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Minisymposia

Adverse ocular outcomes from emerging therapies: Mechanisms, diagnoses and management (AP)
Organizers:
 Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, Vivian Lee and Vikas Khetan
Speakers: Stephen H. Tsang, Tomas Aleman, Alison Skalet, Bahram Bodhaghi and Brian VanderBeek

This minisymposium will bring together diverse experts to illustrate how emerging therapies produce untoward effects in the eye in expected and unexpected ways. It will highlight aspects of bench-to-bedside efforts in identifying mechanisms of toxicity and effective therapeutic interventions for managing complications of these therapies.

Teleophthalmology, the new normal in a post COVID context (CL)
Organizers:
 Van Charles Lansingh, Tunde Peto and Giselle Ricur
Speakers: Anthony Vipin Das, Alex Charter Taleb, Renata Puertas, Tunde Peto, Gabriela Saidman, Sheila John

Over the past decades, much progress has been made in understanding the potential of using telemedicine applications in Ophthalmology, especially when related to increasing patient outreach or access, as well as being able to detect or diagnose vision-threatening conditions such as Glaucoma, DR, AMD, ROP and Cataracts. The advent of the SARS-COV2 pandemic acted as an explosive catalyzer, pushing telemedicine right under the spotlight for all to see. This generated many challenges in each front, not only from a medical perspective, but also from a legal standpoint as well as from a technological infrastructure perspective. Most important, understanding what lies beneath the challenge of engaging and connecting with patients remotely is the key factor for success. Therefore, this minisymposium brings together a platform of highly knowledgeable ophthalmologists who have trained in Teleophthalmology. They will discuss not only the basics regarding how to start a program and ensuring its quality, but also report on successful new models of eyecare delivery and their impact on preventing blindness by detecting significant eye diseases such as Glaucoma, DR, AMD, ROP and Cataracts, the post-COVID-19 challenges and where the future research lies in regards to the emerging technologies available.

Corneal wound healing: Basic mechanisms and therapeutic approaches (CO)
Organizer: Rajiv Mohan, Vivien Coulson-Thomas and Matilda Chan
Speakers: Fu-shin Yu, Krystal Huxlin, Matilda Chan, Vivien Coulson-Thomas, Ali Djalilian and Arkasubhra Ghosh

Cellular and tissue damage of the cornea are common occurrences after eye trauma and, also, as part of the pathophysiological process in various ocular diseases, including glaucoma, keratoconus, limbal stem cell defficiency and macular degeneration. Common repair processes that occur after corneal injury include angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, fibrosis and inflammation. Stem cell therapy and ocular drug delivery systems have been studied as therapeutic strategies for treating corneal injuries across cell types. The overall goal of this minisymposium is to provide an overview on molecular mechanisms and repair processes that govern corneal wound healing and present novel therapeutic strategies for facilitating corneal repair. Although this minisymposium will specifically focus on corneal diseases and processes, it will be of relevance to other ocular diseases that result from tissue injury.

Longer and better vision after corneal transplantation for patients: From bench to bedside (CO)
Organizer: Takefumi Yanaguchi, Junko Hori and Vishal Jhanji
Speakers: Reza Dana, Jerry Niederkorn, Pedram Hamrah, Junko Hori, Shigery Kinoshita, Claus Cursiefen and Takefumi Yamaguchi

The aim of corneal transplantation is to provide the best vision for patients both by maintaining corneal transparency and by reducing irregular astigmatism. Clinically, to keep the cornea clear and ensure clear vision for the patients, long-term graft survival is essential, which prevents immune rejection and minimizes corneal endothelial cell loss. In addition to the use of transparent corneas, to maximize the patients' visual potential, we need to understand visual optics in relation to corneal transplantation. The overall goal of this minisymposium is to expose the latest knowledge on immunology, neuroimaging and visual optics in corneal diseases and transplantation.

Making sense of ocular surface pain (CO)
Organizers: Anat Galor and Stephen Pflugfelder
Speakers: Anat Galor, Steven Pflugfelder, Pedram Hamrah, Randy Kardon, Juanita Gallar and Konstantinos D. Sarantopoulos 

Ocular surface pain is a common complaint that has been linked to dry eye disease but which often occurs independently from ocular surface pathology. Many clinicians lack the training and comfort to diagnose and manage pain. This minisymposium will highlight potential contributors to ocular surface pain, with a focus on its neurobiology, including both nociceptive and neuropathic mechanisms and considering both peripheral and central pathologies. The goal of the minisymposium is to highlight current knowledge and define research directions that will lead to improved diagnosis and management of ocular surface pain.

