Breakfast with an Expert

Ramesh and Brenda Tripathi Vision Research Fund

Tuesday, April 25
7 - 8:30am CT
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
Registration — $15

Breakfast with an Expert is your chance to meet with subject experts for in-depth conversations in a small group setting. Experts will host a table, give guidance and answer questions on a specific theme. Browse the table topics and choose the one you are most interested in.

Sign up when you register for the Annual Meeting. If registered already, you may add a table to your current registration.

Table A
Fatema Ghasia, MD             
Fatema Ghasia, MD
Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic and Cole Eye Institute, Ohio
The journey towards becoming tenured faculty

Fatema Ghasia, MD, is a clinician-scientist with expertise in pediatric ophthalmology and binocular vision disorders. She is an associate professor and Director of Vision Neurosciences and Ocular Motility Lab at Cleveland Clinic. As a pediatric eye surgeon and a neuroscientist, Ghasia combines cutting-edge research and clinical ophthalmology, finding novel ways to treat eye diseases. Her primary focus is to study abnormal brain circuits that cause visual problems in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Ghasia’s extramurally supported research was honored with the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Young Investigator award.

 Table B
 Lauren Wareham, PhD       
Lauren Wareham, PhD
Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University, Dept. of Ophthalmology, Nashville, Tenn.
Tips on starting your own laboratory

Lauren Wareham, PhD, received her doctoral degree from the University of Sheffield, UK, in biochemistry and microbiology in 2015. She completed her first postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Ophthalmology, followed by a second postdoctoral fellowship in ophthalmology and visual sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn. During this time, she was awarded the Glaucoma Research Foundation Shaffer award for “Innovative Glaucoma Research”. In 2019, Wareham became junior faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and in 2021 started her independent research program. Her research focuses on the role of neurovascular interactions in neurodegenerations of the visual system.

Table C
 Jay Chhablani, MD     
Jay Chhablani, MD
Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pa.

Practical advice for foreign trained clinicians

Jay Chhablani, MD, is a vitreo-retina specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Eye Center, Pittsburgh, Penn., USA. His areas of interest are macular disorders and recent imaging techniques. He has published more than 380 articles in peer-reviewed journals with a focus in the field of choroid. He is the editor of the books “Choroidal Disorders” and “Central Serous Chorioretinopathy.” He is on the reviewing boards of all high-impact journals, including Science Translational Medicine, and is on the editorial board of American Journal of Ophthalmology. Chhablani delivered the inaugural Asia-Pacific Vitreo-Retina Society Constable lecture in 2016 and received the Vitreo Retina Society of India's inaugural Namperumalsamy Young Researcher Award in 2018.

Table D
Daisy Shu, PhD                   
Daisy Shu, PhD
Instructor, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass Eye and Ear, Dept. of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
How to make yourself visible: Learning to self-promote and advocate

Daisy Shu, PhD, is an instructor in the Department of Ophthalmology of Harvard Medical School at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear. Her research explores the role of mitochondria in retinal eye diseases funded by the BrightFocus Foundation. She serves on several committees, including the ARVO Board of Trustees, ARVO Women in Eye and Vision Research and the ARVO Professional Development and Education Committee. Shu is passionate about science communication and advocacy. Her advocacy efforts have been recognized by the ARVO Emerging Advocate Award. She co-hosts a podcast called “Behind Our Science” and actively updates her Twitter @EyeDaisyShu.

 Table E
Joseph Demer, MD, PhD                  
Joseph Demer, MD, PhD, FARVO
Arthur Rosenbaum Professor of Pediatric Ophthalmology & Director, Ocular Motility Labs, Stein Eye Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif.
How to successfully publish

Joseph L. Demer received his MD and PhD in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1983. He is Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at UCLA Stein Eye Institute, holds the Rosenbaum Professorship of Pediatric Ophthalmology, is Professor of Neurology, and chairs the EyeSTAR residency-PhD program. In 2003, ARVO awarded Demer the Friedenwald Award for research on the extraocular muscles and orbital connective tissues. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific papers, 14 reviews, 10 editorials, and 44 book chapters. He also has been funded by the National Eye Institute since 1988 and has served on NIH study sections regularly since 1991. Demer serves on the editorial board of ARVO's IOVS journal and is an editor of Strabismus.

