Newsletter - Fall 1998, Volume 1, Number 1

AOI Meeting with the Pan-Arab African Council of Ophthalmology (PAACO) and the Egyptian Ophthalmological Society (EOS)

The Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, International Council of Ophthalmology and Advisory Committee of the International Council of Ophthalmology are scheduled to meet with the Pan-Arab African Council of Ophthalmology (PAACO) and the Egyptian Ophthalmological Society (EOS) Congress in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Akef El-Maghraby, President of PAACO, has arranged an outstanding Nile Meeting to precede the PAACO and EOS meetings in Cairo. The Nile Meeting will provide for coordinated sessions of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, International Council of Ophthalmology and the Advisory Committee of the International Council of   

Ophthalmology. The Nile Meeting is scheduled from February 23 through February 28, 1999. The combined PAACO-EOS Congress extends from March 1 through March 5, 1999.

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Academia Meetings in Amsterdam

Preceding the XXVIIIth International Congress of Ophthalmology, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (ICO) Meeting took place in Amsterdam on June 21, 1998. Meetings were directed by President Benjamin F. Boyd, Vice-President Maurice Luntz, Vice-President Arthur Lim, Secretary-General Gabriel Coscas and Treasurer Jean-François Cuendet. Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr. and Prof. Alfred Sommer were formally inducted into the AOI and received certificates of membership from Prof. Boyd. The Business Meeting included extensive consideration of the highly qualified nominees for membership and resulted in election of Prof. Robert Machemer and Prof. Gullapalli N. Rao as new members of the AOI. These colleagues bring substantial distinction and prominence to the organization.

By unanimous action, the Academia members elected as officers for 1998-2002, Prof. Bradley R. Straatsma, President; Prof. Enrique S. Malbran, First Vice-President; Prof. Koichi Shimizu, Second Vice-President; Prof. Gabriel Coscas, Secretary-General and Prof. Rosario Brancato, Treasurer. Symbolizing continuity of the organization, Prof. Boyd presented the President's Medal to Dr. Straatsma. On behalf of the newly elected officers, Dr. Straatsma thanked Academia members for their expression of confidence and praised Prof. Boyd and the other current officers for outstanding service to the AOI throughout 1994-1998.

Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Members gathered for an informal photograph during the meeting on June 21, 1998. Among members who were present are: (First row, left to right) Profs. Wessing, Cuendet, Coscas, Boyd, Luntz and Straatsma; (Second row, left to right) Profs. Amalric, Merté, Nakajima and Lichter; (Third row, left to right) Belfort, Ribeiro-Da-Silva, Barraquer, Rodriguez, Murube and Cunha-Vaz; (Fourth row, left to right) Profs. Saraux, Pouliquen, Contreras, Spivey, Fanta and Freyler, (Last row, left to right) Profs. De Laey, Billson, Tarkkanen, Kupfer, Tengroth, Ryan, Naumann, Blumenthal and Sommer. (Photograph courtesy of Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr.)
Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Members gathered for an informal photograph during the meeting on June 21, 1998. Among members who were present are: (First row, left to right) Profs. Wessing, Cuendet, Coscas, Boyd, Luntz and Straatsma; (Second row, left to right) Profs. Amalric, Merté, Nakajima and Lichter; (Third row, left to right) Belfort, Ribeiro-Da-Silva, Barraquer, Rodriguez, Murube and Cunha-Vaz; (Fourth row, left to right) Profs. Saraux, Pouliquen, Contreras, Spivey, Fanta and Freyler, (Last row, left to right) Profs. De Laey, Billson, Tarkkanen, Kupfer, Tengroth, Ryan, Naumann, Blumenthal and Sommer. (Photograph courtesy of Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr.)

The AOI Scientific Session commenced after a brief intermission. Attended by AOI members and invited guests, presentations were very well received. Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr., spoke on "Toxoplasmosis in Ophthalmology from 1908 to 1998"; Prof. Alfred Sommer delivered a presentation entitled "Vitamin A Deficiency and Xerophthamia: Past, Present and Future"; and Prof. Gisele Soubrane described "Experimental Models of Choroidal Neovascularization: Past, Present and Future." Combining science and culture of The Netherlands, Prof. August Deutman, President of the XXVIII International Congress of Ophthalmology, delivered the Academia Oration entitled "Dutch Masters and The Macula." At the conclusion of the Oration, President Boyd presented a commemorative plaque to Dr. Deutman.

