Newsletter - Spring 2002, Volume 5, Number 1
XIIIth European Society of Ophthalmology Congress
In the splendor of Istanbul - a city that fuses heritage of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires with the vitality of modern Turkey - the XIII Congress of the European Society of Ophthalmology convened on June 3-7, 2001. The Congress was organized superbly by President Demir Basar, Vice-President Ercan Öngör, Secretary-General Ilknur Tugal-Tutkun and Scientific Committee Chairman Murat Karaçorlu
The Congress gained great strength from the central participation of the Societas Ophthalmologica Europaea lead by President Bo T. Philipson, General Secretary Zedenek J. Gregor and Treasurer Gabriël van Rij. These officers presided over the SOE Council with members representing more than 30 European nations.
The Congress commenced with an academic procession and Welcome Addresses by President Basar, President Philipson, Past-President of the Societas Ophthalmologica Europaea Luc Missotten and the Mayor of Istanbul Ali Müfit Gürtuna. Following a musical interlude, greetings were presented by the President of the International Council of Ophthalmology, Dr. Gottfried O. H. Naumann; President of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, Dr. Bradley R. Straatsma; and Executive Vice-President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. Dunbar Hoskins.
Calling attention to the extraordinary advances of science in 2001, Dr. Straatsma noted:
"In February of this year, two publications presented draft versions of the complete human genome. One of these, produced by the International Human Genome Consortium, referred to a 'vast trove of information that … allows a global perspective of the human genome.' The other, produced by Celera Genomics, anticipated the contribution of the genome 'toward understanding human evolution, the causation of disease, and the interplay between the environment and heredity in defining the human condition.' Both reports represent extraordinary progress in mapping the nearly 3.0-billion base pair sequence and decoding the approximately 35,000 protein-forming genes. Logically, the genome focuses attention on the proteome, the full set of about 400,000 proteins throughout the body.
Proteins form the structure of every cell, but with magnetic resonance and other techniques, we now understand that proteins also move, change shape, send signals, and act as nanomachines. During vision, for example, each human retina contains billions upon billions of protein molecules that determine structure, react to the photons of light, amplify the signal in transduction, and literally dance in constant movement within the cells. The progress of science is not an abstract or irrelevant process. It is at the core of our function as physicians. We must understand and find ways to apply this new knowledge to the preservation and restoration of vision. Change is an unrelenting challenge to ophthalmology as a profession and to ophthalmologists as individuals. We must commit to change as an energizing phenomenon and the oxygen of progress.
The European Congress of Ophthalmology is an exciting catalyst for change. It is an opportunity to acquire new knowledge and explore advanced technology. Exhibits, courses, papers, and symposia form a platform for the advance of ophthalmology. As we begin several days of learning together, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis extends warm congratulations to the Organizing Committee, to the European Society of Ophthalmology, and to all participants in this great international congress."
AOI Lecture and Symposium
The Academia Ophthalmologica Internationlis Lecture and Symposium were featured within the rich scientific program of the Congress that included 77 symposia, 48 instruction courses and a large number of scientific papers, exhibits and keynote lectures. The AOI Symposium on "Optical Coherence Tomography in Retinal Diseases" was chaired by Dr. Rosario Brancato and Dr. Gabriel J. Coscas. The distinguished Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Lecture that highlighted the Symposium was delivered by Dr. Rosario Brancato, Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Hospital San Raffaele and Treasurer of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis. Other symposium participants were Dr. Bradley R. Straatsma, United States; Dr. Gabriel J. Coscas, France; Dr. Claudio Azzolini, Italy; Dr. Gisbert Richard, Germany; Dr. Shoji Kishi, Japan; Dr. Florence Coscas and Dr. Giséle Soubrane, France; Dr. Alain Gaudric, France; Dr. Carmen Puliafito, United States, and Dr. David Huang, United States.
St. Sophia and Topkapi Palace
Throughout the Congress, AOI members participated in the gracious hospitality of the Congress. Special events included the Societas Ophthalmologica Europaea Council Dinner, Istanbul cultural highlights such as St. Sophia, and Topkapi Palace (Imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years) and a special excursion on the Bosphorus, the waterway between the continents of Europe and Asia. Of a particular nature, the Presidential Dinner at Çiragan Palace at which President Demir Basar and Mrs. Gönül Basar presided, and the numerous interactions with ophthalmologists of Turkey and greater Europe provided exceptionally cordial opportunities for professional interactions.
