes in prevalence and causes of visual Impairment and the implications for the future

Globally there are more than 250 million people living with vision impairment (VI), among whom 36 million are blind. In addition, over a billion people have near-vision impairment.  Over the next 30 years, aging and growth of the global population will lead to a tripling of these numbers, with 700 million visually impaired and 115 million of these blind. It is estimated that 80% of this sight loss is preventable or treatable. For over a decade, the Vision Loss Expert Group, a group of more than a hundred ophthalmologists and optometrists with an interest in epidemiology of eye disease have collated results of more than 300 population-based eye surveys into the Global Vision Database and published these results in Lancet Global Health but also online in the Vision Atlas (atlas.iapb.org), a collaboration with The International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, and the WHO’s first World Report on Vision. This lecture will focus on what we have learned from tracking the burden and the emerging issues for the future as we move on from the WHO’s Global Action Plan. Comprehensive approaches that cover a range of health promotion, prevention, detection, and management strategies will be discussed by Professor Rupert Bourne, who leads the VLEG.

Prof. Jane Farrar

Jane is a Professor in the School of Genetics and Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin and has three decades of experience in the field of inherited retinal disorders (IRDs).  Her team’s research interests have been focused on how genetic information is driving the individualisation of medicine and enabling the emergence of innovative potent therapeutic solutions for unmet clinical needs. Jane and her colleagues identified some of the first disease genes implicated in genetic eye disorders globally, and more recently, as part of the Target 5000 study have elucidated the genetic architecture of IRDs in the Irish population using next generation sequencing (NGS) methodologies.  Jane’s team was the first to report the presence of perturbed microRNA profiles in IRDs opening a new field. Additionally, the team has explored a number of innovative gene-based therapeutics for these conditions focusing on adeno-associated virus (AAV) as the vector for gene delivery. More recently, the team has highlighted the role of perturbed bioenergetics/mitochondrial dysfunction in some forms of these disorders highlighting new potential therapeutic avenues. Jane has authored more than 100 international scientific papers and is an inventor on a broad portfolio of granted and pending patents. She has been Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning for the School of Genetics and Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin, is on the Board of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN), is a member of the RIA Life and Medical Science committee and NIBRT’s cell and gene therapy forum, is a member of scientific advisory boards for charities including Foundation Fighting Blindness, USA and the British Retinitis Pigmentosa, UK and was a Co-Founder, Director and CSO of Genable Technologies, a TCD campus company acquired by Spark Therapeutics, among other activities.  Jane works closely with patient organisations to promote research and therapeutic development and is keen to highlight the need for significant investment in Ireland to enable our society to address the opportunities and challenges of genomic medicine.

Shedding Light on Inherited Retinal Disorders (IRDs): Elucidating genetic etiologies - Designing Therapies

Spectacular progress has been made over the past few decades in understanding the genes causative of inherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) with more than 300 genes now implicated, and next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies driving widespread diagnosis of these conditions. In parallel, significant strides have been made in designing and evaluating gene therapies. Indeed, these eye disorders have been at the forefront of the development of innovative gene therapies globally demonstrating the power of such therapeutic strategies. Current interest in ocular gene therapy in academia and industry is enormous with the recent approval by the FDA and EMA of the first ocular gene therapy.  More than three decades of research and development by the TCD team and the associated ocular disease network in this field will be presented from linkage studies in Irish families with IRDs to Target 5000 NGS-based diagnostics. Additionally, the exploration of innovative gene-based therapies for these debilitating conditions will be overviewed, and the evolution of some of these studies from basic research to targeted translational research and development outlined. The enormous potential of genomic medicine to significantly improve the quality of life for many patients with devastating disorders including IRDs will be highlighted.

COUNTDOWN TO VISION 2020

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