The Academia Special Memorial Session, following a luncheon for AOI members and guests, paid tribute to Academia members who passed away during the previous year: Prof. Jose I. Barraquer, Prof. Ronald Lowe and Prof. A. Edward Maumenee. Prof. Jose I. Barraquer was honored for his pioneering contributions to refractive surgery and ophthalmology in gracious comments by his brother, Prof. Joaquin Barraquer, Prof. G. Scuderi, Prof. J. Murube and Prof. G. Coscas. Aspects of his life and career were presented with particularly considerate statements and a video tribute by his daughter, Dr. Carmen Barraquer.

Recognizing the passing of Prof. Ronald Lowe, Prof. Frank Billson spoke in laudatory terms of his contributions to ophthalmology in Australia. Dr. Billson also noted the extensive outreach activities of Dr. Lowe to enhance ophthalmic education and training throughout several parts of Asia.

The epochal career of Prof. A. Edward Maumenee was presented in a tribute organized and led by Prof. Steven J. Ryan. Prof. Bruce Spivey and Prof. Ronald Smith emphasized Dr. Maumenee's contributions to American ophthalmology, Prof. Akira Nakajima and Prof. G. O. H. Naumann commented on his contributions to international ophthalmology and Prof. Enrique Malbran related his work to raise standards of ophthalmology in Latin America. Thereafter, Prof. Carl Kupfer and Prof. Alfred Sommer presented comments on Dr. Maumenee's work on prevention of blindness and Prof. Bradley Straatsma spoke on the contributions of Dr. Maumenee to the science of ophthalmology. 

Representing all AOI members, President Benjamin F. Boyd closed the Special Memorial Session with thoughtful comments regarding the fine personal qualities and illustrious careers of Prof. Jose I. Barraquer, Prof. Ronald Lowe and Prof. A. Edward Maumenee.

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XXVIIIth International Congress of Ophthalmology

Prof. Alfred Sommer (left) received the Duke-Elder Medal from Prof. Akira Nakajima (right) at the Closing Session of the International Congress. (Photograph courtesy of Prof. Alfred Sommer.)
Prof. Alfred Sommer (left) received the Duke-Elder Medal from Prof. Akira Nakajima (right) at the Closing Session of the International Congress.  (Photograph courtesy of Prof. Alfred Sommer.)
Members of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis participated in the procession at the Opening Session of the Congress. Shown prior to the procession are (left to right) Secretary-General Gabriel Coscas, President Benjamin F. Boyd, Vice-President Maurice Luntz and Vice-President Arthur Lim. (Photograph courtesy of Prof. Arthur Lim)
Members of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis participated in the procession at the Opening Session of the Congress. Shown prior to the procession are (left to right) Secretary-General Gabriel Coscas, President Benjamin F. Boyd, Vice-President Maurice Luntz and Vice-President Arthur Lim. (Photograph courtesy of Prof. Arthur Lim)

The AOI Scientific Session commenced after a brief intermission. Attended by AOI members and invited guests, presentations were very well received. Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr., spoke on "Toxoplasmosis in Ophthalmology from 1908 to 1998"; Prof. Alfred Sommer delivered a presentation entitled "Vitamin A Deficiency and Xerophthamia: Past, Present and Future"; and Prof. Gisele Soubrane described "Experimental Models of Choroidal Neovascularization: Past, Present and Future." Combining science and culture of The Netherlands, Prof. August Deutman, President of the XXVIII International Congress of Ophthalmology, delivered the Academia Oration entitled "Dutch Masters and The Macula." At the conclusion of the Oration, President Boyd presented a commemorative plaque to Dr. Deutman.

The Academia Special Memorial Session, following a luncheon for AOI members and guests, paid tribute to Academia members who passed away during the previous year: Prof. Jose I. Barraquer, Prof. Ronald Lowe and Prof. A. Edward Maumenee. Prof. Jose I. Barraquer was honored for his pioneering contributions to refractive surgery and ophthalmology in gracious comments by his brother, Prof. Joaquin Barraquer, Prof. G. Scuderi, Prof. J. Murube and Prof. G. Coscas. Aspects of his life and career were presented with particularly considerate statements and a video tribute by his daughter, Dr. Carmen Barraquer.

