Sunday, April 28, 8-10am

Approaches to restoring vision: where are we now? - VN
Contributing sections: AP, EY, GL, PH, RE, RC, and VI
Organizers: Ulrike Grunert, Jan Kremers, and Erika Eggers
Speakers: Katarina Stingl, Daniel Palanker, Volker Busskamp, Leah Byrne, Zhou-Hua Pan, and William Merigan

Restoring vision is the common aim of many researchers and has led to a variety of approaches. The field is moving rapidly with new approaches reaching clinical trials. This symposium will bring together leading experts representing these different approaches including retinal prostheses, gene therapy, cell replacement, and optogenetics. This symposium will thus allow researchers to share insights into different approaches to restoring vision.

The potential and pitfalls of big data - CL
Contributing sections: CO, GL, LV, MOI, and RE
Organizers:  Bonnielin Swenor
Speakers:  Laura Balzer, Michael f. Chiang, Josh Stein, Chris Hammond, and Anne Coleman

The use of “Big Data” has increased in ophthalmology over the past five years, and ranges from mining administrative databases, using electronic medical records, and leveraging telemedicine data. This session will: (1) describe the advantages and limitations of big data and related analyses, (2) review how big data can be integrated into ophthalmology research and clinical settings, and (3) discuss the potential implications and future of big data in ophthalmology.

Thursday, May 2,  8 - 10am

The gut-axis: emerging roles of the microbiome in ocular immunity and diseases – RC
Contributing sections: BI, CL, CO, IM, and RE
Organizers: Magali Saint-Geniez, Michelle Callegan, and Mary Marquart
Speakers:  John Bienenstock, Rachel Caspi, Mihaela Gadjeva, Allen Taylor, and Maria Grant

The gut serves as host to a diverse population of microorganisms, and research linking the significance of the gut microbiome to health and disease has exploded in the last decade. The composition of the intestinal microbiota has been found to be crucial for host metabolic efficiency, regulation of the immune system, tumor growth in cancer, and neurological and developmental health. Recent ophthalmology research has uncovered a critical role for the gut microbiome in ocular health and responses to diseases. This symposium will bring together leading scientists who will share their latest cutting-edge research on the impact of the gut microbiome on the nervous system, ocular immunity, and ocular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. 

The single cell revolution: Novel insights and applications for single-cell RNA sequencing in eye research - IM
Contributing sections: AP, BI, CO, GEN, PH, RC, and VN
Organizers: Daniel Saban, John Ash, and Marie Burns
Speakers:  Ido Amit, Daniel Saban, Marie Burns, Enrique Rodriguez-Boulan, and Seth Blackshaw

Single-cell mRNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) is rapidly revolutionizing biomedical research and accelerating the development of personalized medicine. This unbiased, high-throughput, and high-resolution analysis of individual cell transcriptomes is revealing previously unappreciated detail about the heterogeneity of cell populations, their origins, and functions in development and disease. This Symposium will enable participants to discuss new research approaches using scRNA-seq technologies and cutting-edge bioinformatic pipelines. Presentations will cover glial cell biology, retinal cell development, and degeneration, vascular endothelial cells, and immunology opening the door for exciting discussions on novel opportunities and challenges for translational eye research.