Newsletter - 2004, Volume 7, Number 1

XXX AOI Meeting — New Orleans, Louisiana, USA — October, 2004

The XXX Business Meeting of the Academia took place in the W Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, on Saturday morning, October 23, 2004 in conjunction with the joint meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology. Forty-two Members were in attendance. President Shimizu expressed his pleasure and gratitude to Prof. Bradley R. Straatsma for beginning what is becoming an AOI tradition—namely, the presentation of AOI Symposia at international meetings not necessarily in conjunction with the AOI's Annual Meeting. As part of his President's Report, Prof. Shimizu called attention to the Symposium organized by Prof. Coscas to occur in Madrid in conjunction with the European Congress of Ophthalmology; to the Symposium planned by Prof. Selvarajah to be held in Bangkok in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Ophthalmological Society; and to the Symposium organized by Prof. Lichter to take place next week during the 2004 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Reports were also presented by the Secretary-General, Prof. Lichter, and the Treasurer, Prof. Verdaguer. Emeritus Membership status was approved for Professors Robert Machemer (Chair XXII) and Yves Pouliquen (Chair XX). The following newly inducted Members of the Academia received from President Shimizu their AOI certificates and medals: Professors Ian Constable (Chair LV)—who would have been inducted in 2003, but was unable to attend the meeting in New Delhi—Hilel Lewis (Chair XLII), Ildikó Suveges (Chair LVII), and Zbigniew Zagorski (Chair XLVIII). The Academia's initial support of one IFOS/ICO Fellowship for one year (7,000 Swiss Francs) was approved by the membership following a presentation and request by Professor Balder Gloor, fellowship program organizer.

Generous hospitality for our Members was provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and included an enjoyable dinner on Friday evening, October 22, in the Louisiana Ballroom of Loew's Hotel. In addition to AOI Members and their guests, the dinner was attended by the International Council of Ophthalmology and by its Advisory Committee. After-dinner comments were invited from Secretary-General Lichter who introduced President Shimizu who expressed thanks to our hosts.

Following our Special Scientific Session on Saturday morning, the Academy hosted a luncheon in Studio 1 of the W Hotel exclusively for AOI Members. That evening, our Members and their guests were included in the Academy's tasteful and tasty International Dessert Reception at the Wyndham Canal Place, River Room—overlooking the Mississippi River.

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AOI Elects New Members

Professor Rafael R. Barraquer elected to the AOI (Chair XXV)

Professor Rafael I. Barraquer was elected to Chair XXV in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on October 23, 2004. Prof. Barraquer received his M.D. degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (AUB) Medical School in 1973-1979. After medical school Prof. Barraquer was a member of the Spanish Army and worked in the Military Health Service. He was certified as Especialista en Oftalmologia by the Spanish Board of Ophthalmology in 1982. Following his military service he completed his ophthalmology residency and fellowship at the Barraquer Institut, Barcelona. In 1987, Prof. Barraquer received his Ph.D. degree from AUB based on his thesis, "Development of Eye Innervation," research for which was carried out at the Department of Anatomy, AUB, and the National Eye Institute, United States. Current positions and appointments include Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at AUB; Director, "Joaquin Barraquer" Chair of Ophthalmic Research at AUB; Vice President and Medical Director of the Barraquer Ophthalmology Center (BOC), Barcelona; Director of the Department of Cornea and Refractive Surgery, BOC; and Executive Secretary of the Barraquer Institute.

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Professor Francesco Bandello elected to the AOI (Chair LVIII)

Professor Francesco Bandello was elected to Chair LVIII in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on October 23, 2004. Prof. Bandello completed his ophthalmology residency and fellowship at the University of Milano. Prof. Bandello is presently Full Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Udine. His academic career has centered on prevention of blindness from diabetes mellitus. Prof. Bandello was the Secretary of the European Association for the Study of Diabetic Eye Complications and is now Vice President and incoming President of the same Association, now called the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Eye Complications Study Group. Prof. Bandello was elected to the Advisory Board of the Italian Society of Ophthalmology 7 years ago and became scientific coordinator of the annual meeting of the Society 5 years ago. For the past 12 years he has been the scientific coordinator of the Ophthalmology Monographs of the Italian Society of Ophthalmology. He is also the General Secretary and Treasurer of the Italian Retina Society.

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Professor Paul A. Sieving elected to the AOI (Chair XX)

Professor Paul Sieving was elected to Chair XX in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on October 23, 2004. After undergraduate work in history and physics, he studied nuclear physics at Yale University Graduate School in 1970-73 under Prof. D. Allan Bromley and then attended Yale Law School from 1973 to 1974. He received his M.D. from the University of Illinois Medical School in 1978 and obtained a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Illinois Graduate School in 1981. Prof. Sieving completed an ophthalmology residency at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary in Chicago. After postdoctoral study of retinal physiology, 1982-84, at the University of California, San Francisco, under Prof. Roy Steinberg he completed a clinical fellowship in genetic retinal degenerations with Dr. Eliot Berson in 1985 at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Prof. Sieving became director of the National Eye Institute, NIH, in 2001 after serving for many years on the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School where he was the Paul R. Lichter Professor of Ophthalmic Genetics as well as the founding Director of the Center for Retinal and Macular Degeneration in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