Recognizing the passing of Prof. Ronald Lowe, Prof. Frank Billson spoke in laudatory terms of his contributions to ophthalmology in Australia. Dr. Billson also noted the extensive outreach activities of Dr. Lowe to enhance ophthalmic education and training throughout several parts of Asia.

The epochal career of Prof. A. Edward Maumenee was presented in a tribute organized and led by Prof. Steven J. Ryan. Prof. Bruce Spivey and Prof. Ronald Smith emphasized Dr. Maumenee's contributions to American ophthalmology, Prof. Akira Nakajima and Prof. G. O. H. Naumann commented on his contributions to international ophthalmology and Prof. Enrique Malbran related his work to raise standards of ophthalmology in Latin America. Thereafter, Prof. Carl Kupfer and Prof. Alfred Sommer presented comments on Dr. Maumenee's work on prevention of blindness and Prof. Bradley Straatsma spoke on the contributions of Dr. Maumenee to the science of ophthalmology. 

Representing all AOI members, President Benjamin F. Boyd closed the Special Memorial Session with thoughtful comments regarding the fine personal qualities and illustrious careers of Prof. Jose I. Barraquer, Prof. Ronald Lowe and Prof. A. Edward Maumenee.

The Closing Ceremony of the Congress on June 25 was very auspicious. At this session, Prof. Akira Nakajima, President of the ICO, presented the acclaimed Duke-Elder Medal to Prof. Alfred Sommer. Prof. Pierre Amalric received the François Medal for his outstanding contributions to international ophthalmology.

Cultural events included the Opening Session on June 21, which featured contemporary music and dance in addition to a Reception for all Congress attendees, a Reception under courtesy of the Mayor of Amsterdam at the Rijksmuseum on June 22, a special Concert at the renowned Amsterdam Concertgebouw on June 23, and a gala dinner for Congress participants on June 24th.

Hospitality extended by Congress Officers, the Organizing Committee, colleagues from The Netherlands and the people of Amsterdam was warm and gracious. A number of special receptions and events added substantially to the personal enjoyment as well as the opportunities for direct interaction between AOI members and Congress participants from countries throughout the world. Captions for photographs: Photograph 1 - Prof. August Deutman, President of the XXVIIIth International Congress of Ophthlamology, presided at the Opening Session and at numerous events throughout the Congress. (Photograph courtesy of Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr.)

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International Council of Ophthalmology and International Federation of Ophthalmological Societies

Bruce E. Spivey, M.D. Secretary-General, International Council of Ophthalmology

Meetings of the Advisory Committee of the International Council of Ophthalmology on June 19, 1998, the International Council of Ophthalmology on June 20, and the General Assembly of the International Council of Ophthalmology and International Federation of Ophthalmological Societies on June 23 were coordinated with the XXVIII International Congress of Ophthalmology in Amsterdam.

Among major activities, the Advisory Committee of the International Council of Ophthalmology and the International Council of Ophthalmology enthusiastically endorsed the Ophthalmology Basic Science Examination given annually in recent years at locations throughout the world. Developed by Prof. Peter Watson and members of the Education, this examination provides an opportunity for ophthalmologists in training to complete an objective assessment of personal knowledge. This assessment enables ophthalmologists in training to compare their knowledge with ophthalmologists who concurrently complete the assessment process at a number of locations throughout the world. Indicative of this activity, the most recent Basic Science Assessment was completed in 1998 by 877 registrants who completed the procedure in nine countries. In collaboration with Prof. Watson and his colleagues, arrangements were made for continuation of this program for knowledge assessment in representative countries that elect to participate during the coming years. A Clinical Science Assessment Examination was given on a trial basis in 1998 and will be given for at least several more years to see if it will be of assistance to participants. Neither exam is to be used for certification.

The Council reviewed plans for the XXIX International Congress of Ophthalmology in Sydney, Australia in 2002. Excellent arrangements for the International Congress have been made by Prof. Peter Hardy-Smith, President; Prof. Frank A. Billson, Honorary President; Prof. Frank S. Martin, Secretary-General; and the Congress Organizing Committee.

