Newsletter - 2009, Volume 12, Number 1

Message from the President, Prof. Peter Watson

This will be my last contribution to the Newsletter before I hand over the Presidency to Prof. Paul Lichter who has been our most efficient Secretary General for the past many years.  I would like to thank him and the officers and indeed all the membership for the help and support they have given me during my term of office.  This help and cooperation has enabled us to take the AOI forward in the field of post -graduate education and to become better recognised both within and outside the profession. 

In November 2008 I presented you with my ideas as to how we could become more valuable to our own membership, to the whole ophthalmic community and to those who determine policy world wide for the education of eye doctors.   Have we achieved any of this?  I think we have cemented our own relationships and have appointed several younger leaders in ophthalmology who are at the peak of their careers and will take the organisation forward in the coming decade.

The AOI has recently contributed significantly to post-graduate education through the willingness of its members to contribute to the AOI Symposia organised at all the supra national meetings and many national meetings.  These have been enthusiastically received and on several occasions the halls have been so full that some of the potential audience has had to be turned away.  The consequence has been that conference organisers are asking the AOI to continue to participate in their meetings.  I would like to thank all of you for the help and encouragement you have given me especially in the conduct of the 11 AOI symposia delivered during the last year. We have, so far, chosen topics which cover the interests of our membership, so, if we are going to be asked to continue to be involved I feel it is important that the membership should have representatives from all the major disciplines of our subject.

In addition to the formal AOI lecture given at the time of its annual meeting several members have asked that unnamed lectures of more than 20 minutes duration given at a major meeting be given the title of AOI lecture. This enhances the value of the meeting to the organisers and ensures that as many people as possible know what the AOI is and what it is trying to achieve.  I hope this will continue.

The AOI sponsors one or two fellows (preferably those wishing to pursue an academic career) in the ICO fellowship programme.  Judging from the letters we have received from those we have been sponsored this contribution has been highly appreciated by the fellow.  Elsewhere in this newsletter you will see a letter of appreciation from Dr Alowoye, a teacher at the University of Ibadan, who was an AOI sponsored fellow.   He has used his period abroad to help not only himself but to be able to pass on the knowledge he has gained to the next generation of ophthalmologists.  This must be one of the very best ways to improve the standard of education and subsequent care to all.   I hope you will encourage and cooperate in similar arrangements as these are the fellows that the AOI wishes to support.

The AOI has also agreed to participate in the ICO development programme organised by our Vice Chairman Juan Verdaguer.  I hope you will support him if he asks for assistance.

Academic Ophthalmology is under serious threat world-wide.  Those involved are underfunded and often dependant on precarious outside sources of funding for their very existence.  Academic departments are often poorly supported within the universities in spite of the fact that they are responsible for the teaching of the new generation of ophthalmologists and are now virtually the only places dealing with the severe, difficult and blinding diseases   Having been approached on two simple questions regarding the position of Academic Ophthalmology it has become apparent that the AOI, by reason of the standing of its membership , is the one organisation which is, might be, or should be the representative of Academic ophthalmology world wide . This is totally different from our present constitution but if it cannot be achieved by anyone else then thought should be given to it.

May the AOI continue to flourish and that you all have every success in the new decade.

Peter Watson
President

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XXXV AOI Meeting—San Francisco, California—October 24, 2009

Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco beyond
Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco beyond

The XXXV Meeting of the Academic Ophthalmologica Internationalis met in the beautiful city of San Francisco, California in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology/Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology Joint Meeting.

Members and their guests enjoyed perfect weather each day of the meeting.  Whether leisure time was spent riding the cable cars or taking in the sites of this very special city, one sensed that the venue was perfect both for academic pursuits and sightseeing.

The cable car ride
The cable car ride
San Francisco Skyline
San Francisco Skyline

Several social events took place to which all AOI Members and their guests were invited.  On the evening of October 22, a dinner hosted by AOI Members from the Americas was held at the elegant Pacific-Union Club in San Francisco.

Pacific Union Club
Pacific Union Club

Academia Members and their guests joined members of the ICO Board of Trustees and the ICO Advisory Committee and their guests in a collegial reception and dinner.  Professor Bruce Spivey, a member of the Pacific-Union Club, emceed the brief program in which he recognized the hosting members from the Americas of the three organizations.  He introduced Mrs. Ryoko Tano and her son, Dr. Ryotaro Tano who were special guests of the Academia.  Professor Spivey asked guests to observe a moment of silence in memory of recently-deceased Academician, Prof. Yasuo Tano.  Following brief remarks by Prof. Spivey during which he provided a brief history of the Pacific-Union Club, Academia President Peter Watson thanked the hosts on behalf of all of the guests. 

