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Sarasota Symposium


2013 Symposium Abstracts are available in PDF format here.

The ISER Sarasota Symposium will bring together leaders in the field of glaucoma to discuss molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathobiology of the condition.

The program will feature world-class keynote speakers and hot topics that include:

  • Biomechanics
  • Immune modulation of disease
  • Cell injury/recovery
  • Matrix biology
  • Mouse models
  • Cell/tissue regeneration

Invited keynote speakers include:

Marie-Luce Bochaton-Piallat, Ph.D.

Marie-Luce Bochaton-Piallat is group leader at the Department of Pathology and Immunology of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland. Over the years, she has studied the molecular mechanisms that govern the transition of fibroblasts to the phenotype of myofibroblasts, a population of contractile cells that is involved in numerous diseases throughout the body. Currently she is investigating the different population of contractile cells of the vascular wall during atherosclerosis with the objective to identify biomarkers that play a role in their phenotypic modulation.

Claude F. Burgoyne, M.D.

Claude Burgoyne is the Van Buskirk Chair for Ophthalmic Research and Research Director of the Optic Nerve Head Research Laboratory at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon. He is also Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the Oregon Health and Sciences University. His laboratory studies the effects of aging and experimental glaucoma on the load-bearing connective tissues of the monkey and human optic nerve head (ONH) within high resolution, 3-D histomorphometric reconstructions. The results are translated to in vivo spectral domain optical coherence tomography imaging of the monkey and human ONH. The overall goal is to predict an eye-specific susceptibility to glaucomatous ONH damage.

David L. Epstein, M.D.

David Epstein is the Joseph A.C. Wadsworth Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. His research is focused on developing novel specific treatments for glaucoma that are directed at the trabecular meshwork. There is an emphasis on the influence of the cytoskeleton on aqueous humor outflow function. In addition, recent work of his laboratory has focused on gene expression during elevations of intraocular pressure or mechanical stretch, with the goal of identifying key homeostatic influences on aqueous humor outflow resistance that might lead to novel therapies for glaucoma. A current hypothesis is that proteasome dysfunction might be involved in the cellular aging that leads to glaucoma. He served as president of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (1992-93) and is currently president of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO).

Simon W.M. John, Ph.D.

Simon John is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor at The Jackson Laboratory. He is also a Research Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine and on the Graduate Faculty at the University of Maine. The research of his laboratory concentrates on the investigation of the molecular features of complex diseases that lead to the death of neural cells with special focus on glaucoma. He uses mouse models to study glaucoma and combines genetics with genomics, cell/molecular biology and physiology. Among the major findings of his laboratory is the characterization of the genes involved in pigmentary glaucoma of the DBA/2J mouse strain, findings that have led to the wide use of this model for glaucoma research. Currently he is studying mechanisms of neuroprotection that may shield retinal ganglion cells from glaucoma and has discovered a profound neuroprotective effect of a radiation and bone marrow treatment.

Helmut Kettenmann, Ph.D.

Prof. Dr. Helmut Kettenmann is Head of the Research Team Cellular Neurosciences at the Max-Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin-Buch. His main research interests are the interactions between glia cells and neurons in the CNS. He is among the pioneers who developed the concept that glia cells actively contribute to information processing between neurons. He was the first one who detected voltage-dependent ion channels and receptors for neurotransmitters on glia cells of various types and unveiled mechanisms by which glia cells interact in the processing of information between neurons. His latest work concentrates on the role of microglia in neuronal degeneration and tumor formation. He served as president of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and is member of the German Academy of Natural Scientists LEOPOLDINA. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Glia.

Harry Quigley, M.D.

Harry Quigley is the A. Edward Maumenee Professor of Ophthalmology and the Director of the Glaucoma Service and the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of the John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. For decades, Dr. Quigley has been one of the leading experts in the field of glaucoma research and surgery. His more than 300 publications over the last 30 years are among those cited most in the ophthalmic literature. Because of his research, our knowledge on the mechanisms of optic nerve damage in glaucoma has been put forward significantly. Harry Quigley served as Editor-in-Chief of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (1993-1997), Executive Vice President of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO, 1987-1992), and Trustee of ARVO (1987-1997).

Program Committee
Ernst Tamm, MD - Program Chair
Tailoi Chan-Ling, PhD
Mike Fautsch, PhD
Takeshi Iwata, PhD
Rob Nickells, PhD
Dan Stamer, PhD