Newsletter - 2003, Volume 6, Number 1

XXIX AOI Meeting – New Delhi, India – January 2003

By Bradley R. Straatsma, M.D., J.D.


The XXIX Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Meeting convened on January 15, 2003, in New Delhi, India, in association with the 61st Annual Conference of the All India Ophthalmological Society. During the Business Meeting, President Koichi Shimizu, Secretary-General Paul R. Lichter and Treasurer Juan Verdaguer presented reports. The officers outlined plans for AOI symposia to be held at major international meetings in 2003: the All India Ophthalmological Society Annual Conference in New Delhi, India (January 2003); Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology in San Juan, Puerto Rico (March 2003); European Congress of Ophthalmology in Madrid, Spain (June 2003) and Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology in Bangkok, Thailand (December 2003). Members enthusiastically endorsed arrangements for these AOI symposia at major supranational ophthalmology meetings.

Prof. S. Selvarajah receiving his Academia medal and certificate during the AOI Business Meeting in New Delhi. From left, AOI Treasurer, Prof. Juan Verdaguer, AOI Secretary-General, Prof. Paul Lichter, Prof. Selvarajah, and on the far right, Academia President Prof. Koichi Shimizu.
Prof. S. Selvarajah receiving his Academia medal and certificate during the AOI Business Meeting in New Delhi. From left, AOI Treasurer, Prof. Juan Verdaguer, AOI Secretary-General, Prof. Paul Lichter, Prof. Selvarajah, and on the far right, Academia President Prof. Koichi Shimizu.
Prof. Peter Watson, England and Prof. Sivaguru Selvarajah, Malaysia following their induction. (Prof. Ian Constable, Australia, was unable to attend and will be inducted at the next meeting.)
Prof. Peter Watson, England and Prof. Sivaguru Selvarajah, Malaysia following their induction. (Prof. Ian Constable, Australia, was unable to attend and will be inducted at the next meeting.)

The large number of distinguished ophthalmologists who were nominated for membership in the AOI this year were given extensive consideration. Action resulted in the election of Prof. Hilel Lewis, United States; Prof. Ildikó Süveges, Hungary; and Prof. Zbigniew Zagórski, Poland. Each of these colleagues has made substantial contributions to national and international ophthalmology.

The Special Scientific Session, attended by AOI members and guests, featured the Inaugural Lecture of Prof. Sivaguru Selvarajah entitled “The Development of a Curriculum to Train Mid-Level Personnel in Eye Care,” and the Inaugural Lecture of Prof. Peter Watson on “The International Council of Ophthalmology Assessments.” Additional presentations by AOI members residing in India provided substantial and valuable information on innovative eye care delivery systems that have proven successful in India and that could be used in other countries, as well as advances in clinical and bench research. Treating the topic broadly, Academician Pran Nagpal spoke on “Indian Ophthalmology – Past, Present and Future.” Academician Gullapalli N. Rao invited extensive discussion with his presentation regarding “An Eye Care Delivery Model for Underserved Populations.” The discussion was moderated and directed by President Shimizu.

Prof. Gullapalli N. Rao (India) with Prof. Francisco Contreras (Peru)
Prof. Gullapalli N. Rao (India) with Prof. Francisco Contreras (Peru)
Academician Prof. Francisco Contreras (left) and Prof. Achim Wessing about to enjoy dinner hosted by our gracious colleagues from India.
Academician Prof. Francisco Contreras (left) and Prof. Achim Wessing about to enjoy dinner hosted by our gracious colleagues from India.

This year’s meeting arrangements in New Delhi were coordinated by Prof. Pran Nagpal and Prof. Gullapalli N. Rao. Members appreciated their cordial hospitality as well as that of Dr. Vasavinda at the Ashok Hotel; the cordiality of the All India Ophthalmological Society Executive Committee during a festive evening at the India Habitat Centre, and the overall courtesies provided by officers and members of the All India Ophthalmological Society throughout the events in New Delhi.