At the conclusion of our Special Scientific Session on Saturday, October 24th, the annual Academia Luncheon was held in honor of our AOI Orator, Prof. Ivan Schwab. 

Members and spouses enjoying the AOI Luncheon

That evening, Academia Members and their guests were guests of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology at their joint Board Reception and Dinner.  Held in the Intercontinental Hotel, the reception and dinner provided an atmosphere of camaraderie and fellowship. Newly-inducted AOI Member, Prof. Richard Abbott welcomed all guests in his role of President of the PAAO.  Following dinner, all guests were invited to the AAO/PAAO International Dessert Reception.

Forty-two Members were in attendance at the AOI Business Meeting.

2009 meeting attendees gather for photograph.
2009 meeting attendees gather for photograph.

Front row (l. to r.): Profs. R. Barraquer, Süveges, Nagpal, Lichter, Watson, Gloor, Verdaguer, Tassignon, Taylor
Row 2 (l. to r.): Profs. Alio, Zhao, Abbott, Spivey, Murubé, Rodriguez, Straatsma, Soubrane, Coscas, Brancato, Tso
Row 3 (l. to r.): Profs. Constable, Belfort, Cunha-Vaz, Luntz, Maumenee, Malbran, Sieving, Lang, G. Rao, Ishibashi, N. Rao, Wiedemann
Row 4-5 (l. to r.)Profs. Contreras, DeLaey, Lam, Sommer, Zagorski, Moore, Ryan, Naumann
(Not pictured: Profs. Smith and Tasman)

During his report, President Peter Watson thanked many AOI members for their participation in AOI Symposia and for delivering AOI Lectures at a variety of national and multi-national meetings. Reports were also presented by the Secretary-General, Prof. Lichter, and the by the Treasurer, Prof. Gloor.  The following newly inducted Members of the Academia received from President Watson their AOI certificates and medals:  Professors Richard Abbott (Chair XXVII), Professor Jorge Alio (Chair LXII), Professor Narsing Rao (Chair LX), and Professor Peter Wiedemann (ChairLXI).

Prof. Richard Abbott and President Watson
Prof. Richard Abbott and President Watson
(l. to r.) Profs. Nagpal, Verdaguer, Pres. Watson, and Prof. Jorge Alio
(l. to r.) Profs. Nagpal,  Verdaguer, Pres. Watson, and  Prof. Jorge Alio
(l. to r.) Profs. Nagpal, Lichter, Verdaguer, Gloor, Narsing Rao, and Pres. Watson
(l. to r.) Profs. Nagpal, Lichter, Verdaguer, Gloor, Narsing Rao, and Pres. Watson
(l. to r.) Profs. Nagpal, Lichter, Verdaguer, Gloor, Peter Wiedemann, and Pres. Watson
(l. to r.) Profs. Nagpal, Lichter, Verdaguer, Gloor, Peter Wiedemann, and Pres. Watson

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Academia Elects New Members

Outstanding candidates were nominated for membership in the AOI and four new members were elected.

Professor Harminder Singh Dua elected to the AOI (Chair V)

Harminder Singh Dua is Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology, University of Nottingham and Head of the Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.  He also serves as Honorary Consultant, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham, Royal College of Ophthalmologists, UK, Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh and the American Academy of Ophthalmology

Professor Dua is a member of various national and international councils, board of governors and advisory panels including the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Oxford Ophthalmological Congress, the Iris Fund, Fight for Sight, Medical Research Council, International Ocular Surface Society and the Eye Research Institute. He is also editor of the Continuing Medical Educational Journal in Ophthalmology.

Professor Dua has a renowned research program including stem cell grafting and he has made a number of novel and significant discoveries in the area of corneal rejection, wound healing and corneal stem cell niches.  He was the first to demonstrate the presence of human beta defensins on the ocular surface and characterized their role in preventing ocular surface infections and has an international reputation for research in this area.
 
Professor Dua is on the Editorial Boards of several journals and new Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Ophthalmology. He is on the governing body of the European Vision and Eye Research Association and was former President. He is the ophthalmology advisor to the Royal Air Force and serves as advisor to a number of eye-related charities including Fight for Sight, UK and British Society for Prevention of Blindness. 

