Sunday, April 29, 8:15-10:15am

Proteostasis networks: Challenges and therapeutic opportunities for ocular diseases
Luminita I. Paraoan, Marina Gorbatyuk and Astra Dinculescu
Speakers: William E. Balch, Deborah A. Ferrington, Mike Cheetham, David N. Zachs and Raquel L. Lieberman

Proteostasis, or protein homeostasis, is a key achievement of cells that impact critically on virtually every aspect of cell physiology, functions and lifespan. The cellular machinery that underpins Proteostasis integrates complex, multi-layered regulatory networks affecting global protein synthesis, protein trafficking and processing, folding, aggregation and degradation rates. Given the functional and structural heterogeneity and diversity of ocular cells/tissues, the mechanisms by which Proteostasis is coordinated within and between cells are central to understanding and managing the eye diseases. Recent findings concerning mechanisms of action of various risk factors and disease related variants of proteins with different primary functions increasingly point to failure of Proteostasis as a unifying pathway for ocular pathogenesis. This symposium will enable participants to discuss the pathways, translational opportunities and challenges for the management of eye diseases offered by targeting Proteostasis networks.

Ocular and Systemic Circadian Rhythms: Implications in Vision Research
Organizers: Lisa Ostrin, Paul Gamlin and Ann Elsner
Speakers: Joseph Takahashi, Samer Hattar, Michael Iuvone, Robert Lucas, Beatrix Feigl and Debora Nickla

Circadian rhythms are ubiquitous throughout the body, and evidence shows that daily rhythms are subserved by light input to the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells, as well as endogenous clocks. This symposium will allow participants to consider how circadian rhythms and diurnal patterns affect the eye and other systemic processes that are important in basic research and clinic.

Thursday, May 3,  8:15 - 10:15am

In Galileo's Footsteps: visualizing immunity
Organizers: Richard Lee, Paul McMenamin and Julie Daniels
Speakers: Dipika Patel, Samantha Dando, Wolfgang Weninger, Jesse Schallek and Michael Hickey

Novel methods have emerged in recent years that allow clinicians and scientists to directly image immune-mediated events in patients and animals. Ranging from the rapid and safe clinical confocal microscopy of the cornea and anterior segment to intravital imaging of specific immune cell types in the brain and retina. These clinical tools and experimental approaches have been made possible by advances in imaging techniques combined a plethora of genetically modified model animal systems ranging from zebra fish to mice and primates. In addition there are now modalities of intravital microscopy, such as adaptive optics, that allow visualization of tissue and cellular detail deep within tissues that allowing clinicians and basic researchers to unravel and directly visualize dynamic mechanisms of immune mediated processes that cause loss of vision.

Neuronal Health in AMD and Glaucoma: Lifestyle-based Therapies to Live Long and Prosper
Organizers: Adriana Di Polo, David Calkins and Diane Bovenkamp
Speakers: Diane Bovenkamp, Ian Trounce, Julie Mares, Emily Chew, Louis Pasquale and Johanna Seddon

While there is much published on the correlation of the positive effects of healthy lifestyle activities on retina and brain health, clinicians seek a clear understanding of the specific mechanisms underlying these recommendations for age-related vision conditions such as glaucoma and AMD. This session will review evidence-based research that supports preventive and prescriptive lifestyle modifications, such as exercise, diet, nutritional supplements, and other factors, with an emphasis on exploring mechanisms of action. Such evidence-based research is essential to meet the current national and global imperatives to improve eye and brain health. These imperatives include those set out in the recommendations of the September 2016 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report "Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow," the "Healthy People 2020" program of the United States, the "Vision 2020" program of the International Agency to Prevent Blindness and the World Health Organization, and the "Vital Directions for Health and Health Care" of the National Academy of Medicine. Topics to be discussed in this symposium include the involvement of oxidative stress and mitochondria in exercise, epidemiology, and epigenetics, and the biochemistry of diet and nutritional interventions. Attending this symposium should empower participants to discuss evidence-based lifestyle modification research with fellow clinicians and researchers, patients, the public, and policymakers.