Novel biomaterials for ocular diseases (CO)
Organizer: Thomas Fuchsluger, C. Ross Ethier and Brian Gilger
Speakers: May Griffith, Thomas Fuchsluger, Gerd Auffahrt, Uday Kompella, Jui-Yang Lai and Maribel Vazquez

This minisymposium brings together six sections within ARVO (Cornea, Lens, Pharmacology, Glaucoma and Retina) and enjoys broad support due to the highly relevant topic of biomaterials in ocular diseases. Here, leaders of the fields report on state of the art and on trends involving drug delivery and clinical translation.

Childhood vision disorders: What is on the horizon? (EY)
Organizers:
 Jingyun Wang
Speakers: Jonathan M Holmes, Eileen Birch, Ben Thompson, Fatema Ghasia, Susan Cotter and Irene Gottlob

This minisymposium will explore current innovative research pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of childhood vision disorders. Topics include vision screening using retinal birefringence instrumentation; objective assessment of visual acuity for amblyopia detection; management of amblyopia with binocular treatment and monitored occlusion; impact of fixational eye movement abnormalities on visual function deficits and treatment outcomes in amblyopic children; utility of hand-held OCT in children; non-surgical optical treatments for intermittent exotropia and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) and emerging telemedicine approaches for children.

Genetics of strabismus (EY)
Organizers:
 Jingyun Wang, Zia Chaudhuri and Joseph L Demer
Speakers: Yutao Liu, Markus Preising, Mary C. Whitman, Zia Chaudhuri, Joseph L. Demer, Elias Traboulsi and Mervyn G. Thomas

There is an increasing emphasis on genetics as a cause, risk factor, or susceptibility modulator of most diseases, and this stimulated evolution as well as revolution in genomic medicine. Genetics has metamorphosed from a semi-epidemiological branch limited to pedigree analysis and genotype-phenotype correlations, into a highly sophisticated biotechnological science incorporating experimental, bioinformatics, computational and functional tools to validate hypotheses and to guide sight-saving therapeutics. Strabismus, or misalignment of eyes, demonstrates heredity, albeit non-Mendelian patterns. Genetic determinants of this common disorder have remained enigmatic.

Cellular biomechanics in the eye (GL)
Organizers:
Ross Ethier, Vasanth Rao and Thomas Fuchsluger
Speakers: Jeffery Holt, Darryl Overby, Judith West-Mays, Kate Keller, Ian Sigal and Pedram Hamrah

This minisymposium will highlight recent advances in cellular and biophysical mechanisms involved in different aspects of biomechanics in the eye, with particular relevance to glaucoma, the cornea, and the lens. Increasingly it is recognized that biomechanics plays a major role at the cellular level in the lens, cornea, and glaucoma. Topics to be discussed include mechanosensitive channels including piezo, TMC and L- Calcium, immune cell trafficking, cell adhesive and membrane scaffolding, fluid and outflow systems, adaptive tissue changes.

Aging and immunity (IM)
Organizers:
H. Nida Sen and Daniel Saban
Speakers: Darragh Duffy, Cintia De Paiva, Dong Feng Chen, Heping Xu, Douglas Jabs and Deborah Ferrington

Effects of aging on the immune system is broad and includes a decrease in number and quality of the lymphocyte pool. This decline in the immune system is frequently evidenced by vulnerability to certain infections and poor response to vaccination. Aging can lead to accumulation of inflammatory mediators in tissues – also known as inflammaging. Separately accelerated immune senescence has been proposed in several autoimmune diseases. However, the effects of aging per se on the immune system as it relates to ocular disorders is less clear. Overall goal of this minisymposium is to elucidate the implications of aging and its interaction with immune system on various ocular disorders and their mechanistic underpinnings.

Single cell RNA-sequencing revolution part II: Applications, biology, and clinical relevance (IM)
Organizers:
 Daniel Saban, H. Nida Sen and Ashok Kumar
Speakers: Tavé van Zyl, Robert Lavker, Daniel Saban, Kapil Bharti, Thomas Reh and Filip Swirski

Single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) is rapidly revolutionizing biomedical research and accelerating the development of personalized medicine. This unbiased and high- throughput analysis of individual cell transcriptomes is revealing the complexity of cell populations with unprecedented resolution, bringing about a new understanding of cellular lineage, function and contribution to disease. This minisymposium will enable participants to discuss new research approaches using scRNA-seq and cutting edge bioinformatic pipelines. Presentations will cover stem cells, immune cells, primary human cells, iPSCs and organoids of the cornea, trabecular meshwork, retina and retinal pigment epithelium, respectively. Ways in which scRNAseq is being leveraged in extraocular disease, such as atherosclerosis, will also be covered, all together opening the door for exciting discussions on new opportunities and challenges for translational eye research in both anterior and posterior segment disorders.

