Sunday, May 3, 1 - 2:30pm Lecture

Effectively communicating your data to tell your scientific story (PUB & MIT)
Organizers: Machelle T. Pardue, Patrick Yu-Wai-Man and M.E. Harnett
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.

Overcoming bias through mentorship (DI & GM)
Organizers: Tasneem P. Sharma, Kate E. Keller, Dolly Ann Padovani-Claudio, M. Natalia Vergara, Cesar E. Perez-Gonzalez, Pablo De Garcia, Vikas Khetan, Manju Subramanian, Zohreh Hosseinzadeh
Speakers: Pablo De Gracia, Vikas Khetan, Dolly Ann Padovani- Claudio, Terri L. Young, Michelle C. Callegan, Patricia A. D'Amore

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.

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.

China-ARVO Networking Forum
Organizers: David R. Hinton, Shikun He, Ke Yao and OCAVER
Speakers: Steve Fliesler, Youxin Chen, Zhiqun Tan, Mingwei Zhao, 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 USA, 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 USA. At the upcoming meeting, topics will align with the 2020 ARVO "Sight-saving therapeutics." theme that will show the advanced researches in major blindness eye diseases. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting; a limited lunch will be provided

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.


Monday, May 4, 1:15 - 2:45pm

Increasing the impact of your research: Social media, new metrics and beyond (AO, GM, MIT and PUB)Lecture
Organizers: Daisy Shu and Stephanie Watson
Speakers: Stephanie Watson, Daisy Shu, Jarrod Harman, Erin Hering and Therese Lockemy

The proliferation of social media has enabled people to engage with ease and immediacy on a global scale. More scientists are turning to social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to share their discoveries, keep up with emerging research trends and upcoming events within the scientific community and industry. 

Grant writing early-career funding opportunities (MIT)
Nawajes Mandal and Wenlin Zhang
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.

Eyes on the prize: Funding resources for the international community (GM)
Kate Keller and Ester Carreno
Speakers: Berthold Seitz, Adam Mapani, John Prakash and Fabrice Manns

Numerous funding resources are available for international vision research projects, yet there are various challenges to finding out about these resources and successfully obtaining funding. Presenters in this workshop will discuss various International funding opportunities, the role of the foreign component in a successfully funded NIH grant, potential administrative issues and managing projects across different physical (time zones) and cultural perspectives.

Basic science and translational research on the retina (COS)
Yao Ke
Speakers: Ningli Wang, Steven L. Bernstein, Zhengqin Yin, 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.

2020 Vision for successful NEI investigators (NIH-NEI)
Michael Steinmetz and Grace Shen
Speakers: Michael Steinmetz, Anne Schaffner 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, “2020 Vision for Successful NEI Investigators” 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)? Our presentations will include the latest changes affecting NEI 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

Tuesday, April 30, 7 - 8:30am 

Breakfast with the experts
Organizers: Members-in-Training Committee

Advance registration required. Trainees, students and junior faculty will benefit from this unique opportunity to network and gain valuable information from those who have been in your shoes! This very popular program offers informal discussions over breakfast on a wide range of topics to provide personal guidance, insight and skills to help you advance your career! Topics will focus on professional development, career guidance, and best practices of interest to basic and clinical trainees and clinician-scientists. A number of the roundtable topics will be specifically tailored to the needs of clinician-scientists.

Wednesday, May 6, 12:15 
- 1:45pm

Clinician-Scientist Forum: How to become a successful clinician-scientist (MIT) organizers: 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.

Preparing for partnering: Core competencies (CR)
Vinay Aakalu, Margot Goodkin and Poonam Mudgil
Speakers: Padmaja Shankaridurg, Rekha Rangarajan, 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.

Non-invasive assessment of visual system structure and function in animal models (AR)
Neena Haider and Andras Komaromy
Speakers: 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.

NIH-CSR workshop on the peer review of grant applications (NIH-CSR)
Paek-Gyu Lee and Michael Chaitin
Speakers: Paek-Gyu Lee, Joseph Rudolph, 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. 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.