Newsletter - 2015

The XLI Meeting of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis took place in the Flanders town of Ghent, Belgium, from Friday, June 12 to Sunday, June 14, 2015.

The XLI meeting was special, being the 40th anniversay of AOI, and to commemorate this an exclusive meeting was organized, without associating with another international meeting as is the usual practice. The meeting was held in Ghent, Belgium where AOI was founded in 1975. Members had opportunity to participate in five scientific sessions and could enjoy with their partners the sights and attractions of Ghent. The meeting was organized under the leadership of Professores DeLaey and Tassignon.

The meeting was held at Hed Pand. Het Pand is a former Dominican Abbey and has been used since 1963 as the Faculty Club of the Ghent University. It hosts the Museum for the History of Medicine with a unique collection of Gallo-Roman medical instruments, which were demonstrated by our host Prof. Jean-Jacques DeLaey before the Welcome Reception on Friday afternoon.

Besides the Reception on Friday evening and the Tour of the Museum social events included the Dinner on Saturday night  in the Knights Hall of the Gravensteen Castle. The name means "castle of the counts" in Dutch. From the middle ages the castle served as the seat of the counts of Flanders until they abandoned it in the 14th century.

opening ceremony

We are grateful to our Belgian friends for their generous hospitality during our visit to Ghent.

General Assembly on Saturday, June 13, 2015


53 Voting Members and 1 Emeritus member attended the General Assembly. Professor Jean-Jacques De Laey welcomed the Members.

Charter Member Professor Maurice H. Luntz addressed a few words of welcome and memories about the foundation ceremony of Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis 40 years ago in Ghent.

During the Assembly seven Provisional Members were inducted to Voting Membership and given their medals, pins and certificates.

Eduardo C. Alfonso (Chair IV)
J. Fernando Arevalo (Chair XXIX)
Peter J. McDonnell (Chair XXXII)
Jacob Pe’er (Chair XLVII)
Taiji Sakamoto (Chair XL)
Ningli Wang (Chair LXXIV)
Marco A. Zarbin (Chair LXXV)




Four Members are now from China
The members and the officers

To top

Outstanding candidates were nominated for Academia membership and eight new members were elected.

(1)       Tin AUNG  Chair LXXVIII

(2)       Bertil DAMATO  Chair LXXXI

(3)       Neeru GUPTA  Chair LXXXII

(4)       Fung Rong HU  Chair LXXIX

(5)       Anat Loewenstein  Chair LXXVI

(6)       Justine SMITH  Chair XIII

(7)       Masayo TAKAHASHI  Chair LXXVII

(8)       Janey WIGGS  Chair LXXX

Then President Rao thanked Prof. Jean-Jacques DeLaey and Prof. Marie-José Tassignon for their commitment and effort to make this Anniversary Meeting a truly memorable event.

The meeting was adjourned followed by a group photo in front of Hed Pand.

To top

Special Scientific Session on Saturday, June 13, 2015

The scientific sessions lasted from Saturday morning until Sunday noon.

The special scientific session was opened by Prof. Tien Wong delivering the obituary for Prof Lim. (link to the obituary)

During the Special Scientific Session seven Inaugural Lectures were delivered by the newly inducted members. The following lectures were presented:

Eduardo C. Alfonso (Chair IV)


Infections and Ophthalmology: Fungi, Contact Lenses end the Panama Canal      


J. Fernando Arevalo (Chair XXIX) 


The Argus II Retinal Prostesis. surgical and functional outcomes from the KKESH Collaborative Retina Study Group


Peter J. McDonnell (Chair XXXII) 


The beginning of the end of eye drops


Jacob Pe’er (Chair XLVII)


55 years of commitment of Hadassah Ophthalmology to developing countries


Taiji Sakamoto (Chair XL)


Biology of vitreous body: the new role of hyalocytes


Ningli Wang (Chair LXXIV)


Glaucoma, IOP determined or not?


Marco A. Zarbin (Chair LXXV)


Transplanted RPE survival on aged and aged related macular degeneration Bruch's membrane



At the conclusion of the session the annual Academia Luncheon was held.
Unfortunately the Academia oration could not be delivered due to emergency hospitalization of the orator. Instead Prof. Pinar Aydin presented “Blind characters in Opera“ which she had prepared with Professor R. Ritch.
Three symposia and the AOI lecture followed. The Academia thanks all organizers for putting together these sessions and moderating the discussion.

Symposium I 

Secondary glaucomas


Organiser: Prof. Robert Ritch

Symposium II 

Eye care delivery around the world

Organisers: Prof. Alfred Sommer & Prof. Richard Abbott

Symposium III 

Corneal banking


Organiser: Prof. Marie-José Tassignon

AOI Lecture


“Pushing back the boundaries of cataract surgery”

Speaker: Prof. Marie-José Tassignon




Symposia I an II were presented on Saturday:

Symposium I: Secondary glaucomas


R. Ritch, Z. Jialiang and P. Lichter

M. Jager

Experimented glaucoma: a role for inflammation?

