Spotlight on Members
ARVO Board welcomes At-Large MIT member
ARVO welcomes the newest At-Large Members-in-Training Board member, Tasneem Khatib, BM, BCh. Khatib will begin her 2019 - 2021 term as the MIT Trustee on the ARVO Board of Trustees on Oct. 16.
Khatib is a clinician-scientist ophthalmologist who has performed clinical and laboratory research at the University of Cambridge. She is now completing her doctoral thesis. She is currently back in residency training, working on her many research projects combined with a very active clinical schedule.
Khatib won travel grants to present her research at three consecutive ARVO Annual Meetings, 2017 - 2019. She was a member of the highly competitive ARVO Science Communication Training Fellowship in 2017. We recently talked with her about her plans and goals in this new role with ARVO.
ARVONews: Tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m an Ophthalmology resident based in Cambridge, UK. I have also worked in two different vision research labs — at the Centre for Brain Repair, Cambridge for my doctoral research and the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, Oxford during my Bachelors degree.
ARVONews: What do you see yourself doing after you graduate?
I think now is a really exciting time to be involved in vision research and see myself combining clinical practice with research as a clinician-scientist ophthalmologist. We’ve seen game-changing breakthroughs led by vision researchers in recent years, which have had huge implications not just for eye disease but for the scientific and medical community as a whole, and new innovations coming up all the time. It’s a really dynamic and stimulating community and one that I very much hope to continue to be a part of in the future.
ARVONews: How have you been involved with ARVO since joining?
I remember being blown away at my first ARVO Annual Meeting which I attended as a first year resident, where one of the children who had been treated with gene therapy for Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis was invited to share their experience during a Keynote Lecture, and where I also learned that we had the tools to visualise subcellular organelle transport along the optic nerve in real time! Both of these shaped the research and direction that I would ultimately end up pursuing and I have continued to be inspired at subsequent meetings.
I think now is a really exciting time to be involved in vision research and see myself combining clinical practice with research as a clinician-scientist ophthalmologist. We’ve seen game-changing breakthroughs led by vision researchers in recent years, which have had huge implications not just for eye disease but for the scientific and medical community as a whole, and new innovations coming up all the time.
I particularly love the engagement, debate and interaction that takes place during the poster sessions, including the MIT poster competition. Being among the first cohort of ARVO SciComm Fellows was a fantastic experience and one that I would highly recommend. Through it I’ve been able to advocate to those responsible for the NIH budget on Capitol Hill during the ARVO Advocacy Day and engage UK high school students in vision research through a transatlantic scholarship opportunity between the University of Cambridge and the National Eye Institute, NIH — our student winners also participated in the ARVO booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival!
ARVONews: Why did you express interest in joining the ARVO Board of Trustees?
I have found ARVO as an organisation to be extremely welcoming, inclusive, supportive and receptive to new ideas, and is constantly evolving. I’ve also been fortunate to have several incredible mentors who are ARVO members and have been part of its leadership. I wanted to gain a better understanding of the organisation, see how key decisions are made and also hope my time in the role will be an effective way for me to give back.
ARVONews: What are you hoping to accomplish during your time on the board?
I hope that I can communicate the needs of ARVO Members-in-Training to the board effectively and provide a platform for the MIT community to air any views or concerns. I am also looking forward to working closely with the MIT committee and hope that we can create an environment where we continue to promote excellence, meet new people to exchange ideas, collaborate and engage in debate, network effectively and help MIT members to continue to develop their careers.