After expressing thanks to Prof. Nagpal, Prof. Rao and the officers and members of the All India Ophthalmological Society, President Shimizu adjourned the meeting and invited all present to continue conversations during the ensuing luncheon.

61st Annual Conference of the All India Ophthalmological Society

The 61st All India Ophthalmological Society Annual Conference met from January 15 to 19, 2003 in the historic, multicultural city of New Delhi, India. With President D. K. Sen, Vice President H. K. Tewari, General Secretary Atul Kumar and Dr. S. Natarajan as Chairman of the Scientific Committee, the All India Ophthalmological Society scientific sessions were attended by several thousand ophthalmologists from India and other countries throughout the world.

Prof. Koichi Shimizu, President of AOI and Academician Prof. Gottfried O. H. Naumann, President of ICO
Prof. Koichi Shimizu, President of AOI and Academician Prof. Gottfried O. H. Naumann, President of ICO

Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony of the All India Ophthalmological Society Annual Conference took place at the Ashok Hotel in New Delhi on January 16th. General Secretary Kumar opened the ceremony, and his remarks were followed by an address by President Sen, comments by Local Organizing Committee Chairman K. P. S. Malik, and award presentations by Dr. Natarajan. Prof. Koichi Shimizu represented the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, Dr. Gottfried O. H. Naumann extended congratulations on behalf of the International Council of Ophthalmology, and Prof. Bradley R. Straatsma represented the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The Opening Ceremony was followed by a reception for all conference participants at the beautiful Indian Habitat Centre.

Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Symposium and Lecture

The Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Symposium, entitled “What’s New in Ophthalmology?” was held on January 17th in front of an overflowing audience of hundreds of ophthalmologists from around the world. Organized by Prof. Paul R. Lichter, AOI Secretary-General, Prof. Pran N. Nagpal, and Prof. Gullapalli N. Rao, the symposium was chaired by President Koichi Shimizu. Speakers included Prof. Juan Verdaguer, Prof. Paul R. Lichter, and Prof. Maurice H. Luntz. The highlight of the symposium was the presentation of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Lecture, “Recent Advances in Retina and Vitreous,” by Prof. Nagpal.

Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Symposium and Lecture

The Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Symposium, entitled “What’s New in Ophthalmology?” was held on January 17th in front of an overflowing audience of hundreds of ophthalmologists from around the world. Organized by Prof. Paul R. Lichter, AOI Secretary-General, Prof. Pran N. Nagpal, and Prof. Gullapalli N. Rao, the symposium was chaired by President Koichi Shimizu. Speakers included Prof. Juan Verdaguer, Prof. Paul R. Lichter, and Prof. Maurice H. Luntz. The highlight of the symposium was the presentation of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Lecture, “Recent Advances in Retina and Vitreous,” by Prof. Nagpal.

Prof. Pran Nath Nagpal, M.D. presents AOI Lecture
Prof. Pran Nath Nagpal, M.D. presents AOI Lecture
Prof. Juan Verdaguer speaking at the AOI Symposium
Prof. Juan Verdaguer speaking at the AOI Symposium

Indian Journal of Ophthalmology Golden Jubilee

Also on January 17th the official journal of the All India Ophthalmological Society, the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, concluded the yearlong celebration of its fiftieth year of publication with a special Golden Jubilee program. This program honored the past editors of the Journal, beginning with its founding editor, Dr. S. N. Cooper, and moving successively through the tenures of Dr. S. R. K. Malik, Dr. Madan Mohan, Dr. Tony Fernandez and Prof. Gullapalli N. Rao to the current editor, Dr. Taraprasad Das.

Dr. Bradley R. Straatsma presented the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology Golden Jubilee Lecture in which he emphasized evidence-based medicine with his presentation, “Randomized Clinical Trials of Choroidal Melanoma Treatment.” Dr. Sohan S. Hayreh, Guest of Honor, highlighted international research with his presentation, which concluded the program.

Current International Trends

A succession of four symposia entitled “Current International Trends” involved presentations by ophthalmologists from India and more than ten other countries. These programs, which included a number of AOI members, discussed various national and international campaigns to eliminate avoidable blindness. Topics also included ophthalmic education as well as recent advances in medical and surgical ophthalmology.

