XVIth International Symposium
on Retinal Degeneration

July 13-18, 2014

Pacific Grove, California, US

picture supplied by Bill Kuffrey
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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Please save the dates - More information coming soon

RD2014 will be held from Sunday evening thru Friday morning. This is different from previous years.


IMPORTANT DATES

February 3, 2014
Travel Award Applications due

March 17, 2014
Online Hotel Registration due

March 17, 2014
Online Meeting Registration due

March 17, 2014
Online Abstract Submission due

July 13-18, 2014
The XVIth International Symposium on Retinal Degeneration

July 13, 2014
Sunday Arrival, Welcome Reception & Dinner

July 18, 2014
Friday Morning/Noon Departure

July 20-24, 2014
Be sure to register for the
ISER XXIth Biennial Meeting.
San Francisco, California
www.iserbiennialmeeting.org




Permanent Organizing Committee

Joe G. Hollyfield, PhD, is Chairman of Ophthalmic Research and the Llura and Gordon Gund Professor of Ophthalmology Research in the Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio.  He received a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and did postdoctoral work at the Hubrecht Laboratory in Utrecht, The Netherlands.  He has held faculty positions at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  He was Director of the Retinitis Pigmentosa Research Center in The Cullen Eye Institute at Baylor from 1978 until his move to The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 1995.  He is currently Director of the Foundation Fighting Blindness Research Center at the Cleveland Clinic.  Dr. Hollyfield has published over 200 papers in the area of cell and developmental biology of the retina and retinal pigment epithelium in health and disease.  He has edited 15 books, 14 on retinal degenerations and one on the structure of the eye.  Dr. Hollyfield received the Marjorie W. Margolin Prize (1981, 1994), the Sam and Bertha Brochstein Award (1985) and the Award of Merit in Retina Research (1998) from the Retina Research Foundation; the Olga Keith Weiss Distinguished Scholars' Award (1981) and two Senior Scientific Investigator Awards (1988, 1994) from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.; an award from the Alcon Research Institute (1987); the Distinguished Alumnus Award (1991) from Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas; the Endre A. Balazs Prize (1994) from the International Society for Eye Research (ISER); the Proctor Medal (2009) from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), and the 2009 Cless ???Best of the Best?? Award, given by the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.  He was named an inaugural Gold Fellow by ARVO in 2009. Since 1991 he has been Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Experimental Eye Research published by Elsevier.  Dr. Hollyfield has been active in ARVO, serving on the Program Committee (1976), as Trustee (Retinal Cell Biology, 1989-94), as President (1993-94) and as Immediate Past President (1994-95).  He was also President (1988-91) and Secretary (1984-87) of the International Society of Eye Research. He is Chairman of the scientific review panel for the Macular Degeneration program of the American Health Assistance Foundation (Clarksburg, MD), serves on the scientific advisory boards of the Foundation Fighting Blindness (Owings Mills, MD), the Knights Templar Eye Research Foundation (Chicago, IL), the Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation (Birmingham, AL), the South Africa Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation (Johannesburg, South Africa), is Co-Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Retina International (Zurich, Switzerland), and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Hendrix College (Conway, Arkansas).


 

Christian Grimm, PhD., is Professor for Experimental Ophthalmology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He received his Ph.D. degree for his work on molecular recombination in fission yeast at the Institute for General Microbiology at the University of Berne (Switzerland) in 1990. After an initial postdoctoral training in the field of snRNP maturation, Dr. Grimm conducted research at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI, where he studied nucleo-cytoplasmic transport of small RNAs. In 1997 Dr. Grimm moved back to Switzerland where he joined the Lab for Retinal Cell Biology in the department of Ophthalmology at the University of Zurich. Dr. Grimm leads the Lab for Retinal Cell Biology since 2006, was appointed Professor for Experimental Ophthalmology and joined the medical faculty in 2008. His research focuses on molecular mechanisms of photoreceptor cell death and neuroprotection. Dr. Grimm has received research grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the European Union, the University of Zurich and several private funding organizations. He has published more than 85 original research and review articles, more than 75 are in the field of retinal degeneration. Ten of his articles were cited more than 100 times. Dr. Grimm has received the Alfred Vogt Award (2000), the Retinitis Pigmentosa Award of Pro Retina Germany (2003) and the Pfizer Research Award in Neuroscience (2004). He serves on the Editorial Board of Experimental Eye Research, Current Eye Research, and Molecular Vision, and is a Scientific Review Associate for the European Journal of Neuroscience. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Retina Suisse, the Swiss Society of Ophthalmology, and Pro Retina Germany. At the University of Zurich, Dr. Grimm is member of the steering committee and acts as Vice Chairman of the Center for Integrative Human Physiology, a priority research program of the University of Zurich, and is member of the commission for the PhD program in integrative molecular medicine (imMed). Dr. Grimm is also member of the center for neuroscience and the center for clinical research at the University of Zurich, and is the organizer of the annual ??Swiss Eye Research Meeting (SERM)??.

