Increasing the impact of your research: Social media, new metrics and beyond (AO, GM, MIT and PUB)
Daisy Shu and Stephanie Watson
Stephanie Watson, Daisy Shu, Jarrod Harman, Erin Hering and Tyler J. Ford

This workshop, co-sponsored by the MIT, GMC and Publications committee, will feature talks from researchers at different career stages from principal investigators to PhD students, detailing how they have successfully navigated the social media landscape to establish collaborations, gain media attention and expose their research to a broader community beyond scientific circles. We will also feature speakers to showcase how organizations and institutes can utilize social media to promote their researchers. There will be practical examples and live Twitter demonstrations, revealing the tricks of the trade and the do's and don'ts in the use of engaging on social media and curating a valuable feed and online presence.

Non-invasive assessment of visual system structure and function in animal models (AR)
Neena Haider and Andras Komaromy
Holly Chinnery, Carol Toris, Mathias Seeliger, Joe Carroll and Nimesh Patel 

The use of animal models is vital in vision research, including the better understanding of disease mechanisms as well as the development and pre-clinical testing of novel therapies. Major advances have been made in recent years in technologies that allow the non-invasive functional and morphological assessment of the visual system, including the eye and the central visual pathways. While clinical applications in human subjects may be the primary intended use of many of these technologies, they have also been adapted for application in small and large animal models. These technologies enhance efficiency in animal studies, by reducing the number of animals needed and thereby address the tenets of the three Rs: reduce, replace and refine. In this workshop, which is organized by the ARVO Animals in Research Committee, the audience will be updated on the application of non-invasive, state-of-the-art technologies for functional and morphological assessment, including high-resolution imaging methods, measurement of aqueous humor dynamics and functional assessment of the retina and central visual pathways.

China-ARVO Networking Forum
David R. Hinton, Shikun He, Ke Yao and OCAVER
Steve Fliesler, Youxin Chen, Zhiqun Tan, Fan Lu, Amir H. Kashani and Jihong Wu

This is the 15th annual China – ARVO Networking Forum. The purpose of this event is to provide a platform for vision researchers from China, the U.S. and other countries to interact, discuss and exchange knowledge in the field of vision research and ophthalmology and to promote collaboration among the scientists. Speakers include leading ophthalmic researchers from China and the U.S. At the upcoming meeting, topics will align with the 2021 ARVO "Revolutionary Eye and Vision Research" theme that will show the advanced research in major blindness eye diseases. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting; a limited lunch will be provided.

Basic science and translational research on the retina (COS)
Yao Ke
Speakers: Ningli Wang, Steven L. Bernstein, Guo-Tong Xu, Kapil Bharti, Chen Zhao and Seth Blackshaw

This session brings together speakers who address the need to improve our understanding of how to better treat retinal diseases. This is a critical question because current therapeutics, in many cases, are still inadequate for stabilizing or preferably reversing losses in visual competence. Today vision scientists and clinicians are interacting with one another to improve the treatment of retinal diseases with gene therapy, stem cell transplantation and the adoption of new surgical instrumentation as well as procedures. Molecular drug design, stem cell implantation and gene therapy experimentation in animal models have led to discovery of exciting innovative approaches warranting further evaluation before being used to treat patients with retinal diseases. One example of the progress recently made includes improving our understanding of gene-mediated control by different cell types of retinal transduction and processing of visual input. Nevertheless, in many cases the clinician is not able to adequately treat retinal disease. For example, even though AMD is treatable, there are no methods for preventing its onset. Similarly, there are several anti-VEGF strategies to inhibit retinal neovascularization, but each approach has potential drawbacks. One of them is that their therapeutic benefit is patient specific. All of the speakers in this proposed session offer their unique perspective on how to translate their expertise into improving treatment of retinal diseases. Ultimately their insight is expected to assist decision making needed to achieve better outcomes for treating retinal diseases.

Preparing for partnering: Core competencies (CR)
Vinay Aakalu, Margot Goodkin and Poonam Mudgil
Speakers: Padmaja Shankaridurg, Vladimir Bantseev, Sandeep Jain and Houman Hemmati

Partnerships between industry and academia are needed for successful translation of discoveries to clinical application. In particular, drug development requires expertise and resources that may only be available in industry or academia at various points in the development cycle. A better understanding of core elements in drug development would help investigators partner with industry experts. This workshop will highlight critical areas in the process of taking a discovery made in academia through to clinical testing.

