Eye research and clinical care was top of the agenda at the biennial Asia-Pacific Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting held in Brisbane in February. With over 800 delegates, including senior ophthalmologists, researchers and industry leaders from around the world joining together at the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre, the theme was ‘Bridging disciplines and disparities: Connecting eye research with health outcomes’.
Keynote speakers from Australia and worldwide included: Professor Robyn Ward (The University of Queensland) who talked about the gender divide in research especially medical research; Professor Hugh Taylor (University of Melbourne) who reported on reducing the gap in eye disease within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community; Ms Leonor Beleza (President of the Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal) who presented on how Foundations bridge the need for funding research and humanitarian eye care; and Dr Malvina Edelman (Director – Division of Ophthalmic and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices, United States Federal Drug Administration) who spoke about the process of taking medical research to the clinic.
As well as the latest research on disease mechanisms, sessions focused on the latest in disease management including investigations and treatment (medical and surgical) with conditions including AMD, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, ocular infections, ocular surface disease and genetic eye diseases.
Global corporate leaders shared their experience and views on the commercial and regulatory challenges of bringing products to market and delegates were able to participate in discussions on 16 award-winning translational submissions from around the world.
Professor Mark Radford, Executive Director & CEO of Queensland Eye Institute who was the Chair of the Meeting and instrumental in bringing the meeting to Brisbane and Australia said: “Bringing together the calibre of speakers, researchers, clinicians, regulators and global corporate leaders and investors was a real coup for ARVO and Brisbane. My co-chairs, Professor Justine Smith (Flinders University) and Professor Peter McCluskey (Save Sight Institute, Sydney University), Scientific Programme Chairs Professors Stephanie Watson and John Grigg, and the ARVO Asia committee did an excellent job and worked tirelessly to provide a meeting to add real value to delegates.” He added; “It took two years of planning and was the first time ARVO hosted its meeting in Australia with the last one being in Yokohama, Japan. We were delighted to welcome The Hon Jackie Trade Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning QLD to open the meeting and appreciated her making the time to join us.”