Matthew M. LaVail, PhD, is Professor of Anatomy and Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. degree in Anatomy (1969) from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and was subsequently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. Dr. LaVail was appointed Assistant Professor of Neurology-Neuropathology at Harvard Medical School in 1973. In 1976, he moved to UCSF, where he was appointed Associate Professor of Anatomy. He was appointed to his current position in 1982, and in 1988, he also became Director of the Retinitis Pigmentosa Research Center at UCSF, later named the Kearn Family Center for the Study of Retinal Degeneration. Dr. LaVail has published extensively in the research areas of photoreceptor-retinal pigment epithelial cell interactions, retinal development, circadian events in the retina, genetics of pigmentation and ocular abnormalities, inherited retinal degenerations, light-induced retinal degeneration, and neuroprotective and gene therapy for retinal degenerative diseases. He has identified several naturally occurring murine models of human retinal degenerations and has developed transgenic mouse and rat models of others. He is the author of more than 160 research publications and has edited 14 books on inherited and environmentally induced retinal degenerations. Dr. LaVail has received the Fight for Sight Citation (1976); the Sundial Award from the Retina Foundation (1976); the Friedenwald Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO, 1981); two Senior Scientific Investigators Awards from Research to Prevent Blindness (1988 and 1998); a MERIT Award from the National Eye Institute (1989); an Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vision Research from the Alcon Research Institute (1990); the Award of Merit from the Retina Research Foundation (1990); the first John A. Moran Prize for Vision Research from the University of Utah (1997); the first Trustee Award from The Foundation Fighting Blindness (1998); the fourth Llura Liggett Gund Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness (2007); and he has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from both his university (University of North Texas) and his graduate school (University of Texas Medical Branch). He has served on the editorial boards of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science and Experimental Eye Research. Dr. LaVail has been an active participant in the program committee of ARVO and has served as a Trustee (Retinal Cell Biology Section) of ARVO. In 2009, he was appointed an inaugural ARVO Fellow, Gold, of the 12,000-member organization.  Dr. LaVail has been a member of the program committee and a Vice President of the International Society for Eye research. He has also served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation Fighting Blindness since 1973.

John D. Ash, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, and the Willard M. Bullard Eminent Scholar Chair in Ophthalmic Sciences in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. In 1994, he received his PhD from the Ohio State University Biochemistry Program, and then accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in the Cell Biology Department, Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, Texas. From 1999 to 2011, Dr Ash was an Assistant Professor then Associate professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Dean McGee Eye Institute.  Dr Ash is also a Visiting Professor of the Dalian Medical University, Dalian, China.  Dr. Ash has written and published 40 manuscripts including research articles, book chapters and invited reviews related to vision research. He is currently an Executive editor for Experimental Eye research, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Angiogenesis Research. Dr Ash is an active reviewer for Molecular Vision, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Experimental Eye Research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  and Diabetes. In addition to NIH funding (R03 and R01), Dr. Ash has received research awards from Hope for Vision, a Lew R. Wasserman Merit award from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.,  research grant from the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and the American Diabetes Association.  Dr. Ash has served on the Program Committee and the Advocacy Committee of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology for the Retinal Cell Biology section.  Dr Ash has served on the scientific review panel for Fight For Sight (2005-2008), and is currently serving on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation Fighting Blindness (Columbia, MD) where he chairs the review committee on Novel Medical Therapies Program.  He also serves on the scientific review panel for the Macular Degeneration program of the American Health Assistance Foundation (Clarksburg, MD), and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Institut De La Vision Paris, France.  

