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Program book for Download

The schedule is available for Download.

Preliminary List of Speakers



SESSION 1 (17:20 - 18:50)
NOLA Ophthalmic Research
(Moderators: Nicolas G. Bazan and Partha Bhattacharjee)

LRP-1 targeted retinal neuroprotection in diabetic db/db mice (Partha Bhattacharjee, D.V.M., PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Xavier University of Louisiana)

Antisense and Gene Therapy Rescues Hearing, Balance and Vision in Usher syndrome (Katelyn Robillard, Neuroscience Center of Excellence, School of Medicine, Louisiana State University)

Molecular organization of lipids in the human macula and retinal periphery William Gordon, PhD, EENT Professor of Neuroscience and Ophthalmology, Neuroscience Center of Excellence, School of Medicine, Louisiana State University

Mechanisms by which ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) protects rods and cones (Minghao Jin, PhD, Associate Professor, Neuroscience Center of Excellence, School of Medicine, Louisiana State University)

Neuroprotection by novel lipid mediators: significance in retinal degenerations(Nicolas G. Bazan, MD, PhD, Professor, Director, Neuroscience Center of Excellence, School of Medicine, Louisiana State University


SESSION 2 (8:30 - 10:00)
Therapeutic Modalities in Ophthalmology
(Moderators: Ashwath Jayagopal and Dan Stamer)

AAV-mediated gene therapy for long-term effective intraocular pressure (IOP) control in a canine open-angle glaucoma (OAG) model (Andras Komaromy, DrMedVet, PhD, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University)

Bimatoprost Sustained-Release Implants for Glaucoma Therapy (Mike Robinson, MD, VP & Therapeutic Area Head, Allergan)

Activation of PPARα, a Potential therapeutic strategy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Jian-xing Ma, MD, PhD, Laureate Professor and Chairman, Department of Physiology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104, United States)

Development of Luxturna™ (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl): Gene Therapy for RPE65 Biallelic Mutation Associated Inherited Retinal Disease (Dan Chung, DO, MA, Clinical Ophthalmic Lead, Spark Pharmaceuticals)

Small molecule ligand targeting of locked nucleic acids to enable corneal delivery (Kameron V. Kilchrist (TRAVEL AWARDEE), Vanderbilt University)

SESSION 3 (10:20 - 11:50)
Inflammation in Retinal Degenerative Diseases: Immune Therapy
(Moderators: Heping Xu and Florian Sennlaub)

HTRA1 inactivates thrombospondin-1 mediated subretinal immune-suppression Florian Sennlaub), MD, PhD, Team Leader, Institute of Vision, France)

An immune target for neuroprotection in glaucoma (Dongfeng Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear)

Role and regulation of the innate inflammatory system in diabetic retinopathy (Patrice E. Fort, PhD, Assistant Professor, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, Kellogg Eye Centre)

Monocyte-Derived Macrophages in Diabetic Retinopathy (Xavier Guillonneau, PhD, Group leader, Institut de la Vision)

Immune suppression as an alternative approach to control retinal angiogenesis (Heping Xu, MD, PhD, School of Medicine, Denitstry and Biomedical Sciences, Queens’s University Belfast, UK)

LUNCH SYMPOSIUM: TBD (11:50 - 13:00)

Maximizing collaboration between academia and industry
(Panelists academia: Tom Yorio, Carol Toris, Iok-Hou Pang
Panelists industry: Achim Krauss, Ashwath Jayagopal)

SESSION 4 (13:00 - 14:30)
Gene Therapy Approaches in Treating Eye Diseases
(Moderators: Alfred Lewin, Stephen Tsang and Jijing Pang)

Precision Genome Surgery for Imprecision Medicine(Stephen Tsang , MD, PhD, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University)

Knocking down blindness: a gene therapy for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (William A. Beltran, DVM, PhD, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)

Targeting the PERK arm of the Unfolded Protein Response in Retinal Degeneration (Marina Gorbatyuk, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Optometry, Department of Optometry and Vision Science, The University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Gene therapy for Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (Jiajia Yuan, MD, Tongji Hospital, Huazhong University of Science and Technology)

SESSION 5 (14:50 - 16:20)
(Moderators: Malinda Fitzgerald and Monica Jablonski)

AAV delivery of modified erythropoietin (EPO) therapy delays retinal degeneration in a mouse model of geographic atrophy (Manas Biswal, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of South Florida)

Degradable fibrin scaffolds for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) Transplantation Using a Pig Model (Jarel Gandhi, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Mayo Clinic)

Pregabalin Microemulsion Once Daily Eye Drops for Management of Glaucoma (Mohamed M Ibrahim, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Tennessee Health Science Center)

Vasoregulators mediate distal vessel lumen diameters and outflow facility in human anterior segments (Fiona McDonnell, PhD, Postdocotoral Fellow, Duke University)