AOI Meetings in Australia
The Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and the International Council of Ophthalmology are meeting in Sydney, Australia, in collaboration with the XXIX International Congress of Ophthalmology on April 21-25, 2002. Prior to the Congress, the ICO committees are meeting on April 19 and the entire ICO is meeting on April 20.
On April 21, 2002, the XXVIII Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Meeting includes a Business Session and a Special Scientific Session for AOI members and guests. Highlights of the Special Scientific Session are the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Oration by Prof. Maxwell R. Bennett, Australia; and Inaugural Academician Lectures by Dr. Morton F. Goldberg, United States; Dr. Pran Nagpal, India; and Dr. Hugh R. Taylor, Australia.
Featured as a part of the XXIX International Congress of Ophthalmology is the AOI Symposium on "The Choroid and Related Macular Disease," co-chaired by Dr. Koichi Shimizu, Dr. Gabriel J. Coscas and Dr. Bradley R. Straatsma. Prominent in the Symposium is the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Lecture on "Pulseless Disease" by Dr. Koichi Shimizu, Japan.
Throughout the XXIX International Congress of Ophthalmology, Congress President Peter Hardy-Smith, Secretary-General Frank J. Martin and the Organizing Committee have planned a superb scientific program and extraordinary social events. The informal activities are certain to contribute to the cordial interactions among ophthalmologists from the continents and countries of the world.
XXIII Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology
The majestic city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was location for the XXIII Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology on July 21-26, 2001. With Congress President Gustavo Piantoni, Executive Director Mario Perez é Genovese and efficient Organizing Committees, the Congress attracted ophthalmologists from all nations of the Americas and distinguished colleagues from other continents. The Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology provided core support in planning and added substantially through the leadership of Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology President Paul R. Lichter, Vice-President Miguel N. Burnier, Jr., Executive Director Francisco Martinez Castro, and the PAAO Board of Directors representing nations of South, Central and North America.
Attracting an overflow audience, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Lecture was presented by Dr. Joaquín Barraquer. The Lecture recognized Dr. Barraquer, Professor of Ophthalmology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and AOI member, for his scholarly authorship of 12 books and more than 350 scientific publications, his production of more than 200 surgical films and instructional videotapes and his mastery of ophthalmic surgery. The Lecture entitled "Management of Allograft Rejection in Large Penetrating Keratoplasties " drew upon Dr. Barraquer's surgical experience with complex corneal disease and trauma to focus attention on both surgical technique and the need for meticulous follow-up care of the patient.
Conducted in collaboration with the Lorenz Zimmerman Ocular Pathology Society, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Symposium was co-chaired by Dr. Enrique S. Malbran, Vice President of the AOI, and Dr. Ramon L. Font, President of the Zimmerman Ocular Pathology Society. The program on corneal diseases and surgery featured the Ramon L. Font Lecture by Dr. Gordon K. Klintworth entitled, "Update on Molecular Genetics of Corneal Dystrophies." Additional participants were Drs. Miguel N. Burnier, Jr., Canada; Ramon L. Font, United States; Denise D. Freitas, Brazil; Enrique S. Malbran and Jorge Malbran, Argentina; Gottfried O. H. Naumann, Germany; Hugh Schlotzer Schrehardt, Germany; Ronald E. Smith, United States; Bradley R. Straatsma, United States; and Jose Avendano Valdez, Peru.
The Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology in Buenos Aires provided an extensive scientific program. This included the Pan-American Lecture by Dr. Juan Verdaguer T., PAAO Past President and AOI member, and the Gradle Lecture by Dr. Francisco Contreras, PAAO Past President and AOI member. The professional program was augmented by an exceptional social program. Highlights of the informal events during the Congress included an evening at the internationally recognized Colon Theatre, a special evening of cordiality at the Jockey Club, tango lessons for Congress registrants and the exuberance of Latin-American hospitality.
XXVIIth Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Meeting
In conjunction with the XXIII Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology, the XXVIIth Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Meeting took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 21, 2001. During the Business Session, at which AOI President Bradley R. Straatsma presided, Dr. Balder R. P. Gloor, Switzerland, and Dr. Anthony D. N. Murray, South Africa, were formerly inducted into the AOI with certificates and emblems of membership.