Table F
Vallabh Das, PhD            
Vallabh Das, PhD, FARVO
Moore’s Professor, Chair, Dept. of Vision  Science, College of Optometry, University of Houston, Tex.
How to successfully write a grant

Vallabh Das, PhD, is the Moore’s Professor and Chair of Vision Science at the College of Optometry, University of Houston. The focus of research in his laboratory is to understand the neural mechanisms underlying disruption of binocular alignment and binocular coordination of eye movements in strabismic monkey models. He received his first independent investigator R01 award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2004 and has since maintained continuous NIH R01 funding for this work. He is an ARVO Fellow and has previously served three years on the Annual Meeting Planning Committee representing the EY section.

 Table G
Stela Vujosevic, MD, PhD      
Stela Vujosevic, MD, PhD, FARVO
University of Milan, Italy
Juggling clinical responsibilities and science in the early years

Stela Vujosevic MD, PhD, is a retina specialist, head of the Medical Retina Unit of the MultiMedica Group and a researcher at the University of Milan, Italy where she already qualified as a full professor in 2020. She is a fellow of the EBO and a Silver Fellow of ARVO. Major awards include: "Power List" of the 100 most influential ophthalmologists 2022 compiled by The Ophthalmologist; European Vision Institute - TOP LIST of Women in European Vision Research and Ophthalmology 2021 and ARVO's Women's Leadership Development Program.  With more than 90 publications and five books to her credit, Vujosevic has participated  in numerous research projects, both Italian and international (some have also had European funding), in the role of Principal Investigator.

 Table H
 Monica Jablonski, PhD             
Monica Jablonski, PhD, FARVO
Hamilton Endowed Professor and Vice Chair & Director of Research, Hamilton Eye Institute, Memphis, Tenn.
How to become a champion for academic/industry/government relationships to enhance innovation

Monica Jablonksi, PhD, has been a translational scientist with an emphasis on vision for over 31 years and a faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center for 26 years. Within the Hamilton Eye Institute, where she serves as the Hamilton Endowed Professor and Vice Chair & Director of Research at the Hamilton Eye Institute, she oversees the department's research enterprise. Jablonski also leads a team of eight full-time scientists in her lab in the quest for novel and highly effective treatments for two of the most common blinding disorders in the world: glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. Inventions that stemmed from their investigations have spawned the creation of a start-up company — OculoTherapy — that she leads as founder and Chief Scientific Officer. Their lead technology is a novel glaucoma therapeutic and formulation that is poised to provide continuous lowering of intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with primary open angle glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world.

 Table I
 Tonia Rex, PhD           
Tonia Rex, PhD, FARVO
Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn.
Work-life balance

Tonia Rex earned her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, studying the effects of retinal detachment on the photoreceptors. Her post-doctoral fellowship was with Dr. Jean Bennett at the University of Pennsylvania. Rex has received the Hope for Vision Young Investigator Award, the Glaucoma Research Foundation Shaffer Prize for Innovative Glaucoma Research, the Research to Prevent Blindness Career Development Award, and the NEI Audacious Goals Challenge. Her DoD- and NEI-funded laboratory focuses on mechanisms and treatments for glaucoma and ocular neurotrauma. Her research has resulted in many high impact publications and patents.

 Table J
 Paul Gamlin, PhD, FARVO           
Paul Gamlin, PhD, FARVO
Professor, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Ala.
Tips for successful grant outcomes

Paul Gamlin, PhD’s research investigates the neural pathways involved in coordinated movement of the eyes and the non-image forming retinal pathways involved in circadian rhythms, light-evoked pupillary responses, sleep, migraine, and mood. He is also developing novel gene therapy techniques to treat individuals with inherited retinal diseases. Gamlin serves as a grant reviewer for the  NIH and was Chair of the SPC Study Section. His research has been funded by grants from the National Eye Institute, National Science Foundation, Foundation Fighting Blindness, The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama and Research to Prevent Blindness.

 Table K
 Andrew Feola, PhD           
Andrew Feola, PhD
Assistant Professor, Emory University, Dept. of Ophthlamology, Atlanta, Ga.
How to survive as a young investigator

Andrew Feola, PhD, is an assistant professor at Emory University and a research biologist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. He received a doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh and was later awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium to study biomechanics in women’s health and urogynecology. Afterward, he joined the Georgia Institute of Technology on a NASA-funded project studying biomechanics in the eye. Currently, his lab investigates the role of sex, aging and menopause in ocular pathologies with a particular focus in glaucoma.