Professor Dua has published over 170 peer reviewed papers and 15 book chapters.

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Professor David W. Parke II elected to the AOI (Chair LXVI)

David W. Parke, II is the immediate past Edward L. Gaylord Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Oklahoma and President and CEO of the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute. He currently serves as Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  Prof. Parke serves on several journal Editorial Boards; has more than 60 articles and books to his credit and has delivered more than 160 invited presentations and distinguished lectures.  At the University of Oklahoma, he led the major expansion of research, training and patient care programs.  He has been a leader in academic medicine in the United States.

Prior to assuming in 2009 his current role as EVP and CEO of the AAO, Professor Parke oversaw the AAO Clinical Education Program.  Within this program, the AAO Basic and Clinical Science Course in 2009-10 consists of 13 sections with over 5,000 pages and 3,000 illustrations available in print, DVD-ROM, and online formats.  Approximately 2,500 print copies are distributed in the US, 500 print copies are distributed to developed countries internationally, and 200 print copies are distributed free-of-charge, in conjunction with the ICO, to training programs in developing countries worldwide.  Prof. Parke also had a centrole as Principal Investigator for the NIH-sponsored Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study and participated in clinical research related to retinal disease, surgery and pharmacotherapy.  He has a broad range of academic, business and organizational expertise and has served in numerous leadership positions in university, professional, community and national activities.  He served as Chair of the Finance Committee and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company, which is the major liability insurer for ophthalmologists in the United States and is sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 

Prof. Parke’s editorial service includes his past role as Executive Editor for the American Journal of Ophthalmology and current Editor of the AAO’s EyeNet publication.

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Professor Petja Vassileva elected to the AOI (Chair LXV)

Petja Vassileva is Professor of Ophthalmology at Sofia Medical University.  She is a Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Bulgarian National Academy of Medicine.  She has initiated and founded scientific and teaching institutions at home and co-founded scientific societies abroad.  Dr. Vassileva has created the first Eye Bank in Bulgaria; she served as a member of WHO Program Advisory Group on blindness prevention, at present is co-chairperson for Europe of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).  In 1993 she created the Bulgarian Eye Foundation’s program “Sight for All” and organizes numerous screenings and prevention programs in eye health.  She is a founding member and past president of the Southeast European Ophthalmologic Society and has instituted many education programs including an ARVO research chapter.  In 1996, Dr. Vassileva was appointed National Consultant in Ophthalmology at the Ministry of Health and is chairing the State Commission for Certification in Ophthalmology.   She has received numerous honors, including the Certificate of Appreciation IAPB 1999, Honorary Membership of Russian Ophthalmologic Society, Bulgarian Physician of the Year 2003 Gold Award, Certificate of Appreciation, International Eye Foundation 1991-2001, Honorary Award Panhelenic Ophthalmologic Society 2004, Signum Laudis pro Scientiae Meritis for the Best Research Work, Field of Medicine SMU 2006, and Best Poster Award at SOE/AAO in Vienna 2007. 

Dr. Vassileva has published over 300 scientific articles and is author and co-author of 16 monographs and textbooks.

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Professor Abhay R. Vasavada elected to the AOI (Chair LXIV)

Abhay R. Vasavada, MD, FRCS is the founder and Director of Iladevi Cataract and IOL Research Center in Ahmedabad, India.  Dr. Vasavada opened his self-financed research center not only with the intention of training residents in cataract surgery techniques but also with specific research topics that he felt required more focused attention with a goal to research why the cataracts occur in children and in many young adults in India.  With the Center, he created an in-house research laboratory to carry out basic research.  Dr. Vassavada has made significant contributions to developing cataract surgery as a sub-specialty at the national level but also at a global scale, in Southeast Asia, the Asia Pacific region and Europe. He also developed innovative software to measure rotational stability of toric IOLs.  He has delivered live surgery and instruction courses in the USA and throughout Europe, Thailand, China and the Middle East.  Dr. Vasavada also established an eye center in rural areas.in collaboration with the Indian Red Cross Society.  In order to address some of the more pressing issues facing Indian cataract surgeons, he established a fellowship program in the cataract field.  Dr. Vasavada has committed himself to establishing cataract surgery as a specialty in India.

