Education Courses

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Education Courses

Saturday April 28, 2018

Separate registration is required for all education courses. Preliminary information about each course is listed below for your reference. The information will be updated in October when the agendas are final.

Full-day courses

Big data: Principles to practical application
Organizers:  Anne L. Coleman, MD, PhD, FARVO and Michael F. Chiang, MD
8am - 4:30pm

"Big Data" is a big buzzword in healthcare today. The use of Big Data for improving healthcare outcomes and controlling costs shows significant promise. This course will help participants define what Big Data is, describe the Big Data sets available in vision research, explain the analytic methods behind Big Data, and summarize the potential applications of Big Data. This activity's overall purpose is to ensure change in learner competence by uncovering associations, patterns and trends with the data, in order to improve professional practice. 

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After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:

  • Define Big Data
  • Outline the Big Data sets currently available in vision research
  • Cite 2-3 benefits associated with Big Data analyses
  • Summarize challenges associated with Big Data analyses
  • Discuss future steps for global collaboration in the sharing of Big Data

Gene Editing with CRISPR: From discovery to therapy
Organizers: Vinit Mahajan, MD, PhD and Stephen H. Tsang, MD, PhD
8am - 3:45pm

In the current era of personalized medicine, a large number of genetic variants in patients with various diseases using next generation sequencing have been identified. Recent advances in genetic engineering, genotyping, high-resolution imaging and biomarker testing have made it easier to deliver the right treatments to the right patients at the right time. This course presents an overview of CRISPR technology from the leading experts who have pioneered it in other disciplines, followed by examples in eye and vision science and practical applications. This course is designed to enhance learner competence in the area of CRISPR technology in order to appropriately apply in the learner's professional practice.

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After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:

  • Discuss the latest advances in genome engineering and its translational applications to various diseases.
  • Correlate technologies discussed here with future advances in patientā€specific medicine and stem cell research.
  • Summarize the design and synthesizing of guide RNA for applications in gene editing and gene control, using CRISPR/Cas9 for gene editing and transcriptional regulation

Inherited retinal diseases: Divergent viewpoints of pathogenesis and treatment
Organizers:  Gerald A. Fishman, MD, FARVO, Ygal Rotenstreich, MD and Ifat Sher, PhD
8am - 4:30pm

Inherited retinal diseases are a group of eye disorders caused by an inherited gene mutation and can cause vision loss or blindness. The primary goal of this course is to discuss opposing viewpoints related to the various treatment strategies for inherited retinal diseases. Further, learners will be able to identify and debate different clinical and research topics in the area of inherited retinal diseases. Emphasized will be perspectives on the use of stem cells and gene-directed therapy. In addition, the primary mechanism of retinal degeneration in patients with Stargardt disease will be discussed. These discussions highlight current obstacles clinician-scientists are facing in their fight against retinal degeneration. The overall goal of this course is to enhance learner competence in the area of retinal degeneration to utilize in professional practice.

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After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:

  • Describe the potential value, risks and appropriateness of various treatment strategies for inherited retinal diseases and the treatment of cystic macular lesions
  • Restate evidence that supports when genetic screening is essential vs. optional
  • Explain opposing views on where the primary site of disease is in evidence in patients with Stargardt disease
  • Summarize whether the presence of antiretinal antibodies in certain inherited retinal diseases contributes to the degenerative process
  • Discuss the role doctors play in helping patients decide to participate in a treatment trial 

Half-day course

Introduction to AMD: Current research and therapeutics
Organizers: Catherine Bowes Rickman, PhD and James T. Handa, MD, FARVO
8am - 12:30pm

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common eye conditions leading to vision loss among people age 50 and older. In fact, the risk of acquiring advanced age-related macular degeneration increases from 2% for those ages 50-59, to nearly 30% for those over the age of 75. This course will examine key clinical and pathological findings in AMD. New insights into the genetics of AMD will be highlighted, including an in-depth discussion regarding the discovery of key biochemical pathways involved in the disease. Potential new therapies that could interrupt these pathways will also be explored. This course's overall aim is to enhance learner competence in the area of AMD to utilize in professional practice.

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After completing this activity, the participant should be better able to:

  • Define age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Discuss key clinical and pathological disease findings
  • List current areas of research exploration that are addressing this disease
  • Cite future opportunities in AMD research