Symposia, Courses and Exhibits

Throughout the Congress, multiple symposia, courses and exhibits provided exceptional opportunities for learning and acquiring new skills. All events were conducted in an environment of cordiality and professionalism.

Meeting with the President of India

Members of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, International Council of Ophthalmology and the Council’s Advisory Committee met with the President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, in New Delhi on January 15, 2003. Arranged by Prof. Gullapalli N. Rao, the meeting at the President’s official residence, formerly the Palace of the Viceroy, provided an ideal opportunity to discuss the prevention of blindness. Dr. Gottfried O. H. Naumann, President of the ICO, Dr. Hannah Faal, President of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and Prof. Koichi Shimizu, President of the AOI, responded extensively to the President’s questions on this critical topic. International ophthalmology was addressed by Dr. Serge Resnikoff, World Health Organization, and Dr. Akef El Maghraby, Pan Arab Council of Ophthalmology. The President’s questions regarding stem cell research were addressed by Prof. Bradley R. Straatsma, Prof. Bruce E. Spivey and Prof. Gullapalli N. Rao. Prof. Rao noted the use of corneal stem cells in the management of ocular surface disease at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad.

The cordial meeting with President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam concluded with tea and refreshments at the magnificent Presidential Residence.

Meeting with India’s President, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam on January 15, 2003. President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (second from left) met with (left to right) AOI President Koichi Shimizu, ICO President Gottfried O. H. Naumann, IAPB President Hannah Faal and members of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, International Council of Ophthalmology and the Council’s Advisory Committee at the official residence of the President in New Delhi, India.
Meeting with India’s President, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam on January 15, 2003. President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam (second from left) met with (left to right) AOI President Koichi Shimizu, ICO President Gottfried O. H. Naumann, IAPB President Hannah Faal and members of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, International Council of Ophthalmology and the Council’s Advisory Committee at the official residence of the President in New Delhi, India.
Prof. and Mrs. Maurice Luntz outside the Presidential Palace in New Delhi.
Prof. and Mrs. Maurice Luntz outside the Presidential Palace in New Delhi.

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XXIX International Congress of Ophthalmology – Sydney, Australia - April 2002

Prof. Maxwell R. Bennett presenting the AOI Oration
Prof. Maxwell R. Bennett presenting the AOI Oration

The Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis met in Sydney, Australia, in collaboration with the XXIX International Congress of Ophthalmology, which assembled April 21-25. This was the first time an ICO meeting was held in the Southern Hemisphere and many world leaders in ophthalmology were among the more than 500 invited speakers.

On April 21, 2002, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis held its Business Meeting and a Special Scientific Session for AOI members and guests. Highlights of the Special Scientific Session were the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Oration by Prof. Maxwell R. Bennett of Sydney who discussed how the brain functions; and Inaugural Academician Lectures by Prof. Morton F. Goldberg, United States; Prof. Pran Nagpal, India; and Prof. Hugh R. Taylor, Australia. These lectures covered scientific topics as well as community health care issues.

Officers present Academia Certificates, Medals and Pins to Prof. Morton Goldberg of the United States, Prof. Pran Nagpal of India and Prof. Hugh Taylor of Australia. Left to right: Profs. Coscas, Goldberg, Straatsma, Shimizu and Brancato.
Officers present Academia Certificates, Medals and Pins to Prof. Morton Goldberg of the United States, Prof. Pran Nagpal of India and Prof. Hugh Taylor of Australia. Left to right: Profs. Coscas, Goldberg, Straatsma, Shimizu and Brancato.
Left to right: Profs. Coscas. Nagpal and Straatsma
Left to right: Profs. Coscas. Nagpal and Straatsma
Left to right: Profs. Straatsma, Taylor and Coscas
Left to right: Profs. Straatsma, Taylor and Coscas
Prof. Bradley Straatsma, AOI President 1998-2002, Prof. Gabriel Coscas, and Prof. Frank Billson (far right) present the traditional AOI silver plate to Prof. Koichi Shimizu.
Prof. Bradley Straatsma, AOI President 1998-2002, Prof. Gabriel Coscas, and Prof. Frank Billson (far right) present the traditional AOI silver plate to Prof. Koichi Shimizu.