 

 Robert E. Anderson, MD, PhD, is George Lynn Cross Research Professor, Dean A. McGee Professor of Ophthalmology, Professor of Cell Biology, and Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Geriatric Medicine at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  He is also Director of Research at the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute.  He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry (1968) from Texas A&M University and his M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 1975.  In 1968, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Oak Ridge Associated Universities.  At Baylor, he was appointed Assistant Professor in 1969, Associate Professor in 1976, and Professor in 1981.  He joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in January of 1995.  Dr. Anderson served as director of the Oklahoma Center for Neuroscience (1995-1999) and chairman of the Department of Cell Biology (1998-2007).  He has received several honorary appointments including Visiting Professor, West China School of Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China; Honorary Professorship, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, China; and Honorary Professor of Sichuan Medical Science Academy, Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital, Sichuan, China.  Dr. Anderson has received the Sam and Bertha Brochstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in Retina Research from the Retina Research Foundation (1980), and the Dolly Green Award (1982) and two Senior Scientific Investigator Awards (1990 and 1997) from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.  He received an Award for Outstanding Contributions to Vision Research from the Alcon Research Institute (1985), and the Marjorie Margolin Prize (1994).  He has served on the editorial boards of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Journal of Neuroscience Research, Neurochemistry International, Current Eye Research, and Experimental Eye Research.  Dr. Anderson has published extensively in the areas of lipid metabolism in the retina and biochemistry of retinal degenerations.  He has edited 15 books, 14 on retinal degenerations and one on the biochemistry of the eye.  Dr. Anderson has received grants from the National Institutes of Health, The Retina Research Foundation, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.  He has been an active participant in the program committees of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and was a trustee representing the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology section.  He was named a Gold Fellow by ARVO in 2009 and received the Proctor Medal from ARVO in 2011.  He received the Llura Liggett Gund Lifetime Achievement Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness in June 2011. He has served on the Vision Research Program Committee and Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Eye Institute and the Board of the Basic and Clinical Science Series of The American Academy of Ophthalmology.  Dr. Anderson is a past Councilor, Treasurer, and President of the International Society for Eye Research.

Catherine Bowes Rickman, Ph.D., received her undergraduate training in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Aquatic Biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and her doctorate in Experimental Pathology at the University of California at Los Angeles. She is currently an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and of Cell Biology at the Duke Eye Center and Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Bowes Rickman has a long-standing interest in the molecular and cell biology and pathology of the retina and in particular, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A major focus of her research program is on using murine models to elucidate the mechanisms of pathology and progression for retinal degenerations. Currently she is using several mouse models developed in her program that faithfully recapitulate many aspects of the human AMD phenotype to provide in vivo means to examine the pathogenic contribution of genetic, inflammatory and environmental factors to AMD onset and progression. Her laboratory has also successfully used one of these models to test therapies for dry AMD. Dr. Bowes Rickman is extensively trained and experienced in many aspects of molecular biology, cell and tissue biology and protein chemistry as well as studies of murine models of retinal degeneration. She has spent the last few years expanding her knowledge of the complement system and her research program into studying the impact of the complement system, particularly the alternative pathway of complement, on the onset and progression of AMD.

 

Local organizing Committee

 Bernhard H.F. Weber, Ph.D., is professor and head of the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Regensburg, Germany, where he currently serves as the Vice-Dean of the Medical Faculty.  Prior to his current position, Prof. Weber held the position of associate professor at the University of W?1rzburg, Germany.  From 1988 to 1993, he was research assistant and later assistant professor in the Department of Medical Genetics with cross-appointment in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  In 1988, Prof. Weber completed his Ph.D. at the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

Prof. Weber established a comprehensive research program on the hereditary retinal degenerations and the genetically complex age-related macular degeneration (AMD). He is particularly interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the respective disease pathologies. Ongoing research involves the development and analysis of animal models of retinal disease as tools to understand the in vivo function and dysfunction of retinal disease genes, but also to explore concepts of innovative therapeutic intervention.

Prof. Weber received numerous honors and awards including the first 5-year scholarship ever awarded from the RP Eye Research Foundation, Canada, the RP Award for Excellence in Eye-Related Research (German and Swiss RP Foundation), the Award for Best Research Contribution (German Society of Human Genetics) and the prestigious 2007 Alcon Research Institute Award. He has been the lead author of more than 200 original research papers and serves as a reviewer for a number of national and international grant research organizations from the US, the UK,the Netherlands and Germany. He is associate editor of Cytogenetics and Genome Research, a member of the editorial board for NeuroMolecular Medicine and The Open Genomics Journal and a member of the scientific medical board for ProRetina Germany. Prof. Weber is an active member of several professional agencies, including the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG), the German Society of Human Genetics (GfH), the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), the Human Genome Organization (HUGO), and the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG). 