The Business Session also included extensive consideration of highly qualified nominees for membership. Deliberations concluded with election of Dr. Morton F. Goldberg, United States, Dr. Pran N. Nagpal, India, and Dr. Hugh R. Taylor, Australia, as new members of the AOI. Each of these outstanding ophthalmologists has made major contributions to national and international ophthalmology.
AOI members are privileged to elect the recipient of the Bernardo Streiff Gold Medal. Honoring the memory of Prof. Bernardo Streiff, this medal is awarded every four years to an ophthalmologist who has contributed through history, ethics and education, to the advance of ophthalmology. Following consideration of several nominations, Dr. Bruce E. Spivey, Secretary-General of the International Council of Ophthalmology and AOI member, was elected to receive the Bernardo Streiff Medal at the XXIX International Congress of Ophthalmology in 2002.
The Special Scientific Session attended by AOI members and guests was distinguished by the Academia Oration presented by Dr. Enrique S. Malbran, AOI Vice President, Argentina, on the "Story of Scleral Fixated Intraocular Lenses." Dr. Malbran reviewed his extensive experience with intraocular surgery and the steps that led to current technical procedures for scleral fixation of intraocular lenses. Inaugural Academician Lectures were presented by Dr. Balder R. P. Gloor on "What Defines Primary Open-angle Glaucoma? Past, Present and Future" and Dr. Anthony D. N. Murray on "Strabismus in a Developing Country: Is it any Different?" Concluding the Special Session, Dr. Koichi Shimizu, AOI Vice President, Japan, spoke on "Sesquicentenary or 150 Years After Invention of an Ophthalmoscope by Helmholtz."
Throughout the days in Buenos Aires, AOI meeting arrangements and special events were coordinated by Dr. Enrique S. Malbran. From the hospitality of Dr. and Mrs. Malbran at their home on July 20 through the conclusion of the Congress, members of the AOI benefited from the planning of Dr. Malbran and the courtesies extended by the Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology Organizing Committee.
Collaboration Between Vision for the Future and Vision 2020 - The Right to Sight
Throughout the world, 45 million persons are blind and 135 million persons are severely visually impaired. Projections estimate that blindness and severe visual impairment will greatly increase in the years ahead unless concerted action is taken.
Vision 2020 - The Right to Sight and Vision for the Future are closely related and intertwined international programs to stem the tide of blindness and visual impairment.
The Global Initiative for the Elimination of Avoidable Blindness/Vision 2020 - The Right to Sight is a multi-year program sponsored by the World Health Organization, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and Task Force members. The program builds on special strengths of the Task Force members in public service delivery of eye care and advocacy to enlist support for blindness prevention.
The International Ophthalmology Strategic Plan to Preserve and Restore Vision - Vision for the Future stems from the International Council of Ophthalmology, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and Consultants representing organizations and the vision care industry. The program goals emphasize education, eye care guidelines, advocacy for vision and research in ophthalmology.
During a series of meetings in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 18, 19 and 20, 2001, coordination of the two international programs was addressed. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Task Force Executive Committee, with Dr. Hannah B. Faal, President; Dr. R. Pararajasegaram, Immediate Past President; and Dr. Gullapalli Rao as Secretary-General, invited representatives of the International Council of Ophthalmology and Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis to meetings on July 18 and 19. On July 20, the International Council of Ophthalmology, led by Dr. Gottfried O. H. Naumann, President, and Dr. Bruce E. Spivey, Secretary-General, and the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, through Dr. Bradley R. Straatsma, President, and Dr. Gabriel J. Coscas, Secretary-General, invited the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness Task Force Executive Committee to a joint session.
At the conclusion of informal discussions and the respective meetings, participants recognized special strengths of Vision 2020 - The Right to Sight in public service programs, eye care delivery and advocacy. Participants also identified particular attributes of Vision for the Future related to education, eye care guidelines and research. Most important, representatives of both international programs identify the opportunities for beneficial symbiosis arising from communication, cooperation and collaboration.