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Oral Obituary for Professor Yasuo Tano

Professor Tetsuro Ishibashi presented a special tribute in memory of his close friend, Prof. Yasuo Tano, whose sudden passing due to an acute myocardial infarction in February, 2009, shocked all Academicians.  Professor Tano was widely known for his innovative retinal surgery techniques and enjoyed the admiration and respect of ophthalmologists around the world. Slides from the obituary presentation (powerpoint)

 

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AOI Special Scientific Session Features Inaugural Lectures and Member talks

Inaugural Lectures were delivered by the four newly inducted Members;

Professor Richard Abbott’s talk was entitled “Promoting and Implementing Clinical Practice Guidelines in Developing Countries:  The China Experience.” Slides from Prof. Abbott's presentation (powerpoint)

The second Inaugural Lecture was presented by Professor Jorge Alio, entitled “Microincision cataract surgery and the search for excellence in ophthalmology.”

Professor Narsing Rao delivered the third Inaugural Lecture entitled “Amelioration of photoreceptor damage by Alpha A crystallins.” Slides from Prof. Rao's presentation (powerpoint)

The final Inaugural Lecture, by Professor Peter Wiedemann was entitled “Müller cells in retinal disease.” Slides from Prof. Wiedemann's presentation (powerpoint)

Two Members delivered talks in the Special Scientific Session:  Professor
Gabriel Coscas presented “OCT-spectral domain and outer retinal layers in AMD.” Slides from Prof. Coscas' presentation (powerpoint)

Professor Zbigniew Zagorski spoke on “The management of closed angle glaucomas.”

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Academia Oration by Professor Ivan Schwab: “Evolution’s Witness“

The AOI was honored in having the Academia Oration delivered by Professor Ivan Schwab who was introduced by President Watson.

Professor Schwab is a world expert in the evolution of the eye and presented a fascinating and informative Oration quite unlike any the AOI has heard before.  Using a timeline handout, Professor Schwab had Academicians on the proverbial edge of their seats with his well-prepared and fascinating accounting of how the eye evolved over millions of years.  His eye-popping photographs of animals and their eyes will, he told his audience, appear next year in a book he has authored on this subject.

Two of the many fascinating slides in Prof. Schwab’s Oration
Two of the many fascinating slides in Prof. Schwab’s Oration
Two of the many fascinating slides in Prof. Schwab’s Oration
Two of the many fascinating slides in Prof. Schwab’s Oration

Following his well-received and informative Oration, Prof. Schwab was presented by President Watson with a Christofle black lacquer box with engraved silver lid and handle.

Professor Peter Watson presenting AOI Memento to Professor Ivan Schwab
Professor Peter Watson presenting AOI Memento to Professor Ivan Schwab

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AOI Symposia in the American Academy of Ophthalmology/Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology Joint Meeting

The AOI was invited to present a symposium as part of the AAO/PAAO Joint Meeting.  Organized by Professors Bradley Straatsma and Juan Verdaguer, the Symposium was entitled “Current Concepts for Management of Diabetic Retinopathy “ and played to a turn-away standing-room-only crowd of close to 600 people.  Many others were turned away and not allowed to enter the overflowing room—even to stand among the many others standing along the walls and even sitting in the aisles.

Profs. Straatsma and Verdaguer, co-chairs
Profs. Straatsma and Verdaguer, co-chairs

Current Concepts for Management of Diabetic Retinopathy

Chairmen: Bradley R. Straatsma, M.D., J.D. and Juan Verdaguer T., M.D.

  1. Biomarkers for Progression of Early Retinopathy
               Jose G. Cunha-Vaz, M.D., Ph.D.
  2. Diabetic Retinopathy:  New Concepts from Optical Coherence Tomography and Ultra-wide Field Photography/Angiography
                William S. Tasman, M.D.
  3. Advances in Pattern Scan and Panretinal Laser Therapy for Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
                Pran Nath Nagpal, M.D.
  4. Management of Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy with Laser Photocoagulation and Pharmacotherapy
                Ian J. Constable, M.D., A.O.  
  5. Treatment of Macular Edema in Post-Panretinal Photocoagulation
                Gisele Soubrane, M.D.
  6. Management of Diabetic Macular Edema with Laser and Pharmacotherapy
                Juan Verdaguer T., M.D.
  7. Vitreoretinal Surgery and Pharmacotherapy for Diabetic Retinopathy and    Macular Edema
               Yusuke Oshima, M.D.
  8. A Network of Provincial Eye Hospitals for Screening and Treatment of Diabetic Eye Disease in China
                Mark O. M. Tso, M.D.
  9. Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Lecture
                Alan C. Bird, M.D.