Ernst R. Tamm, MD, is Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at the University of Regensburg, Germany. He received his M.D. degree (Dr. med., 1986) and a doctoral degree in Medical Sciences (Dr. med. habil., 1992) from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-N?1rnberg, Germany. In 1995, he moved to the Laboratory of Molecular and Developmental Biology (Head: Joram Piatigorsky, PhD) at the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, to spend there more than three years as Heisenberg Scholar of the German Research Council. In 1999 he was appointed Associate Professor of Molecular Anatomy at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-N?1rnberg, Germany. In 2004 he moved to his current position at the University of Regensburg to become chairman of the Institute for Human Anatomy and Embryology. Dr. Tamm's research interests focus on the molecular pathogenesis of primary open-angle glaucoma, a field to which he has contributed more than 120 research publications, book chapters and review articles. He has been continuously funded by the German Research Council (DFG) since 1993, and is speaker of the DFG Research Unit 1075 ???Regulation and Pathology of Homeostatic Processes for Visual Function??. Dr. Tamm has received the Ria Freifrau von Fritsch-Award (1994), the Heisenberg Scholarship of the German Research Council (1994), the Glaucoma Award of the German Ophthalmologic Society (1995), the Ruth Salta Junior Investigator Achievement Award of the American Health Assistance Foundation (2001 and 2003), the Walther Kalkhof-Rose-Award of the Academy for Science and Literature, Mainz, Germany (1995), and the World Glaucoma Association Research Recognition Award (2011). Dr. Tamm is Section Co-Editor for "Aqueous Humor and Blood Flow" of Experimental Eye Research, and serves on the Editorial Boards of Current Eye Research and Journal of Glaucoma. Since 1997 he is member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Glaucoma Research Foundation, San Francisco. In 2003, he became invited active member of the Glaucoma Research Society. In 2010, he was appointed an ARVO Fellow, Silver, of the 12,000-member organization. Dr. Tamm has been a member of the program committee and a Councilor of the International Society for Eye Research (ISER). He is scientific co-organizer for the upcoming ISER meeting in Berlin 2012.

Olaf Strauß, PhD, is Professor of Experimental Ophthalmology at the Eye Hospital oft he University Medical Center Regensburg. He received his PhD degree at the Institute of Clinical Physiology at the Hospital Benjamin-Franklin of the Charite Berlin 1990. He started research on the function and electrophysiology of the retinal pigment epithelium of the normal and the RCS rat with his first post-doc position at the Section Neurobiology at the Battelle-Institut Frankfurt am Main. After a short time at the Group Neuropharmacology at Boehringer Ingelheim he1994 joined back the Institute of Clinical Physiology as a research assistant and received 1998 his Habilitation in Physiology about the ion channels of the retinal pigment epithelium. 2002 he accepted a Professorship for Experimental Ophthalmology at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf. 2007 he was appointed as Professor in Experimental Ophthalmology in Regensburg. He published 66 original and review articles, 65 of them in eye research. As a cell physiologist his research focus is the function of the retinal pigment epithelium in health and disease. He is mainly interested in the regulation of the retinal pigment epithelium function by means of Ca2+-signaling and ion channel activation. He received the Research Award of the Swiss and German Retinitis Pigmentosa Society 1994, 1995 the Heinz-Maier-Leibniz-Preis of the German Research Council and German Ministry of Science and Education, 1996 the Research Award of the Medical Faculty of the Freie Universität Berlin and became Teacher of the Year 2005 at the Medical Faculty at Hamburg-Eppendorf. Dr. Strauß has continuously received research grants from the German Research Council (DFG) since 1994 and from several private funding organizations. He has served as Vice-President Europe for the International Society of Eye Research, and is member of the Scientific Advisory board of the Pro-Retina Germany. In the latter function he has organized together with Bernhard Weber and Klaus R?1ther the Pro-Retina Symposium on Retinal Degeneration in Potsdam, the so-called Potsdam Meeting. He currently serves as local organizer for both the International Congress of Eye Research (ICER) to be held in Berlin and its Satellite Meeting, the Symposium on Retinal Degeneration to be held in Bad Gögging.

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