Featured as part of the Congress was the AOI Symposium "The Choroid and Related Macular Disease," co-chaired by Prof. Koichi Shimizu, Prof. Gabriel J. Coscas and Prof. Bradley R. Straatsma. The Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Lecture on "Pulseless Disease" was delivered by Prof. Koichi Shimizu, Japan. An award of the traditional Academia silver plate was presented to Prof. Shimizu.

Our Australian hosts went to great lengths to extend their warm and generous hospitality to the Academia and its members. Following our business meeting and scientific session, a delightful lunch was provided for Academicians and their guests. The Opening Ceremony of the International Congress was a spectacular event in every way and was followed by a gala reception.

Dr. and Mrs. Frank Martin’s home was the venue for attending Academicians and their guests at a lovely tented reception and dinner. Dr. Martin served as Secretary General for the Congress. Still another dinner evening was hosted by the Australian Ophthalmological Society and included all Academicians and their guests. Special entertainment included a rouse to befuddle the diners. All who attended this wonderful meeting in Sydney left for home with fond memories of one of the world’s most beautiful cities and with their hearts warmed by Australian and New Zealand graciousness.

Left to right: Host Frank Martin, MD in his home with Professors Malbran and Spivey
Left to right: Host Frank Martin, MD in his home with Professors Malbran and Spivey
Left to right: Profs. Naumann, Smith and Watson
Left to right: Profs. Naumann, Smith and Watson
Prof. Anthony Murray and wife, Fiona Murray
Prof. Anthony Murray and wife, Fiona Murray

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Message from the President of AOI

Prof. Koichi Shimizu
Prof. Koichi Shimizu

By Koichi Shimizu, M.D.

The year 2003 has been an eventful one for the Academia. It started with its Annual Meeting in January in New Delhi. The All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) served as gracious host for the Academia and the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO).

Three new Members were elected during the Annual Meeting. They are Drs. Hilel Lewis (Cleveland, USA), Zbigniew Zagórski (Lublin, Poland), and Ildikó Süveges (Budapest, Hungary).

A half-day Academia Symposium, organized by Prof. Paul Lichter, was held during the AIOS Congress. It was a great success.

The Academia Symposium has become a tradition since it was started by Brad Straatsma, our former President. It is to be held during congresses of supranational and sometimes national ophthalmological Societies. It purports to contribute to the hosting organization by lectures of a scientific or educational nature. As a byproduct, it is expected to make the Academia better known among ophthalmologists around the world.

Another Academia Symposium was held in March during the Congress of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology in Puerto Rico. It was again organized by Paul Lichter, our Secretary-General.

We lost an esteemed Member, Professor H-J. Merte, who passed away on April 13, 2003. He was a Charter Member of the Academia and occupied Chair XXV. His clinical and academic career was an illustrious one and was mainly based in Munich, Germany. Requiescat in pace.

Gabriel Coscas, our First Vice-President, organized an Academia Symposium in June, during the 14th Congress of the European Society of Ophthalmology in Madrid. Diabetic retinopathy was its main topic. It was well attended and was one of the highlights of the Congress.

The next Annual Meeting of the Academia will be held in November 2004 in New Orleans, USA.

You will remember that the year 2020 is the target for Project 2020, which aims at eliminating preventable or treatable blindness from the world. This theme will be one of the central topics to be discussed when we meet in New Orleans. Please try to formulate your ideas about what we can do to promote the Project.