 Table L
 Machelle T. Pardue, PhD, FARVO                    
Machelle T. Pardue, PhD, FARVO
Professor and Associate Chair, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech and Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.
How and when to search for a postdoctoral fellowship

Machelle Pardue, PhD, is professor and Vice Chair of Research in Ophthalmology at Emory University and a Senior Research Career Scientist at the Atlanta VA Healthcare System. Her lab is focused on clinically relevant treatments for retinal disease that can make a difference in the quality of life of patients. She is developing novel screening and treatment strategies for early-stage diabetic retinopathy and elucidating the retinoscleral mechanisms of myopia. Pardue has been named a Gold Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (FARVO) and a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (FAIMBE).

 Table M
 Christine Curcio, PhD                    
Christine A. Curcio, PhD
Endowed Professor, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Heersink School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ala.
How to succeed as a woman in vision research

Christine Curcio, PhD, is the White-McKee Endowed Professor in Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Heersink School of Medicine. She trained at Brown University (BS), University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Rochester (PhD 1982, neurobiology and anatomy), Boston University and University of Washington (post-doctoral) before joining UAB in 1990. Using laboratory and clinical approaches, she researches human retinal neuroscience, aging, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a prevalent cause of irreversible vision loss in older adults. Contributions in AMD anatomic and molecular pathobiology include drusen and characteristic extracellular deposits, outer retinal neurodegeneration and gliosis, transdifferentiation of retinal pigment epithelium, and microarchitecture of neovascularization and atrophy. Histologic studies support clinical retinal imaging (optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence, adaptive optics-assisted scanning laser ophthalmoscopy) including the Classification of Atrophy Meeting, an international consensus group seeking OCT-based imaging endpoints for AMD clinical trials.

Curcio's peer-reviewed publications (>230) garnered 28,591 citations with an H-index of 83 (Google Scholar, October 2022). She serves on editorial boards of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science and Retina. She also has served on the NEI Board of Scientific Counsellors, NIH study section, and currently reviews for vision funding agencies in Europe and the UK. Curcio was awarded the 2002 (inaugural) Roger H. Johnson Prize for Macular Degeneration research, 2014 Ludwig von Sallmann Prize, 2020 Research to Prevent Blindness – David F. Weeks Award, and the 2022 Lawrence A. Yannuzzi Lectureship of the International Retinal Imaging Society. She is the 2022 Laureate of the Future Vision Foundation

 Table N
 Neeraj Agarwal, PhD             
Neeraj Agarwal, PhD
Program Director of Training and Workforce Development, National Eye Institute/NIH, Bethesda, Md.
Funding opportunities for young scientists

Neeraj Agarwal earned his PhD in biochemistry from The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He had his postdoctoral trainings at the University of Southern California, Yale School of Medicine, and UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, TX. He was mentored by Dr. David Papermaster, MD, in the field of retinal degenerations and vision research. Following this, he established his own laboratory in the department of cell biology and anatomy at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Tex. His research focused on the mechanisms of visual cell loss using animals and cultured retinal cells as models for retinal degenerations and glaucoma. Currently, he is serving as the director of training, career development and diversity at the NEI/NIH Division of Extramural Science Program. His portfolio manages NRSA fellowships, the institutional research training programs, the mentored career development programs, BRAIN initiative training mechanisms, and the loan repayment programs.

 Table O

 Toco Y.P. Chui, PhD

Richard Rosen, MD                 

Toco Y.P. Chui, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, NY



Richard Rosen, MD

Vice Chair and Director of Ophthalmology Research, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, NY

Clinician and basic scientist collaborations: Seeing each other's perspectives

Toco Chui, PhD, is an associate professor at the Department of Ophthalmology, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEEI) of Mount Sinai. Her current research is fully devoted to the clinical application of high resolution and non-invasive retinal imaging techniques in the living human retina. These imaging techniques will become increasingly important as ophthalmology moves deeper into micro-management of retinal abnormalities as a more definitive strategy in preventing vision loss from diseases. Her research is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and several private foundations.

