The XLII Meeting of Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis took place in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Friday, February 5, 2016 in conjunction with the World Ophthalmological Congress 2016 of the International Council of Ophthalmology, hosted by the Sociedad Mexicana de Oftalmogía and co-hosted by the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology.

Social events included the President´s Reception, the Opening Ceremony with Opening Reception at EXPO Guadalajara, the Mariachi Gala in the Teatro Degollado and the Mexican Fiesta at Instituto Cultural Cabanas.

We are grateful to our Mexican friends for their generous hospitality during our visit to Guadalajara.

President's Reception
Members of AOI at Opening Ceremony at EXPO Guadalajara
Mexican dances at Opening Ceremony
The Teatro Degollado
The Instituto Cultural Cabanas


General Assembly on Friday, February 5, 2015

The meeting was held at the Hilton, Guadalajara.
43 Voting Members and 2 Emeriti attended the General Assembly.
President G.N. Rao welcomed the Members.
During the Assembly 8 Provisional Members were inducted to Voting Membership and given their medals, pins, and certificates.


1) Justine SMITH (Chair XIII)


3) Masayo TAKAHASHI (Chair LXXVII)

4) Tin AUNG (Chair LXXVIII)

5) Janey WIGGS (Chair LXXX)

6) Bertil DAMATO (Chair LXXXI)

7) Neeru GUPTA (Chair LXXXII)

8) Emilio CAMPOS (Chair LXX)


Justine SMITH (Chair XIII)
Janey WIGGS (Chair LXXX)
Bertil DAMATO (Chair LXXXI)
Neeru GUPTA (Chair LXXXII)
Emilio CAMPOS (Chair LXX)

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

Professor Julia A Haller  (Chair XVI)
Professor Emily Y Chew  (Chair XXVI)
Professor Eduardo Mayorga  (Chair LVII)
Professor Reza Dana  (Chair LXXXIII)

The meeting was adjourned followed by a group photo.

Standing form left to right: Barraquer, Smith, Wiggs, Lorenz, Gupta, Moore, Sakamoto, Khaw, Jager, Soubrane, Contreras, Parke, N..Rao, Lee, Aydin, Taylor, Lichter, Höfling-Lima, Oshika, Damato, Ritch, Baudouin, Kivela, Campos, Spivey, Vasavada, Loewenstein, DeLaey, Takahashi, Zagorski, Seregard, Aung, Tso, Alfonso, Verdaguer, Sitting from left to right: Straatsma, Sommer, Alio, Abbott, G.N. Rao, Wiedemann, Tassignon, Ishibashi

Special Scientific Session on Friday, February 5, 2016


During the Special Scientific Session eight Inaugural Lectures were delivered by the newly inducted members.

The following lectures were presented:

Bertil Damato

Predicting survival after treatment of choroidal melanoma

Justine Smith

Basic mechanisms of ocular toxoplasmosis

Tin Aung

New insights into the genetics of angle closure glaucoma

Janey Wiggs

Genome-wide studies in glaucoma

Anat Loewenstein

Automation of OCT report interpretation– the future of monitoring patients for disease activity

Masayo Takahashi

Clinical application of iPS cells now and future

Neeru Gupta

Lymphatic drainage from the eye: a new target for therapy 

Emilio Campos

A reasoned approach to eye muscle surgery
(Link: Campos AOI.pdf)


Mark Tso presented :

A unique pathologic study of polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy and pathogenesis of sub-RPE neovascularization and wet ARMD


Emilio Campos
Justine Smith
Masayo Takahashi
Bertil Damato
Tin Aung
Janey Wiggs
Anat Loewenstein
Neeru Gupta
Mark Tso


President G.N. Rao introduced the orator Professor Alfred Sommer M.D., M.H.S, who presented the AOI Oration 2016.

Behavior and Environment

Trump Genes


Medical science has made rapid advances in recent years, particularly as they relate to the discovery of the genetic causation of disease. But this fascination with genetics obscures the important role that behavioral and environmental factors have on health, including infectious agents and environmental toxins, and the many unhealthy things we choose to do to ourselves. For example, the world's population was literally "flat", from 0 BCE until the mid-1700s, when it began to explode. Life expectancy in the U.K. increased from roughly 34 years, to 79 years, between 1890 and 1966, not because of new medical interventions (which have been estimated to have added less than 10% of that increased longevity), but because after 1890 people were better nourished, better housed, lived in more sanitary conditions, and child labor laws protected children. These advances are now at risk, with the re-emergence of infectious diseases (SARS, HIV), compounded by growing antimicrobial resistance towards drugs; but much more so by modern societies' pursuit of unhealthy life styles, from tobacco use to obesity. In 1900, virtually no women in the U.S. died of lung cancer. Between 1900 and 1990, the risk of American women dying of breast cancer was virtually unchanged, while more women in 1990 were now dying of lung cancer than breast cancer, because American women began smoking after WWI, and much more so after WWII. Similarly, The world is becoming obese, with nearly one-third of all adult Americans, and those of wealthy countries around the world, having a BMI exceeding 25 or 30. The world is experiencing epidemics of heart disease, lung pathology (including cancer), obesity and diabetes without having changed our genome.

While genes are important, what we are exposed to in our environment, and what we chose to eat and whether or not to smoke, are powerful drivers of health. It is possible to change people's behavior, but is very difficult. People don't change behavior easily, because their behavior is determined in large part by the behavior of those around them, and the cultural norms of those with whom they interact at work, school and other sites. Unhealthy behaviors can be changed through concerted government interventions, but these must be carefully and persistently employed, and for effect, usually require a range of interventions that include "education" about the risks of that behavior, "taxation" and "regulation" (of the offending products), "litigation" against the purveyors of harmful products, and "legislation" that further discourages their use, such as outlawing smoking in bars and restaurants. Such interventions have been shown to be effective, but must now be pursued more aggressively and widely if we are to escape a rise in totally preventable morbidity and mortality.



President G.N. Rao presented a gift to Professor Sommer.


At the conclusion of the session the annual Academia Luncheon was held.

Two symposia and the AOI lecture followed. The Academia thanks all organizers for putting together these sessions and moderating the discussion.


Date: Sunday – Feb 7


Topic:  How do we learn best? How do we stay up to date with rapidly developing technology?
Chair: Richard Abbott


Date: Monday - Feb 8


Topic:  Prevention and Management of Complications in Anterior Segment Surgery: An Experience Based Approach. What the Literature Doesn't Teach Us
Chairs: Abhay Vasavada, Robert Ritch, Gullapalli N Rao

The following prizes were given to Academia Members during WOC 2016:

    Bietti Medal: Sir Peng Khaw, PhD, FRCS, FRCP

    Tadeusz Krwawicz Gold Medal: Marie-José Tassignon, MD, PhD

    ICO Mark Tso Golden Apple Award: Richard Abbott, MD