Overcoming bias through mentorship (DI & GM)
Organizers: Tasneem P. Sharma and Kate E. Keller
Speakers: Dolly Ann Padovani- Claudio, Michelle C. Callegan, Patricia A. D'Amore and Terri L. Young

Biases are a common global phenomenon that influences decision making. The aim of the workshop is to understand strategies for circumventing the biases that are faced in the scientific world and how mentorship could help resolve these issues. The focus will include overcoming biases in review, hiring, promotions, professional interactions, implicit bias and mentorship relationships.

Ethical Issues in Human Subjects Eye Research when Responding to a Crisis: In the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic (ERHR)
 Lyndell Lim and Sangita Patel
Speakers: James Chodosh, Martha Jones and Traci Clemons

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down countries, societies, workplaces and institutions, including human subjects research. This workshop will cover: (1) The earlier SARS outbreak and how the lessons learnt (or ignored) from that experience shaped the response to SARS-COV-2 / COVID-19. (2) The ethical and safety issues specific to vision research and COVID-19: The risks of transmission of SARS-COV-2 in clinical encounters, surgical procedures and investigations. (3) The IRB perspective. When should studies be shut down? What factors should be considered when restarting studies? What are the risks of shutting down for too long, such as costs of lost research? (4) Statistical considerations for studies that were interrupted or were conducted in a time of a crisis, when an effect of the crisis on individuals, such as COVID-19, might be a substantial confounding variable.

Long distance relationships in science: how to keep the flame alive (GM)
 Zohreh Hosseinzadeh and Ester Carreno
Speakers: Andrew Dick, Jayashree Sahni, Mitch Brinks, Lyndon jones and Ronald Buggage

Innovation in scientific research is empowered by connecting experts from different locations, institutions and countries to diversify ideas and perspectives. With the global COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot know the exact contours of what lies ahead in the coming months or years for the global economy and our places in it. But, as scientists, our focus will inevitably be on cutting-edge research, creating innovative technology, cutting costs and boosting productivity during this crisis and into the future. To achieve this, we must maintain our global connections. Technology-mediated communication offers a method of collaboration between virtual team members. Virtual collaboration makes it possible to communicate and interact exclusively through technological channels through verbal, visual, written, and digital means. However, technological limits in sharing certain types of information are sometimes not perceived to be as effective as face-to-face interaction. There are multiple challenges behind virtual collaborations including: geographically dispersed collaborators, perceived invisibility to team members; time zone differences; cultural differences and diverse academic cultures; economic and logistical issues in accessing the Internet or technology; and uneven distribution of members across global locations. This workshop will focus on learning how to organize and optimize virtual collaborations, for example the meeting format and design, how to prepare content, choosing collaborators, selecting the right tools and how to moderate an online session.

Clinician-Scientist Forum: How to become a successful clinician-scientist (MIT)
 Michael Gilhooley and Rupesh Agrawal
Speakers: Pearse Keane, Sophie X. Deng, Neeraj Agarwal and Wong Tien Yin

Clinician-scientists with international reputations will provide insight into the unique challenges and rewards of this career path as they have experienced it. They will provide valuable advice on how to thrive at every stage of the journey. In addition, a representative from the US National Eye Institute (NEI) will be available to discuss their specific funding streams for clinician-scientists.

Grant writing early-career funding opportunities (MIT)
LectureOrganizers: Nawajes Mandal and Rajiv Mohan
Speakers: Neeraj Agarwal, John S. Penn, Matthew Helton and Mengyu Wang

This workshop focuses on providing ARVO trainees with advice on strategies to prepare a successful early-career grant application. A panel of experts from government, non-governmental funding agencies, and industry, as well as current K99/R00 awardee, will provide advice on application preparation and in career development.