A CRISPR-based inducible system for VEGF repression for AMD (Bo Yu, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Tulane University)

TRPV4 -dependent calcium influx regulates strain-induced neurodegenerative pathways in retinal ganglion cells (Monika Lakk, PhD, University of Utah)

for AOPT members

POSTER SESSION (17:30 - 19:00)
(Moderators: Maria Reinoso and Juana Gallar)


SESSION 6 (8:30 - 10:00)
New Approaches for Treating Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
(Moderators: Cathy Bowes Rickman and James Handa)

The Role of Mitochondrial Dysfunction in the Pathogenesis of Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration: From Concept to Clinic for the Mitochondria-directed Drug, Elamipretide (Scott Cousins, MD, Professor, Ophthalmology, Duke Eye Center, Duke University, Durham NC USA)

TFEB (transcription factor, EB) as a potential therapeutic target for AMD (Debasish Sinha, PhD, Professor, Ophthalmology, Cell Biology and Developmental Biology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine)

The Conundrum of Targeting the Complement Pathway to Treat AMD – Lessons from Animal Models (Catherine Bowes Rickman, PhD, Professor, Ophthalmology and Cell Biology, Duke Eye Center, Duke University, Durham NC USA)

A roadmap to find treatment for dry AMD (James Handa, MD, Professor, Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, John's Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Targeting soft drusen in age-related macular degeneration (AMD): rationale and pre-clinical studies of an apolipoprotein mimetic peptide (Christine Curcio, PhD, Professor, Ophthalmology, University of Alabama School of Medicine)

SESSION 7 (10:20 - 11:50)
Latest Development in Neuroprotection for Glaucoma
(Moderators: Raghu Krishnamoorthy and Rebecca Sappington)

Synaptic disassembly and rewiring of the adult retina in a mouse model of glaucoma (Luca Della-Santina, PhD, Assistant Professor, UCSF)

Higher Reliance on Glycolysis Limits Responsiveness in Degenerating Glaucomatous Optic Nerve (Denise Inman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Northeast Ohio Medical University)

Interleukin-6 in Retinal Health and Disease(Rebecca Sappington, PhD, Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University)

Microvascular dysfunction and role of pericytes in glaucoma (Luis Alarcon-Martinez, PhD, University of Montreal)

Alpha B crystallins in glaucoma neuroprotection (Dorota Stankowska (TRAVEL AWARDEE), PhD, Assistant Professor, University of North Texas Health Science Center)

A simple chronic ocular hypertensive murine model of glaucoma – opportunities for neuroprotection studies (Chenying Guo, PhD, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research)


How to setup and run a new lab in academic setting?
(Panel Leaders: Carol Toris, Christine Wildsoet and Vivian Lee)

SESSION 8 (13:00 - 14:30)
Drug Discovery and Development of Novel Ocular Therapeutics
(Moderators: Carol Toris and Iok-Hou Pang)

Clusterin regulates intraocular pressure by modulating extracellular matrix in trabecular meshwork outflow pathway (Padmanabhan Pattabiraman, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Case Western Reserve University)

Ligandomics for retinal angiogenesis drug discovery (Wei Li, PhD, Associate Professor, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Health System)

Metabolomics for ocular drug discovery (Sanjoy Bhattacharya, PhD, Professor, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Health System)

Epigenetic Modulators as Novel Therapeutics: Translational Perspectives on 20 Years of Preclinical Success (Jeffery Gidday, PhD, Professor, Ophthalmology, Neuroscience and Physiology, Louisiana State University)

21st Century Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics: Viral Vectors as Drugs (Carl Romano PhD, Executive Director, Regeneron Pharmaceutics)

Lessons learned from drugs that fail (Stephen Poor, MRCOphth, Director, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR))

SESSION 9 (14:50 - 16:20)
Advances in Ophthalmic Drug Delivery
(Moderators: Chris Wildsoet and David Waterbury)

Specific drug targeting to enhance treatment efficacy (Ilva Rupenthal, PhD, Associate Professor & Director, Buchanan Ocular Therapeutics Unit, Department of Ophthalmology, New Zealand National Eye Centre, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)

Can Drug Delivery Enhance the Efficacy of Ocular Therapeutics (Heather Sheardown, PhD, Professor, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Ophthalmic Biomaterials, Associate Director, Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing, Department of Chemical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton ON, L8S 4L7, Canada)

Suprachoroidal drug delivery to the eye (Uday B. Kompella, MPharm, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora)

Novel topical formulation for glaucoma (Monica Jablonski, PhD, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Hamilton Eye Institute)

A new nanomedicine method for treating corneal graft rejection (Qingguo Xu (TRAVEL AWARDEE), PhD Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University)