Ocular tissue mechanics, homeostasis and diseases (LE)
Organizers:
P. Vasantha Rao and Julie Lim
Speakers: Valerie M. Weaver, Velia Fowler, Xiaohua Gong, P. Vasantha Rao, David Križaj and Sara Thomasy

Mechanobiology is an actively investigated area in tissue function, focusing on how physical forces and changes in the mechanical properties of cells and tissues contribute to development, cell differentiation, physiology and disease. This minisymposium will highlight the latest advances in our understanding of the mechanobiology of ocular cells and tissues including the cornea, trabecular meshwork and lens and the role(s) played by the extracellular matrix, cell adhesion machinery, actomyosin, ion channels, tensile properties and mechanotranscription in regulation of structural integrity and functional homeostasis and in ocular disease.

Rho Kinase Inhibitors, a new class of treatment for glaucoma and corneal disease (PH)
Organizers: Brian Gilger and Mark Johnson
Speakers: Casey Kopczynski, Haiyan Gong, Arthur Sit, Dan Stamer, Jeffrey Goldberg and Shigeru Kinoshita 

As an excellent example of translational research, basic science studies led to the finding that cytoskeletal-active agents can significantly decrease aqueous humor outflow resistance. Clinical studies followed demonstrating that rho kinase inhibitors can lower IOP which led to two new drugs: ripasudil in Japan and netarsudil in the United States have been approved for clinical use to treat glaucoma. This minisymposium aims to highlight the utility of rho kinase inhibitors for IOP lowering in glaucoma, plus discuss other interesting properties such as neuroprotection and regeneration as well as a new treatment for corneal endothelial diseases. Presentations will include basic science research for understanding the underlying mechanisms and clinical experience with this new drug class.

Cell biology of the homeostasis of the choroid (RC)
Organizers:
 John Penn, Goldis Malek and Yan Chen
Speakers: Barbara Braunger, Patricia D'Amore, Bela Anand-Apte, Robert Mullins, Gerard A. Lutty, Wai Wong and Enrique Rodriguez-Boulan

The posterior segment of the eye has two sets of blood circulations. The inner retina is nourished by retinal vessels and the photoreceptor neurons and the RPE are supported by choroidal vasculature. Tremendous progress has been made on understanding the vascular biology and neurovascular coupling in the retina. The cell biology of the choroid, however, remains to be explored. While the RPE delivers strong survival signals to choroidal endothelial cells, recent studies have recognized many unique functions of tissue residential immune cells in supporting the structure and function of the choroid. This minisymposium will address some of these newly identified mechanisms that contribute to tissue homeostasis and regulate cell-cell interactions in the choroid.

Retinal plasticity in disease and regeneration (RC)
Organizers:
Petr Baranov and Yan Chen
Speakers: Daniel Goldman, Stefanie Wohl, Bryan Jones, Tom Reh, Sai Chavala and Marla Feller

The adult mammalian retina has remarkable potential for restorative plasticity: photoreceptors, inner retinal neurons and retinal ganglion cells are capable to extend their processes and establish new synaptic connections, restoring retinal responses to light. In this minisymposium we plan to summariz e the mechanisms of retinal plasticity, its dynamics and selectivity during development and in disease models. The speakers will present the current evidence of cell plasticity in vertebrate retina, synapse formation and circuitry refinement in normal retina and during retinal regeneration achieved through cell reprogramming.

State of refraction: Etiology, comorbidities and treatments for the worldwide myopia epidemic (VI)
Organizers: Andrew Carkeet and Lisa Ostrin
Speakers: Terri Young, Kathryn Rose, Machelle Pardue, Jost Jonas, Christine Wildsoet and Maria Liu

This minisymposium will allow participants to understand contributing factors to the worldwide epidemic of myopia, which is known to be a complex interaction between genetic and environmental influences. Associated pathologies and comorbidities will be presented. Current and potential treatment options, including pharmacological and optical modalities, will be discussed.

Dopamine in the retina (VN)
Organizers:
 Erika Eggers, Steven H. DeVries and Tiffany Schmidt
Speakers: Franklin Caval-Holme, Richard Lang, Morven Cameron, Christophe Ribelayga, Steven Barnes and Erika Eggers

Dopamine is a crucial neuromodulator in the retina. Dopamine release is an important component of the retina's ability to adapt to increased lighting conditions. Dopamine is also important for developmental regulation and dopamine levels decline in several disease states. This minisymposium will discuss recent results on how dopamine levels in the retina are controlled, the importance of dopamine for regulation of neuronal and vascular development and how dopamine modulates retinal sensitivity in light adaptation and circadian rhythms.

Vice Presidential Session

Pax6 from development to disease (LE)
Organizer:
 Melinda K. Duncan
Speakers: Ruth Ashery-Padan, Ales Cvekl, Cheryl Gregory-Evans, Melinda K. Duncan, Neil Lagali and Christopher Riemann

Pax6 is a transcription factor now recognized to be a major regulator of eye development while heterozygous mutations in this gene cause a complex constellation of ocular diseases denoted as "aniridia syndrome". This session explores the roles of Pax6 in tissue development and attempts to relate these functions with the progressive eye diseases experienced by aniridia patients as they age.