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Professor Jialiang Zhao elected to the AOI (Chair XXII)

Professor Jialiang Zhao was elected to Chair XXII in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on October 23, 2004. Prof. Zhao received his M.D. degree in 1970, completed his postdoctoral training and also his research fellowship at the Peking Union Medical College. Between 1970 and 1978, while at Gaoling County Hospital of Shanxi Province, Prof. Zhao paid great attention to community eye care and prevention of blindness in the countryside. Since then he has studied and worked in the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Maryland and the Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California. Prof. Zhao has been President of the Chinese Ophthalmological Society since 2000, Editor-in-Chief of the Chinese Journal of Ophthalmology since 2001, Director and Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Peking Union Medical College Hospital, and Director of the Eye Research Center, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. Prof. Zhao is a glaucoma specialist.

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Oral Obituary for Professor Merte

A warm and memorable oral obituary for Professor Hanns-Jurgen Merte was presented by Prof. Gottfried O.H. Naumann. Professor Merte was an important figure in German ophthalmology and made major contributions to our field. He will be missed by his fellow Academicians and by other colleagues around the world.

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AOI Oration by Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D.

The Academia Oration was delivered by Prof. Paul A. Sieving, Director of the National Eye Institute of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Prof. Sieving gave an informative and scholarly presentation entitled "X-Linked Retinoschisis: A Case Study in the Evolution of Clinical Understanding." Following his Oration, Prof. Sieving was presented with the traditional AOI silver tray by President Shimizu.

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AOI Special Scientific Session Features Inaugural Lectures and Member Talks

Four Members delivered their Inaugural Lectures at this meeting. The first was presented by Prof. Ian Constable who spoke on "Molecular Approaches to Retinal Disease." This was followed by Prof. Hilel Lewis's talk on "New Developments in the Management of Submacular Hemorrhage: Experimental and Clinical Studies." The third Inaugural Lecture was delivered by Prof. Ildikó Suveges, "Ophthalmology in Hungary: Past and Present." The final presentation was given by Prof. Zbigniew Zagorski, "My Way to International Ophthalmology." Click here for a summary of this presentation.

Two Members presented papers in the Special Scientific Session: Prof. Joaquín Barraquer's talk was entitled "Large Diameter Penetrating Keratoplasties," and Prof. Michael Blumenthal presented "Fluid Dynamics During Cataract Surgery."

Professor Joaquín Barraquer discussed the challenge of performing large penetrating keratoplasties to correct important refractive defects due to corneal deformity e.g., (giant keratoconus) In spite of the increased risk of immunologic problems associated with a graft sutured into a vascularized area, Professor Barraquer demonstrated that large penetrating keratoplasties of 11 to 13 mm are justified and might be attempted in selected cases for refractive purposes. He discussed indications, case selection and surgical techniques, medications to prevent and treat rejection problems, and prognosis and criteria for re-operation. The different concepts were documented with audiovisual material from Professor Barraquer's own cases. He emphasized the necessity of adequate pre-and postoperative care as well as rigorous and lengthy postoperative follow-up.
Professor Joaquín Barraquer discussed the challenge of performing large penetrating keratoplasties to correct important refractive defects due to corneal deformity e.g., (giant keratoconus) In spite of the increased risk of immunologic problems associated with a graft sutured into a vascularized area, Professor Barraquer demonstrated that large penetrating keratoplasties of 11 to 13 mm are justified and might be attempted in selected cases for refractive purposes. He discussed indications, case selection and surgical techniques, medications to prevent and treat rejection problems, and prognosis and criteria for re-operation. The different concepts were documented with audiovisual material from Professor Barraquer's own cases. He emphasized the necessity of adequate pre-and postoperative care as well as rigorous and lengthy postoperative follow-up.

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AOI Symposium in New Orleans

A standing-room-only crowd of several hundred people attended the Academia Symposium on Sunday, October 24, 2004, co-sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The Program Chair was President Koichi Shimizu and the session was entitled "What Experience Has Taught Me." Organized by the Secretary-General, the session included ten-minute talks by six of our distinguished Members. The program was as follows:"Lessons Learned—Avoiding Pitfalls in Managing Open-globe Injury" by Prof. Stephen J. Ryan; "Lessons Learned—Don't Miss Glaucoma" by Prof. Hugh R. Taylor; "Lessons Learned—Using the OCT" by Prof. August Deutman; "Lessons Learned about Photodynmanic Therapy" by Prof. Gisele Soubrane; "Lessons Learned From Patients with a Chronic Red Eye" by Prof. Ronald E. Smith; and "Lessons Learned in Managing the Surgical Complications of Uveitis" by Prof. Rubens Belfort.

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Professor Paul Lichter receiving the AOI tray from Professor Koichi Shimizu
Professor Paul Lichter receiving the AOI tray from Professor Koichi Shimizu

AOI Lecture by Professor Paul R. Lichter

Following the AOI Symposium, Professor Shimizu introduced Professor Lichter who delivered the Academia Lecture entitled: "Management Decisions in Ocular Hypertension and Glaucoma."

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Announcement of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the AOI will take place in Florence, Italy on Thursday, May 12, 2005, in conjunction with the meeting of the Italian Society of Ophthalmology.

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