KEYNOTE ADDRESS (17:00 - 18:20)
(Moderator: Thomas Yorio)


SESSION 10 (8:30 - 10:00)
Novel Therapies for Corneal Diseases
(Moderators: Claudio Bucolo and Filippo Drago)

Novel lipid mediators and neurotrophins targeting cornea nerve integrity (Haydee Bazan, PhD, Professor, Neuroscience Center of Excellence, School of Medicine, Louisiana University)

Cell therapy and gene therapy in eye diseases (Graziella Pellegrini, PhD, Center for Regenerative Medicine ''Stefano Ferrari'', University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy)

Old and new cation channel blockers to treat ocular discomfort and pain (Juana Gallar, MD, PhD, Professor, Instituto de Neurociencias, Universidad Miguel Hernandez-CSIC, San Juan de Alicante, Spain)

Neuropathic corneal pain: approaches for management (Pedram Hamrah, MD, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Department of Bioengineering, Tufts University)

Xanthohumol protects corneal epithelial cells against oxidative stress in vitro (Simon Kaja, PhD, Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Department of Ophthalmology, Loyola University Chicago)

The miR-29b Mimic Remlarsen as an Anti-Fibrotic Therapeutic in the Eye ( Corrie, Gallant-Behm, PhD, research scientist, miRagen Therapeutics Inc)

SESSION 11 (10:20 - 11:50)
Hot Topics from Abstract Submission
(Moderators: Ze Zhang and Rajashekhar Gangaraju)

Exploration of the secretome of adipose stem cells for the design of retinal therapeutics (Rajashekhar Gangaraju, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Hamilton Eye Institute)

Novel topically delivered small molecule with IOP lowering and neuroprotective activity (Suchismita Acharya, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, University of North Texs Health Science Center)

Failure of Oxysterols Such as Lanosterol to Restore Lens Clarity from Cataracts (Peter Kador, PhD, Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center)

More than just a reactive oxygen species scavenger: grapes prevent UV-B radiation-induced cataract by upregulating anti-apoptotic protein XIAP (HongLi Catherine Wu, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of North Texas Health Science Center)

The Endothelin Receptor Antagonist Macitentan Attenuates Neurodegeneration in a Rodent Model of Glaucoma and Ameliorates Endothelin-Mediated Vasoconstriction (Raghu Krishnamoorthy, PhD, Associate Professor, Pharmacology & Neuroscience, University of North Texas Health Science Center)

Protection of kaempferol on oxidative stress-induced retinal pigment epithelial cell damage (Donglei Zhang, Vice General Manager, Director of New Drug development, The School of Pharmacy, He University)

SESSION 12 (13:00 - 14:30)
Disruptive Technologies: Ophthalmic Tools and Methods that Have Changed the Ways We See the Eye
(Moderators: Cheryl Rowe-Rendleman and Randolph Glickman)

Audacious Goals Initiative: Status and Impact (Steven Becker, PhD, Program Coordinator, National Eye Institute, NIH)

Photoacoustic Imaging and Sensing: a New Way to See the Eye (Randolph Glickman, PhD, Senderoff Professor of Vision Research/McCoy Professor of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio)

A Platform to Take on the Entire Progressive Retinal Degeneration Disease Continuum (Francois Binette, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Product Development, Biotime)

Early stage detection of Glaucoma by monitoring nanostructure and function of RGC layer using Multifractal OCT ( Subrata Batabyal, PhD, Senior Technical Officer, Nanoscope Technologies LLC )

Preclinical Evaluation of ADVM-022, a Novel Gene Therapy Approach to Treating Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Claire M. Gelfman, PhD, Executive Director Pharmaceutical Development, Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc)

Panel Discussion (moderated by Cheryl Rowe-Rendleman, PhD, Consultant at Omar Consulting Group)

SESSION 13 (14:50 - 16:20)
What Every Ophthalmologist Needs to Know About the FDA
(Moderators: (Bing Cai and Jayne Weiss)

Advancing Technology Challenges in Ophthalmic Drug Approvals (Wiley A Chambers, MD, FDA/CDER/OND)

Generic Drugs and Their Role in Bringing Next Generation Products: An FDA Perspective (Markham Luke, MD, FDA/CDER/OGD)

Generic Ophthalmic Drug Products, Physical Characteristics and Bioequivalence (Darby Kozak, Ph.D., FDA/CDER/OGD)

How FDA Ensures Quality of Ophthalmic Drug Products (Patricia Onyimba, MS., FDA/CDER/OPQ)

CLOSING REMARKS (16:20 - 16:40)


Program and abstract book with schedules for platform and poster presentations will be made available before the conference
(Moderators: Maria Reinoso and Juana Gallar))

Poster size: 56” W x 36” H (landscape)


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