Enthusiastically, the Council accepted the invitation of ophthalmologists in Brazil and agreed to conduct the XXX International Congress of Ophthalmology during 2006. Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr., Congress President, and the Organizing Committee will determine the location for the 2006 Congress in Brazil. Both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have expressed strong interest in being the host city for the 2006 meeting in Brazil.
Culminating several years of activity and the particular efforts of Prof. Balder Gloor and Prof. Bradley Straatsma, the General Assembly of the International Council of Ophthalmology and the International Federation of Ophthalmological Societies unanimously approved the General Revision of the International Federation of Ophthalmological Societies Statutes, Regulations of the International Council of Ophthalmology, Regulations of the International Congress of Ophthalmology and Regulations of Awards. The revised Statutes and Regulations promote the aim of the Council and Federation, coordinate activities and are in full accordance with the laws of Switzerland. All steps have been taken by Prof. Gloor to complete registration of the Statutes and Regulations in Zurich, Switzerland.

In coordinated actions, the International Council of Ophthalmology and the General Assembly of the Council and Federation conferred distinctions on distinguished officers and members of the Council. Receiving special recognition, Prof. Akira Nakajima was elected Honorary Life President of the International Council of Ophthalmology, Prof. Pierre Amalric was confirmed as Honorary Life Member of the International Council of Ophthalmology and Prof. Benjamin Boyd was elected Honorary Life Member of the International Council of Ophthalmology.

Officers of the International Council of Ophthalmology for 1998-2002 are Prof. Gottfried O. H. Naumann, President; Prof. Mark O. M. Tso, Vice-President; Prof. Bruce E. Spivey, Secretary-General; and Prof. Balder Gloor, Treasurer. Additional elected, ex-officio and honorary members of the International Council of Ophthalmology for 1998-2002 are Prof. Adenike Aboise, Prof. Pierre Amalric, Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr., Prof. Benjamin F. Boyd, Prof. Jean-Jacques De Laey, Prof. August F. Deutman, Prof. Akef El Maghraby, Prof. Peter Hardy-Smith, Prof. Paul R. Lichter, Prof. Arthur S.M. Lim, Prof. Frank J. Martin, Prof. L. Missotten, Prof. P.N. Nagpal, Prof. Akira Nakajima, Prof. Ramachandra Pararajasegaram, Prof. Yves Pouliquen, Prof. Alvaro Rodriguez, Prof. S. Selvarajah, Prof. Abdel Latif Siam, Prof. Bradley R. Straatsma, Prof. Björn M. Tengroth, Prof. Peter G. Watson, and Sir John Wilson.

Members of the Advisory Committee to the International Council of Ophthalmology for 1998-2002 are Prof. Frank Billson, Prof. Rosario Brancato, Prof. Francisco Contreras, Prof. Jean-Jacques De Laey, Prof. Timothy J. ffytche, Prof. Dehabia Hartani, Prof. H. Dunbar Hoskins, Jr., Prof. Zi-liang Li, Prof. Alfred Sommer, Prof. Yasuo Tano, Prof. Bjorn Thylefors, Prof. Georges Yaya, Prof. Zbigniew Zagorski and Mr. David Noonan.

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Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and International Council of Ophthalmology Officers Honored at the Academia-Council Dinner

Members of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, International Council of Ophthalmology and Advisory Committee of the International Council of Ophthalmology, accompanied by spouses and special guests, were invited by the XXVIII International Congress of Ophthalmology Officers to attend an elegant Reception and Dinner on June 20, 1998 at historically important Muiderslot Castle. With classic walls, broad courtyard and a fully restored main structure, Muiderslot Castle, a few miles outside of Amsterdam was the setting for a gracious evening and a highlight for the collegiality that is a pillar of international ophthalmology.

Prof. Benjamin Boyd, AOI President; Prof. Maurice Luntz, Vice-President; Prof. Arthur Lim, Vice-President; Prof. Gabriel Coscas, Secretary-General; and Prof. Jean-François Cuendet, Treasurer, were praised for leadership of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis during the four years between the 1994 International Congress of Ophthalmology in Toronto, Canada and the 1998 International Congress of Ophthalmology in Amsterdam. Prof. Luntz commented on the highly successful program of Academia Special Guest Lectures inaugurated during the past four years. This distinguished series of presentations at major international ophthalmology meetings enhances the visibility of the AOI and adds to the scientific quality of major meetings. Prof. Straatsma complimented Prof.. Boyd and other officers for restructuring the process of nomination and election for AOI members. This process assured that every nominee received full consideration and that AOI members were well informed regarding the credentials of nominees prior to voting on AOI membership.