XVIIIth Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress
The XVIIIth Congress of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology was held on March 10-14, 2001, in Taipei, Taiwan, with gracious leadership of Congress President Por-Tying Hung and Organizing Committee Chairman Wen-Ming Hsu. Building on the tradition of periodic international meetings that began with the first Congress in Manila, Philippines, in 1960, the XVIIIth Congress was enthusiastically supported by Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology President Mohammad Daud Khan, Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Secretary-General Arthur S. M. Lim and Council members representing 18 national entities in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Opening Ceremony on March 10, 2001, featured an academic procession and addresses by Congress President Por-Tying Hung, Organizing Committee Chairman Wen-Ming Hsu, Academy President Mohammad Daud Khan and Academy Secretary-General Arthur S. M. Lim. International Council of Ophthalmology Secretary-General Bruce E. Spivey presented greetings and an overview of international ophthalmology. Speaking on behalf of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, President Bradley R. Straatsma stated:
"With massive growth of the Internet, computer power doubles every 18 months and band width doubles every six months. Illustrating this growth, all the information sent over the entire Internet in one month during 1997 can be sent over a single cable in one second in 2001. The traditional barriers to communication - the barriers of language, distance and cost - are disappearing. Opportunities for collaboration are emerging throughout global, regional and national ophthalmology. Opportunities for shared information also apply to the ever-closer partnership between the research laboratory and the ophthalmic care of individual patients. This is an exciting time for ophthalmology. In this framework of rapid change, it is an honor to participate in this XVIIIth Congress. The Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis extends warm congratulations to the Officers and Committees of the Asia-Pacific Congress of Ophthalmology and to the Officers and Committees of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology. It is a pleasure to be with you in Taipei."
During the Congress, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (AOI) was privileged to sponsor a Symposium on "Application of Molecular Biology to Clinical Ophthalmology." Co-chaired by Dr. Koichi Shimizu, Dr. Yasuo Tano and Dr. Bradley R. Straatsma, the outstanding scientific program was organized by Dr. Tano.
The AOI Lecture in conjunction with this Symposium was presented by Dr. Mark O. M. Tso, Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University and Honorary Professor at Beijing Medical University. Dr. Tso, who was also the Honorary Treasurer of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, Vice-President of the International Council of Ophthalmology and Academia member, spoke on "Clinical Applications of Molecular Biotechniques to Ophthalmology."
The AOI Symposium continued with exceptional presentations by Dr. Nagahisa Yoshimura, Japan; Dr. Shigeru Kinoshita, Japan; Dr. Roger Beuerman, Singapore; and Dr. Ian C. Constable, Australia.
Cultural and social events during the Congress included the traditional "Cloud Gate" performance, receptions and banquets to which Congress participants and accompanying persons were most cordially invited.
Jules Francois Memorial Lecture Presented by Dr. Bradley R. Straatsma
To commemorate the illustrious career of Prof. Jules François, Honorary President of the International Council of Ophthalmology and Honorary President of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, Dr. Bradley R. Straatsma, Professor of Ophthalmology at UCLA and President of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, presented the Jules François Memorial Lecture at the Ophthalmologia Belgica Congress on November 24, 2001. Elected to present this memorial lecture by the International Council of Ophthalmology, Dr. Straatsma emphasized the role of randomized clinical trials in evidence-based ophthalmology during his lecture entitled, "The Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study and Management of Choroidal Melanoma." The occasion was greatly enhanced by the cordiality of Ophthalmologia Belgica President Hugo Verbraeken and Jules François Foundation President Albert Galand. As particular features of the experience in Belgium, Dr. Jean-Jacques De Laey, successor to Jules François as Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Ghent and AOI member, extended the gracious hospitality of his home in the historic city of Bruges and conducted a visit to the University of Ghent. International ophthalmology gained greatly from the vision, energy and accomplishments of Prof. Jules François.
Dr. Benjamin F. Boyd Selected as Illustrious Citizen of the Republic of Panama
Dr. Benjamin F. Boyd, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Panama, Editor-in-Chief of the Highlights of Ophthalmology and Immediate Past-President of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, was formally recognized as "Illustrious Citizen of the Republic of Panama" at a ceremony that included his Honor Lecture on July 23, 2001. Conferred by the Civic Organizations of Panama (Lions International, Kiwanis International, Rotary International, 20-30 International, Junior Chamber International and Soroptimists International). This honor is based on accomplishments in personal life as well as attainments throughout a professional career. Previous recipient of the Vasco Nuñez de Balboa Condecoration, the Great Cross, which is the most prestigious distinction of the Republic of Panama, Dr. Boyd was honored for his singular role in enhancing the civic and moral values of society in the Republic of Panama.