Member-in-Training career forum: Maintaining integrity and avoiding burnout throughout your career (MIT)
Organizer: Kara M. Cavuoto
Speakers: Emily Patterson, Donny Suh, Hans E. Grossniklaus, Julia Haller and Al Sommer

Scientists and clinicians are under pressure to obtain grant support, publish, run a lab, maintain a clinical practice and teach trainees. This is further compounded by individual life stressors. Concern regarding these competing pressures has resulted in a heightened awareness regarding burnout. In this workshop, we assembled a combination of researchers and clinicians at various careers stages to share their perspectives on developing your career to avoid burnout and the importance of work-life balance. Speakers will discuss lessons they have learned, biggest hurdles they have overcome and what resources are available to help. Small-group discussion will be held in the form of various roundtables focusing on topics from work-life balance to career transitions.

NIH-CSR workshop on the peer review of grant applications (NIH-CSR)
 Thomas M. Beres
Speakers: Thomas M. Beres, Afia Sultana, Peter Guthrie, Julius Cinque and Susan Gillmor

Sponsored by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this workshop is designed to inform grant applicants about the NIH peer review process and also provide information about the study sections that review visual system grant applications. Additional Information will be provided about the Early Career Reviewer (ECR) program. Scientific Review Officers (SROs) from CSR will be present for the presentation and to answer any questions.

New technologies, expanded opportunities for collaboration, and strategies for international vision research in the 2020s (NIH-NEI)
Gyan ‘John’ Prakash
Speakers: Santa Tumminia, Radhika Krishnan, Gyan “John” Prakash, Takeshi Iwata, Raj Ramesar and Juliana Maria Ferraz Sallum

New opportunities for addressing global blindness at a much larger scale have arisen in part to the advent and application of new technologies in vision research and healthcare delivery, the formation of several large international research consortia for various eye diseases, and the creation and expansion of several large databases for eye diseases in various parts of the world. There are over 39 million people around the world who are blind and additional 246 million are not able to see properly. Eighty percent of blindness is considered preventable, however, a comprehensive research strategy and international research collaborations between the developed and developing world need to increase. Many of the reasons for causing blindness have been researched, but in several areas of the world, a coordinated strategy for basic science and health services research is required to achieve reduction of the global burden of eye diseases and implementation of research findings. The ARVO session will address new technologies, expanded research opportunities available to a large group of investigators, new research databases for various eye diseases, and strategies for international vision research collaboration at the global level.

How to navigate and keep up with the latest changes in the NIH grant application process (NIH-NEI)
Michael Steinmetz and Grace Shen
Speakers: Michael Steinmetz, Kathleen Anderson and Sangeeta Bhargava 

Whether you are an established investigator who still has "pink sheets" sitting on the bottom of your drawer, or just starting your research career as a tenure-track early stage investigator, or you are a mentor or a Departmental Chair, this workshop will help you to navigate the changing landscape in the application and management of NEI grants. Do you wonder why your budget request was cut in time and/or amount? Do you understand the role of the National Advisory Eye Council in the granting process? What are the latest changes to affect Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs)? What flexibility is available to applicants and recipients of federal financial assistance affected by COVID-19? Our presentations will provide valuable information for all NEI grant applicants and investigators. Brief presentations will cover the following topics:

  • The appropriation process from the president’s budget to grant award
  • The duties of the National Advisory Eye Council
  • Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs) and their relationship to Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) when applying for funding

Effectively communicating your data to tell your scientific story (PUB & MIT)
Organizers: Machelle T. Pardue, M.E. Harnett, Wyndham Batchelor and Vishal Jhanji
Speakers: Janece Shafer, Machelle T. Pardue, Erica Fletcher and Maureen Maguire

This workshop is part of an annual series co-sponsored by the ARVO Publications and Members-in-Training Committees. This workshop will focus on ways to improve communication skills for oral and written presentations.

Building drugs, devices, and novel therapeutics (WEAVR)
Stella M. Robertson and Neena B. Haider
Speakers: Shikha Barman, Patricia Zilliox, Margot Goodkin, Ula Jurkunas and Malvina B. Eydelman

This workshop is made up of a panel of female scientists and clinician-scientists with experience in developing drugs and/or devices or other treatments (i.e. stem cells, gene therapy) for ophthalmic indications. Each of the panelists will speak about their career path, the development process, successes and challenges they encountered along the way. A question/answer session will allow for audience participation in the discussion.