Academia Lecture by Professor Alan Bird

Following the Symposium, Emeritus Academician Professor Alan C. Bird was warmly introduced by Prof. Watson and delivered a superb Academia Lecture entitled “Cell Loss in Geographic Atrophy.”  Following his stimulating and thoughtful Lecture, Professor Bird was presented with a commemorative engraved gift.

Announcement of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Academia will take place in Berlin on Saturday, June 5, 2010 in conjunction with the World Ophthalmology Congress.

Appendix

Academia Lectures in Other Meeting Venues

During the 2009 year, Academicians were invited to deliver AOI Lectures as a part of scientific programs in a number of meetings in various parts of the world.  Each of these Lectures were highlighted in the meeting programs and began with a brief description of the Academia by way of background for attendees.

"Footsteps in the Sand: The Influence of German Pioneers on Today’s Ophthalmology"
Chairmen: Jean-Jacques De Laey and Peter Watson

The purpose is to illustrate what has become of the work of these giants in today’s ophthalmology. It thus should not be necessarily a historic survey but rather what is still actual in the concepts they developed.

Introduction
Müller   
Zinn   
A.von Graefe or Helmholz
Recklinghausen
G.Meyer-Schwickerath
Stargardt  

P. Watson
P. Wiedemann
P. Watson.
B. Gloor
G. Lang
G. Soubrane
A. Deutman
J.J. De Laey

                                                    

Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Symposium
SOE

"Difficult Decisions in Glaucoma"
Chairmen: Prof. Alfred Sommer and Prof. Paul Lichter

  1. Risks and Rewards:  What factors predict glaucoma and why      
                Al Sommer, Baltimore
  2. The genetic implications in Anterior Segment Dysgenesis               
                Tony Moore, London
  3. How should practice change as a result of the glaucoma treatment trials  
                Paul R. Lichter,  Michigan  
  4. The effect of preoperative medication on the results of trabeculectomy  
                Peter Watson, Cambridge
  5. The pros and cons of combined operations for cataract and glaucoma
                Marie José Tassignon,  Louvain  

Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Symposium
SOE

"Progressive Myopia"
Chairman: Jean-Jacques De Laey, Ghent

  1. Structural abnormalities in progressive myopia
                Peter Wiedemann, Leipzig
  2. The genetics of progressive myopia and the prospects for treatment
                Chris Hammond, London
  3. Fundus changes in progressive myopia.
                Gisèle Soubrane, Paris
  4. Surgical hazards in patients with progressive myopia.
                Marie-José Tassignon, Antwerp
  5. Should refractive surgery be contemplated in progressive myopia?
                Jorge Alio, Alicante
  6. The management of retinal detachment in progressive detachment
                Hilel Lewis, New York
  7. The management of subretinal new vessels in progressive myopia
                Francesco Bandello, Udine
         

Academia Ophthalmologca Internationalis Symposium
MEACO Bahrain

"Severe Injury"
Chairman: Peter Watson, President AOI

  1. Introduction                                                                        
               Peter Watson, Cambridge
  2. Prioritisation of eye injuries in the severely injured patient
               Ferenc Kuhn, Belgrade, Serbia         
  3. The problems of vitrectomy in the injured eye
               Bill Aylward, London
  4. The management of non perforating choroidal trauma
               Jean-Jacques De Laey, Ghent
  5. Visual rehabilitation following corneal injury     
               Michael Wagoner, Iowa
  6. Lens removal in the injured eye                   
               Dave Allen, Sunderland
  7. The principles of wound closure in severe facial injury         
               Richard Collin, London
  8. Teaching the management of severe facial and ocular injury
               Bruce Spivey, San Francisco

Prof. Marie Tassignon –postgraduate courses: "Cataract surgery in children and babies" and  "Bag-in-the-lens implantation technique", both presented in Switzerland.

Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Symposium
San Francisco, California

"Current Concepts for Management of Diabetic Retinopathy"
Co-Chairmen: Professor Ian Constable / Professor Hugh Taylor

  1. Biomarkers for Progression of Early Retinopathy
       Jose G. Cunha-Vaz MD PhD
  2. Diabetic Retinopathy: New Concepts from OCT and Ultra-wide Field Photography/Angiography
       William S. Tasman MD FACS
  3. Advances in Pattern Scan and Panretinal Laser Therapy for Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy
       Pran Nath Nagpal MD
  4. Management of Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy with Laser Photocoagulation and Pharmacotherapy
       Ian J. Constable MBBS
  5. Treatment of Macular Edema in Post-Panretinal Photocoagulation
       Gisele Soubrane MD PhD
  6. Management of Diabetic Macular Edema with Laser and Pharmacotherapy
       Juan T. Verdaguer MD
  7. Vitreoretinal Surgery and Pharmacotherapy for Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema
       Yusuke Oshima MD
  8. A Network of Provincial Eye Hospitals for Screening and Treatment of Diabetic Eye Disease in China
       Mark O.M. Tso MD

 

Appreciation of Sponsorship for ICO Fellowship

Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital.
 P.M.B 5116.
Ibadan. Nigeria.   
29th December 2009.

Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis,
Peter G. Watson, M.D. -- President.
11 Perry Court, Clerk Maxwell Road.
Cambridge CB3 ORS.
United Kingdom.

Dear Sir,

l wish to express my profound gratitude and appreciation to the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis for their kind sponsorship of my three month fellowship training at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

l arrived at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary on the 1st of September 2009 and commenced my fellowship training immediately. l benefited immensely from the clinic and theatre sessions and also from the journal club presentations. l was directly mentored on the process and technique of writing case reports and l was able to write and submit two case reports during the period. 

l am most grateful to you for this life time opportunity of training under the world acclaimed glaucoma specialist - Dr Robert Ritch. l have had the opportunity of presenting my fellowship experience to my department at the University College Hospital Ibadan, Nigeria. l have also started implementing current management protocols in Glaucoma care.

l plan to give a series of lectures and clinical demonstrations to the residents in my department on current management protocols in Glaucoma care in the first quarter of next year. 

Thank you so much once again for the sponsorship. l appreciate your kindness and support.

Yours Faithfully,

Dr Olusola O Olawoye
ICO Fellow
Nigeria

                                                                                         

Fellowship Notification Letter

Department of Ophthalmology,
                                                                                             University College Hospital,
                                                                                             P.M.B 5116.
                                                                                             Ibadan.
                                                                                             30th December 2009.

Dear Dr. Murtuza Nuruddin,

We are very pleased to announce that you are granted a three-month ICO Fellowship Award funded by the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis.

The award is worth US $3,000 (covering student-style living and travel expenses) and supposed to support your ICO Fellowship in Cataract Surgery at Mahatme Eye Bank and Eye Hospital in India (India) under the supervision of Dr. Vikas Mahatme from December 1, 2009 to February 28, 2010. Please contact your host to finalize all arrangements.

Remain in contact with the Fellowship Board and confirm by email six weeks before the proposed start date that your fellowship will begin according to schedule. Only then will the grant be wired. Confirm receipt once the money has been credited to your account.

Please be aware that insurance (health, accident, liability, etc.) is not covered by the ICO Fellowship. Do not forget to insure yourself!

We strongly advise that you apply for a visa in good time as the visa application process may take several weeks or even months!

At the end of your fellowship, you are obliged to provide the Fellowship Board with a report on your activity at the host institution. The relevant form is available online at: www.icoph.org/fellow/. Please include some pictures! In addition, we expect you to inform us about your future career! Fellows  reports and pictures are of uttermost importance in raising funds for the Fellowship Program and guaranteeing its future!

Your fellowship has been funded by the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis. Do not forget that it is part of your fellowship duties to write an appreciation letter to your generous benefactor after your stay and to send a copy of it to the Fellowship Board!

Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis
Peter G. Watson, M.D. -- President
11 Perry Court, Clerk Maxwell Road
Cambridge CB3 ORS
United Kingdom

Take your fellowship duties seriously and adhere strictly to the routine outlined above and in the application documents. Any violation may result in the withdrawal of the fellowship offer and the repayment of all funds received.

You will soon receive an official award letter by mail.

Please accept our sincere congratulations and best wishes for your fellowship!

Prof. Dr. Veit-Peter Gabel, ICO Director for Fellowships
Ms. Cordula Obermaier, ICO Administrator for Fellowships
Ms. Marion Brünsteiner, ICO Administrative Assistant for Fellowships

--
ICO Fellowship Program
Email:   fellowship@icoph.org
Fax:      +49-941-20609899