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Bradley R. Straatsma, M.D., J.D.: Ophthalmology Visionary

Prof. Bradley Straatsma
Prof. Bradley Straatsma

For more than forty years, Professor. Bradley R. Straatsma has contributed significantly to the field of ophthalmology, both in the United States and around the world. Prof. Straatsma’s involvement with ophthalmology began with his residency training at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Institute of Ophthalmology at Presbyterian Hospital in New York. Fellowship training at the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Blindness and the Wilmer Ophthalmologic Institute followed, culminating in his position as full-time Chief of the Division of Ophthalmology at UCLA School of Medicine in 1959.

Within two years of his arrival, Prof. Straatsma laid out his grand vision for an institute devoted to ophthalmology at UCLA. He then convinced Dr. Jules Stein, head of Music Corporation of America, to pledge financial support for construction of the Jules Stein Eye Institute. From completion of the Institute’s original facility in 1966 until he stepped down as its Director in 1994, Prof. Straatsma guided the Institute’s growth and achievements to its current recognition as one of the top ophthalmology facilities in the United States. When completion of the Doris Stein Eye Research Center increased Ophthalmology’s dedicated space at UCLA to more than 175,000 square feet in 1989, their research flourished. A recent poll of U.S. ophthalmology department chairs and residency program directors voted the Jules Stein Eye Institute one of the country’s top two institutions for ophthalmic research.

But these were only part of Prof. Straatsma’s many accomplishments at UCLA during this period. In 1968, Prof. Straatsma was appointed the first Chair of Ophthalmology when it became a separate department at UCLA and he also maintained a clinical practice specializing in ocular oncology. In 1985, Prof. Straatsma created a Division of Comprehensive Ophthalmology to broaden his Department’s activities beyond tertiary care. He also supervised the training of ophthalmology residents in the technique of cataract extraction and intraocular lens implantation. Through collaboration with other members of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, Prof. Straatsma continued his involvement in research and he helped to organize the Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study (COMS) funded by NIH.

Other institutions and ophthalmologic organizations have benefited from Prof. Straatsma’s leadership and vision. He has directed many major national medical, academic, and educational entities in ophthalmology: President of the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO); Secretary of the Ophthalmologic Section Council of the American Medical Association (AMA); President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology; Chairman of the American Board of Ophthalmology, President of the American Ophthalmologic Society (AOS); Chairman of EyeCare America; and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation. Prof. Straatsma has also shared his broad experience and knowledge with a wide audience of ophthalmologists through his delivery of many keynote addresses as well as more than 35 named lectures including the Jackson Memorial Lecture in 1973.

Prof. Straatsma’s leadership talents have stretched beyond U.S. borders through his positions as President of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology and of the Barraquer Institute in Barcelona. As a member of the International Council of Ophthalmology, Prof. Straatsma played a leadership role in writing the international strategic plan Vision for the Future published in 2001, and in establishing the Foundation of the ICO.

Prof. Straatsma has been honored with many awards for his tireless service and enormous contributions. In 1992 he received the Howe Medal of the American Ophthalmological Society. The International Council of Ophthalmology recognized his international service and ophthalmic work of high scientific quality with the Jules Francois Golden Medal in 2002. He received an Honorary Doctor of Sciences degree from Columbia University and more than 30 medals and other special awards from ophthalmologic societies throughout the world.

Amazingly, in addition to all of these activities, for the past decade Prof. Straatsma served as Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Prof. Straatsma substantially improved the quality of both the content and appearance of the print version of AJO and then extended its readership reach to the world via an interactive Web site. Electronic “virtual meetings” are now in development at the AJO, a concept strongly supported by Prof. Straatsma during his tenure.

As the most recent Past-President of Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, Prof. Straatsma was instrumental in guiding the organization to enlarge its membership, to formalize the membership nomination process, to develop an AOI Web site, and to regularly publish a newsletter and an updated membership directory.

The officers, on behalf of the AOI membership, congratulate Prof. Straatsma and thank him for his years of service to the Academia.

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Prof. Hilel Lewis Elected to the AOI

By Bradley R. Straatsma, M.D., J.D.