Prof. Akira Nakajima, President of the International Council of Ophthalmology for the 8-year period, 1990-1998; Prof. Pierre Amalric, ICO Vice-President for 1994-1998; Prof. Bruce E. Spivey, ICO Secretary-General for 1994-1998, and Prof. Balder Gloor, Treasurer for 1994-1998 were commended for leadership of the International Council of Ophthalmology during the important programmatic advances in recent years. Prof. Pierre Amalric and Prof. Bruce E. Spivey expressed particular praise to Prof. Nakajima and the Council for supporting the major International Ophthalmology Basic Science Examination directed by Prof. Peter Watson. Prof. Watson and his colleagues are responsible for the annual Basic Science Assessment presented most recently in 1998 to more than 877 ophthalmologists in nine countries. This examination, enhanced by major efforts by Prof. H. Dunbar Hoskins and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, offers an opportunity for ophthalmologists in training to evaluate personal knowledge in comparison with an international standard. The International Council of Ophthalmology also received favorable comment for completing a general revision of the Statutes of the International Federation of Ophthalmological Societies and Regulations for the International Council of Ophthalmology, International Congress of Ophthalmology and awards.

Prof. Boyd and Prof. Nakajima were presented with individual symbols of their leadership on behalf of world ophthalmology. Each symbol was in the form of a crystal globe mounted on a personalized, engraved base. In gracious responses, Prof. Nakajima and Prof. Boyd presented personal comments, expressed appreciation to members of the international organizations and thanked the XXVIII International Congress of Ophthalmology Officers and Organizing Committees for leadership of the Congress and the exceptionally cordial hospitality extended to the international ophthalmology community.

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The Academia Special Guest Lecture Presented by Prof. Michal Schwartz

The Academia Special Guest Lecture was presented on June 22, 1998 as a special feature of the XXVIIIth International Congress of Ophthalmology by Prof. Michal Schwartz. A world-recognized neuroscientist from the Weizmann Institute in Tel-Aviv, Israel, Prof. Schwartz lectured on "New Horizons in Optic Neuropathy: Neuroprotection and Neuroregeneration." Utilizing fundamental concepts applicable to the neurons and the central nervous system, Prof. Schwartz summarized present knowledge regarding the protection of neuronal cells from adverse effects and outlined research on neuroregeneration. This work has broad applications to glaucoma, ischemic abnormalities of the optic nerve and a number of additional abnormalities and diseases affecting the retina and optic nerve.

With this presentation of the Academia Special Guest Lecture, Prof. Schwartz extended the series of distinguished Lectures inaugurated in 1995 by Prof. Raymond Lund and extended in 1996 by Prof. G.O.H. Naumann of Erlangen, Germany.

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AOI Officers for 1998-2002

Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Officers for 1998-2002 were elected at the AOI Business Meeting on June 21, 1998. Selected to lead the organization were Prof. Bradley R. Straatsma, President; Prof. Enrique S. Malbran, First Vice-President; Prof. Koichi Shimizu, Second Vice-President; Prof. Gabriel Coscas, continuing his post as Secretary-General; and Prof. Rosario Brancato, Treasurer.

To facilitate transition and the continuity of ongoing programs, the AOI Officers for 1998-2002 met with President Benjamin F. Boyd and other AOI Officers who served during 1994-1998 on June 22. The meeting provided an opportunity to commend the officers who have served the AOI in 1994-1998 for extraordinary contributions to the organization and to ensure an uninterrupted continuity of continuing programs and arrangements.

Extending the planning process, the AOI Officers for 1998-2002 met on June 23. Broadly, the incoming officers will maintain the pattern of annual meetings and the current policies regarding nomination and election of AOI members. To continue development of the organization, AOI Officers for 1998-2002 propose to emphasize communication among members by producing a Directory of AOI members and inaugurating an AOI newsletter. Additionally, to enhance the presence and visibility of the AOI, an augmented program of Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Lectures at selected international meetings is planned.

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