Richard Rosen, MD, is a vitreoretinal surgeon and medical retina consultant at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary (NYEEI), where he serves as Chief of Retina, Mount Sinai Health System and Retina Fellowship Director, Vice Chairman and Director of Ophthalmology Research, as well as Surgeon Director at the NYEEI. Rosen holds the Belinda B. and Gerald G. Pierce Distinguished Chair of Ophthalmology and is Professor of Ophthalmology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also Honorary Professor in Applied Optics at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Medical Physics. Rosen received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology at the University of Michigan and his MD from the University of Miami School of Medicine. His research interests include new treatments for macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, innovations in diagnostic retinal imaging, and vitreoretinal surgical instrumentation. He helped pioneer the introduction of multimodal enface OCT/SLO, led a team to develop an Adaptive Optics SLO Imaging facility for clinical applications at the NYEEI, pioneered quantitative capillary density mapping for OCT angiography, and is currently developing cellular imaging for clinical OCT and robotics for vitreoretinal surgery. Through collaboration with the University of Kent and Ophthalmic Technologies (OTI), he helped develop the first multimodal OCT/SLO instruments which featured Ultra High Resolution, integrated ICG Angiography, and integrated OCT/SLO Microperimetry. His Advanced Retinal Imaging Laboratory has contributed to translational research into High Frequency and 3-D Ultrasound, Macular Pigment Densitometry, Retinal and Choroidal Blood Flow Monitoring, Retinal Oximetry and Metabolic Imaging, and Clinical Microscopy. In collaboration with Dr. Dan-Ning Hu, director of the NYEE Ocular Cell Culture laboratory, he has also been actively involved in RPE studies of melatonin and zeaxanthin and their role in AMD and most recently hydroxychloroquine toxicity. Rosen has served as PI for numerous clinical trials sponsored by Industry as well as the National Eye Institute. He is a co-PI on one of the NEI’s Audacious Goals grants.

 Table P
 Philip Rosenfeld, PhD           
Philip Rosenfeld, PhD
Professor Of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Fla.
Running a successful clinical research group

Philip J. Rosenfeld MD, PhD, is a professor of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is a retina specialist with expertise in age-related macular degeneration (AMD). As a clinician scientist, his major interests include developing treatments for AMD and developing clinical optical coherence tomography (OCT) instruments. In collaboration with Dr. Ruikang Wang at the University of Washington (Seattle), Rosenfeld's team has focused on identifying OCT biomarkers of disease progression so they can be used as clinical trial anatomic endpoints when studying novel dry AMD therapies.

 Table Q
 Amani Fawzi, MD, FARVO           
Amani Fawzi, MD, FARVO
Professor of Ophthalmology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Ill.
Collaborations: Successes and failures

Amani Fawzi, MD, a vitreoretinal surgeon and clinician-scientist, is the Cyrus Tang and Lee Jampol Endowed Professor. She divides her time between her clinical/surgical practice and her NIH-funded research. Fawzi’s research spans translational animal models of ischemic retinopathies and her clinical research focuses on functional retinal imaging approaches, including OCT angiography and Adaptive Optics. Recognized for her imaging research, Fawzi has received the Honor Award of the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Young Investigator Award of the Macula Society, the Secretariat and the Achievement Awards of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and is a Gold Fellow of ARVO.

 Table R
 Tiffany Heaster-Ford, PhD                
Tiffany Heaster-Ford, PhD
Scientist 3, Imaging Target Discovery, Dept. of Translational Imaging, Genentech, Inc., San Francisco, Calif.
Transitioning from academia to industry

Tiffany Heaster-Ford, PhD, is a scientist in the Department of Translational Imaging at Genentech. Prior to joining Genentech, Tiffany completed her PhD in biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her current work leverages her training in biomedical imaging and biomarker assessment for the discovery and evaluation of novel imaging biomarkers to monitor retinal disease progression.