Prof. Hilel Lewis was elected to Chair XLII in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on January 15, 2003. Professor and Chairman of the Division of Ophthalmology and Director of the Cole Eye Institute of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Dr. Lewis was born in Mexico City, Mexico. He received his M.D. degree from La Salle University, National Autonomous University of Mexico, and also received the Presidential Award as the Outstanding Medical Student in Mexico. After relocating to the United States, Dr. Lewis completed a fellowship in ophthalmic pathology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute and an ophthalmology residency at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA School of Medicine. Post residency fellowships in vitreoretinal disease and surgery were completed at the University of Wisconsin and Johns Hopkins University before Dr. Lewis returned to the faculty of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA School of Medicine. He advanced to Associate Professor and Charles Kenneth Feldman Scholar at UCLA before accepting his present position at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 1993. Under his leadership, the Cole Eye Institute was founded and has become recognized as a leading institution of ophthalmic research, education and patient care. Dr. Lewis has demonstrated innovation in laboratory and clinical investigations, and his research related to diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, proliferative vitreoretinopathy and macular hole have had a favorable impact on clinical management.

Dr. Lewis is a member of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology Board of Directors, a member of the Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Foundation Board of Directors, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Symposium on Experimental and Clinical Ocular Pharmacology. He is a member of the Editorial Board for 12 ophthalmology publications and Executive Editor of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Lewis and his wife, Miriam Lewis, bring honor and distinction to the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.

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Prof. Ildikó Süveges Elected to the AOI

By Bradley R. Straatsma, M.D., J.D.

Prof. Ildikó Süveges was elected to Chair LVII in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on January 15, 2003. Born in Debrecen, Hungary, Dr. Süveges received her M.D. degree from the Medical School of Debrecen and the Specialist in Ophthalmology Diploma from the same School of Medicine after residency training. She served as a staff physician and senior lecturer in the Department of Ophthalmology, Medical School of Debrecen, received her Ph.D. degree for studies on corneal dystrophies and earned the D.Sc. degree of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences for research on progressive corneal ectasia. These credentials led to her appointment in 1984 as Professor and Director of the Department of Ophthalmology Szent-Györgyi Medical School, Szeged. In 1992, she was appointed to her present position as Professor and Director of the 1st Department of Ophthalmology, Semmelweis Medical School, Budapest. Her scientific work has been reported in 150 books and publications in several languages. She has served as President of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Hungarian Ophthalmological Society and as a Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Association of Hungarian Medical Societies and Acta Chirurgica Hungarica. Among her many recognitions, Dr. Süveges has served as President of the Hungarian Ophthalmological Society and President of the 1997 Congress of the European Ophthalmological Society in Budapest.

Dr. Süveges and her husband, Dr. Lászlo Modis, Jr., bring honor and distinction to the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.

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Prof. Zbigniew Zagórski Elected to the AOI

By Bradley R. Straatsma, M.D., J.D.

Prof. Zbigniew Zagórski was elected to Chair XLVIII in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on January 15, 2003. Born in Warsaw, Poland, Dr. Zagórski received the Diploma of Physician from the Lublin University School of Medicine and completed an ophthalmology residency at the same institution. As a staff ophthalmologist at Lublin Medical University, Dr. Zagórski received the M.D. degree in recognition of his experimental studies of cultured corneal epithelium and endothelium at low temperatures. Continuing as a staff ophthalmologist, he was awarded a Belgium Government Fellowship in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Ghent, Belgium, and an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Erlangen-Nurmberg, Germany. In 1991, he was elected to his present position as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Lublin School of Medicine and holder of the Tadeusz Krwawicz Chair of Ophthalmology. As Chairman, Dr. Zagórski continued his research on the cornea and keratoplasty, established the first eye bank in Poland and organized extensive teaching and training programs in ophthalmic surgery that featured collaborations with medical institutions throughout Eastern Europe. Among professional positions, Dr. Zagórski is Executive Officer of the Tadeusz Krwawicz Foundation, a member of the Executive Board of the Polish Ophthalmological Society, an elected member of the European Ophthalmic Pathology Society, and an elected member of the International Council of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Zagórski and his wife, Dr. Urszula Zagórski, bring honor and distinction to the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.