Bernardo Streiff Gold Medal Awarded to Dr. Bruce E. Spivey
In 1997, on behalf of friends and disciples, Academician Jean-François Cuendet was commissioned to realize the "Bernardo Streiff Gold Medal." Honoring the memory of Professor Bernardo Streiff (1908-1988), Head of the University Eye Clinic, Lausanne, Switzerland, and AOI member, the Bernardo Streiff Gold Medal is awarded by election of the Academia every four years to an ophthalmologist who has contributed most, through history, ethics and education, to the advance of ophthalmology. Following consideration of nominations, Dr. Bruce E. Spivey, Secretary-General of the International Council of Ophthalmology and AOI member, was elected to receive the Bernardo Streiff Gold Medal at the XXIX International Congress of Ophthalmology in Sydney, Australia, in April 2002.
Registration of AOI Statutes and Regulations
Registration of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Statutes and Regulations in the Kanton of Zurich, Switzerland, was successfully completed on July 9, 2001. The AOI Statutes and Regulations, dated October 24, 1999, were formally entered in the commercial register of the Kanton. Registration of the AOI in Switzerland is distinctly beneficial and was accomplished with the generous support of Grieshaber and Co. The official address of the AOI is the domicile of Academician Prof. Dr. Med. Balder R. P. Gloor, Hinterbergstrasse 91, 8044 Zurich, Switzerland.
Dr. Alfred Sommer Elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Alfred Sommer, Dean of the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and AOI member, was elected to membership in the United States National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Sommer is the first ophthalmologist or epidemiologist to be recognized by this distinction.
Dr. Gottfried O. H. Naumann Honored Internationally
Dr. Gottfried O. H. Naumann, Chairman of Ophthalmology at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, President of the International Council of Ophthalmology and AOI member, received the Dr. Frank Claffy Medal of the University of Sydney in 2000, the Doctor honoris causa degree of the Semmelweiss University of Budapest in 2000 and the El Maghrabi International Award in April 2001. These distinctions and international recognitions reflect the global stature of Dr. Naumann.
Dr. Yves J. M. Pouliquen Elected to the Academie Francaise
Dr. Yves J. M. Pouliquen, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Paris VI and AOI member, has been elected as a member of the Académie Française. Founded by Cardinal de Richelieu (during the reign of Louis XIII) in 1634, the Académie Française has 40 seats dedicated to 40 French men (and recently women) who represent literature, sciences, medicine, politics, law and other spheres of society. Among the few physicians elected in the past are Prof. Louis Pasteur, Prof. Pasteur-Valery-Radot (Louis Pasteur's grandson) and Prof. François Jacob (biologist and Nobel Prize recipient).
Formal installation of Dr. Pouliquen as a member of the Académie Française will include an Inthroning lecture under the "Coupole de l'Institut" in front of the Louvre and presentation of a ceremonial sword on which symbols of his life are represented. Thereafter, Dr. Pouliquen will participate in weekly conferences at the Institute concerning the dictionnaire de l'Academie, which for more than three centuries has determined the true sense of the words in the french language.
Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology
History by Dr. Benjamin Boyd
Dr. Benjamin F. Boyd, immediate AOI Past-President and Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology Past-President, reflected on his major role in the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology during his Academia Oration at the XXV Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis meeting in 1999. Encouraged by friends and associates, Dr. Boyd completed "The Definitive History of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (1940-2001)" for distribution at the XXIII Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology in July 2001. This definitive account of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology traces the PAAO from initial stages (1940-1960), through the development of educational courses, programs and fellowships (1960-1987) to the present emphasis on improvement in educational activities and prevention of blindness throughout the Americas.
Ten AOI members have served as President of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology including Dr. Paul R. Lichter (1999-2001) and Dr. Rubens Belfort, Jr. (2001-2003). The definitive history by Dr. Boyd is both a record of the past and a blueprint for the future.
Queen's Birthday List Honors Dr. Hugh R. Taylor, Dr. Elizabeth Taylor and Dr. Frank J. Martin
Recognized in the Queen's Birthday Honors List in 2001, Dr. Hugh R. Taylor has become a Companion in the Order of Australia (A.C.) for his service to medicine in the field of ophthalmology in academia, in developing countries and in indigenous communities. Dr. Taylor's wife, Dr. Elizabeth Taylor (Dax) was honored in becoming a Member in the Order of Australia (A.M.) for her work in medical research, public health and drug addiction. Dr. Frank J. Martin, Secretary-General of the XXIX International Congress of Ophthalmology, was distinguished by becoming a Member in the Order of Australia (A.M.) for service to medicine in the field of ophthalmology as clinician, teacher and administrator.