 Table S
Expert TBA
Opportunities and careers in industry

 Table T
 Abdelrahman Y. Fouda, PhD               
Abdelrahman Y. Fouda, PhD
Assistant Professor, College of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Little Rock, Ark.
Practical advice for foreign-trained vision scientists

Fouda is an assistant professor at the department of pharmacology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). He conducts translational research on central nervous system injury. His lab employs various molecular, human, and animal studies of diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, traumatic optic neuropathy, and stroke. Before joining UAMS, He worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Augusta University, predoctoral researcher at University of Georgia and a research assistant at Cairo University, Egypt. He has published more than 40 papers and his work has been supported by the National Eye Institute, American Heart Association, and other professional organizations.

 Table U
 Darlene Miller, DHSc           
Darlene Miller, DHSc
Research Professor, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Fla.
Increasing awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion in ophthalmology

Darlene Miller, DHSc, grew up in the southern part of the United States, Virginia and then Florida, where she attended segregated elementary, middle and high schools. Her undergraduate, masters and doctorate degrees were obtained from universities with mixed student populations harboring diverse ethnicity, political orientation, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, tolerance and/or inclusiveness toward others. These experiences have shaped both her personal and professional life. Miller is currently a research professor in the departments of ophthalmology, microbiology and immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

 Table V
 Swarup Swaminathan, MD           
Swarup Swaminathan, MD
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Fla.
Applying to ophthalmology residency programs

Swarup Swaminathan, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist focused on caring for patients with cataracts or glaucoma. A magna cum laude graduate of the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program at Harvard Medical School, Swaminathan completed his residency at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. He subsequently completed a fellowship in glaucoma at the Duke Eye Center, where he was mentored by Drs. Leon Herndon, Sanjay Asrani and Felipe Medeiros. Swaminathan is eager to work with his patients to identify optimal medical, laser, or surgical options to treat their glaucoma, including the use of traditional surgeries as well as minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS). He has received multiple accolades, including the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for his research in protein biochemistry, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Research Fellowship to study trabecular meshwork dysfunction in glaucoma, and the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship, awarded to young ophthalmologists with a strong dedication to ophthalmic research. With a keen interest in imaging research in glaucoma, Swaminathan is eager to assist ophthalmologists in improving their ability to diagnose glaucoma and identify patients at high-risk for vision loss.

 Table W
 Ramin Tadayoni, MD, PhD           
Ramin Tadayoni, MD, PhD
Professor of Ophthalmology, Université Paris Cité, Paris, France
Maximizing scientific achievement

Ramin Tadayoni, MD, PhD, is a professor of ophthalmology at Université Paris Cité, and department chairman at Lariboisiere, Saint Louis and Rothschild Foundation Hospitals, Paris, France. He is also the project leader of the EviRed research program on artificial intelligence for diabetic retinopathy and the French Institute of Myopia, President Elect of EURETINA (European Society of Retina Specialists), member of the Executive Committee of Club Jules Gonin, past President of CFSR (French-speaking Retina Specialists Society) and an associate of the “French National Academy of Surgery”. Beyond medicine and research, he is also very committed to education and has the honor of having trained numerous clinical vitreoretinal and research fellows.

 Table X
 Brian Samuels, MD, PhD                           
Brian Samuels, MD, PhD
Interim Chair, Dept. of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Heersink School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Ala.
How to succeed as a clinician-scientist

Brian Samuels, MD, PhD, is the interim chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).  He is the inaugural holder of the Dennis Endowed Professorship in Glaucoma Research and serves as the director of the glaucoma service and glaucoma fellowship program.  Samuels received his bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and completed the combined MD/PhD program at the Indiana University School of Medicine where he was awarded the Chancellor’s scholar award for his graduate research work.  He obtained his PhD in medical neurobiology and went on to complete his ophthalmology residency at UAB and glaucoma fellowship at Duke University.  His research has been focused on understanding how differences in intraocular pressure and intracranial pressure cause different eye diseases, such as glaucoma and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri).  Samuels has been PI on multiple NIH/NEI grants (1 K12, 1 K08, 1 R21, 2R01s, 1P30, and an NEI Audacious Goals Initiative U24 grant) as well as several foundation grants, including a recent Research to Prevent Blindness Physician-Scientist Award. He is currently the director of the NIH-funded P30 Vision Research Core Grant at UAB.  In addition, Samuels has been a consultant with NASA investigating why astronauts who spend extended time in space are at risk for changes in vision. Ultimately, he hopes that his research will eventually lead to new treatments or cures for blinding diseases.