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Nomination of Members – Process Revised

At its October 2002 meeting in Orlando, Florida, the AOI Nominating Committee proposed a number of revisions to the Academia’s process of nominating new members. The Committee agreed that admission criteria should include academic achievement coupled with consideration to geographic distribution of the current membership and non-academic service (e.g., prevention of blindness activities).

Each member of the Academia will now be allowed to propose one new member each year as a sponsor, and to co-sponsor one candidate proposed by another Academician. To eliminate long lists of sponsors and co-sponsors and multiple letters of support, there will now only be one sponsor and one co-sponsor for each candidate. At the annual meeting of AOI, approved candidates will be voted upon for membership, with the number of Chairs to be filled dependant, in part, upon the proportional number of voting members present at the meeting.

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AOI and ICO Officers Meet in Anaheim, California, USA – November, 2003

AOI Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Academia met on November 17, 2003 at the Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, California during the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting.

Plans for AOI Symposia during multi-national meetings were discussed. Prof. Ohno from Japan was an invited speaker and Profs. Naumann and Shimizu represented AOI at the Asia-Pacific Congress of Ophthalmology in late November of this year. Prof. Coscas will plan the AOI Symposium during the Afro-Asian Congress of Ophthalmology in Istanbul, Turkey to take place in June of 2004. Although no AOI Symposium is planned, several Academicians will attend the 100th anniversary celebration of the Hungarian Ophthalmological Society in Budapest, also to be held next June.

President Shimizu reported to the Executive Committee that three members have requested Emeritus status in AOI. They are: Prof. Alan Bird (University College, London, England – Chair X), Prof. Robert Machemer (Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA – Chair XXII), and Prof. Yves Pouliquen (University of Paris, France – Chair XX). Their active participation will be missed.

Prof. Shimizu also asked the Executive Committee to consider contributing $1,000-$2,000 annually for resumption of publication of the ophthalmologic historical journal begun by Prof. Jules Francois. A Belgian publisher is willing to resume publication of the journal, out of circulation since 1980 due to lack of funds, if financial support can be obtained. The full AOI membership will be asked to vote on this issue at the next AOI meeting to be held on October 23, 2004 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

Second Vice-President Prof. Rosario Brancato discussed plans for the AOI meeting in May 2005 which will be held in conjunction with the Italian Ophthalmological Society meeting in Florence, Italy, at the Palazzo de Congressi, a part of the Fortezza da Basso. Prof. Brancato has kindly offered to explore hotel possibilities for Academician attendees.

Secretary-General Prof. Paul Lichter reported that the 2003-2004 AOI Member Directory was recently published and distributed to all AOI members. Members may request an additional copy from Prof. Lichter at the W. K. Kellogg Eye Center, 1000 Wall Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA or via e-mail at plichter@umich.edu.

Prof. Juan Verdaguer submitted his Treasurer’s report and it was presented by Prof. Lichter. The AOI remains fiscally sound. Members are urged to remit their annual dues promptly when requested.

Joint AOI / ICO Meeting

The Officers of the International Council of Ophthalmology met jointly with the AOI Executive Committee on November 17. It was agreed that AOI and ICO would schedule future meetings on the same dates at common venues (please consult the following list for meetings scheduled from 2004 through 2010). Since attendees agreed strongly that this first joint Executive meeting was very beneficial, similar joint meetings will be planned in conjunction with future annual meetings of the two organizations to maintain a consistent level of coordination and communication.

There was also general agreement that AOI and ICO will jointly promote each other’s programs and distribute to members of both organizations, publications of either organization that may be of mutual interest. Academia newsletters can be found at the AOI Web site: www.acad-ophthal-int.org

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Future AOI Meetings

YearDateLocationCountry
2004October 23New Orleans, LouisianaUSA
2005May 11FlorenceItaly
2006February 20Sao PauloBrazil
2007TBDCape TownSouth Africa
2008June 29Hong KongChina
2009TBDTBDUSA
2010June 5BerlinGermany

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