R. Ritch

New insight into the pathology of erfoliaton syndrome

M.J. Tassignon

Approaching keratoplasty in eyes with potential glaucoma

Z. Jialiang

Managing uveitis-balancing steroids and glaucoma

P. Khaw

Surgical approaches to open-angle glaucoma in childhood

H. Grossnicklaus

Glaucoma associated with anterior segment melanoma: do's and dont's

T. Oshika

Management of cataract in glaucomatous eyes




Symposium II: Eye care delivery around the world


A. Sommer and R. Abbott

A. Sommer


J.J. De Laey

Western Europe

P. Vassileva

Eastern Europe

D. Parke

North America

R. Belfort

South America

N. Rao

South Asia

L. Xiaoxin


R. Abbott

Summary and conclusions




The third symposium was held on Sunday morning:

Symposium III: Corneal banking




G.N. Rao and Z. Zagorski

Z. Zagorski

The challenges of organizing and running the first eye bank in Poland

P. Vassileva

The challenges for corneal eye banking in Eastern European countries

N. Rao

20,030 comeal transplants in a developing country 

C. McGhee

What can we learn from a single national eye bank in a small isolated country like New Zealand

P. McDonnell

Eye and tissue banking: rapid transition from small public service to enormous, heavily regulated industry

M. Jager

Storing umbilical cord blood for eternal ocular youth

H. Dua

Cornea banks to eye banks to ocular regenerative tissue banks


At the end of this symposium Prof. Marie-José Tassignon delivered this year´s Academia Lecture on “Pushing back the boundaries of cataract surgery”.

President Rao presents a gift box to the AOI lecturer Prof. Tassignon


Several member presentations followed

F. Billson

The syndrome of optic nerve hypoplasia.

R. Barraquer

Keratoconus: Expanding treatment options for a growing challenge

P. Sieving

Gene therapy in X-linked retinoschisis

I. Süveges

Corneal wound healing



IOC-President Hugh Taylor and and WOC2016-President E. Graue invited the members to Guadalajara.

The next meeting of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis will be at the World Congress 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico - February 5

President Prof. Peter Watson turns over the AOI President’s Medal to incoming President Lichter

To top


Other Symposia which are organized by the Academia in 2015 are mentioned below:


SOE Congress, Vienna, Austria - June 6–9, 2015

At the SOE meeting in Vienna the symposium "Education" was presented.


Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis
Symposium Education
: 09.06.2015,
Chairs: Christophe Baudouin (France); José Cunha-Vaz (Portugal)

Corneal structure and implications for corneal pathology and biomechanics

Harminder Dua (United Kingdom)

Multimodal imaging of the retina

José Cunha-Vaz (Porutgal)

Retinal prostheses: where we are now?

José Sahel (France)

New challenges in defining outcome parameters in treatment trials of paediatric retinal diseases

Birgit Lorenz (Germany)

Stem cell therapy in glaucoma

Christophe Baudouin (France)

RANZCO Congress, Wellington, New Zealand - October 31–November 4, 2015

Title of symposium: Quality and Effectiveness in Ophthalmology
Co-sponsored by the RANZCO International Development Committee, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis and the International Council of Ophthalmology
Symposium Convenor: Dr. Catherine Green
Co-Chairs: Dr. Anthony Bennett Hall (RANZCO IDC Chair), Prof. Hugh Taylor (ICO) and Prof. Frank Billson (AOI)

Program outline

Part 1

Quality and Effectiveness in Ophthalmic Education



Teaching and training

Prof. Peter McCluskey



Dr. Catherine Green


Panel discussion


Part 2

Clinical Quality and Safety



Clinical quality and safety in high resource settings

Prof. Paul Lee


Clinical quality and safety in low resource settings

Prof. Nag Rao


Panel discussion


Part 3

New modalities: evidence, efficacy and economics



Medical treatment

Prof. Charles McGhee


Surgical technique and technology

Dr. Michael Lawless


Panel discussion




AAO 2015, Las Vegas, USA – November 14–17, 2015

Approaches and techniques employed for delivery of optimal eye care often vary in different geographic regions of the world. “What is hot outside the United States” brings the perspectives of four global leaders on how four different problems are approached in their country/region outside the U.S. - IOLs, childhood cataract, congenital glaucoma, and retinal prosthesis will be presented On Monday, November 16, 2015 from 2pm to 3 pm

Symposium Title: “What is hot outside of the United States?”
Symposium Chairs: Gullapalli N. Rao, Hyderabad, India; Martine Jager, Leiden, The Netherlands


Gullapalli N. Rao, India

The new trends in multifocal IOLs: Russian perspective

Prof. Boris Malyugin, Russian Federation

IOL implantation in children below two years

Prof. Abhasy Vasavada, India

Treatment of Congenital Glaucoma: From Trabeculotomy to microcatheter-assisted 360 degree trabeculotomy

Prof. Ningli Wang, China

The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis: Surgical and Functional Outcomes from the KKESH Collaborative Retina Study Group

Prof. Fernando Arevalo, Saudi Arabia

Discussion-Questions & Answers

(after each talk)


Prof. Martine Jager, The Netherlands




To top