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Lighthouse Guild, the leading not-for-profit vision and healthcare organization, will present the 2018 Alfred W. Bressler Vision Science Symposium and The Pisart Seminar at The University Club of New York on October 6, 2018, from 8:30am3pm.   

Botond Roska, MD, PhD, and Joshua D. Stein, MD, MS, will be recognized for their significant achievements in vision research during a luncheon ceremony.  Dr. Roska is the recipient of the 2018 Alfred W. Bressler Prize, and Dr. Stein is the 2018 Pisart Award honoree.

Alan R. Morse, JD, PhD, President and CEO of Lighthouse Guild, said, “Cost, health literacy, race, socioeconomic status, geography and many other factors contribute to significant disparities in access and outcomes of care.  As a nation we need to do more to address preventable vision loss.”

He added, “As we focus on how we can direct more attention to identifying and addressing eye health, we are pleased to recognize leaders in vision science whose significant research is already making a difference in the lives of people with vision loss. Their work inspires us all.”

The Bressler Vision Science Symposium is entitled “Gene Diseases and Gene Therapy of the Retina.”  The symposium will be moderated by Frank Werblin, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Neurobiology, Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Roska, this year’s Bressler Prize recipient, will lecture during the symposium on “The First Steps in Vision: Cell Types, Circuits and Repair.”  Dr. Roska is the Director of the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), Senior Group Leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, and a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

The Pisart Seminar is led by Pisart Award recipient, Dr. Stein, who will discuss “Tapping into Big Data to Enhance the Care of Patients with Ocular Diseases.”  Dr. Stein is an Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan.

Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, who received the Bressler Prize in 2012 will discuss – “From DNA Through FDA: Experiences in Translational Research for Inherited Blindness.”  Dr. Bennett is Professor of Ophthalmology, Cell and Developmental Biology, F. M. Kirby Center for Molecular Ophthalmology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

2011 Bressler Prize recipient, Constance L. Cepko, PhD, will discuss “Protecting and Feeding Cones Preserves Vision.”  Dr. Cepko is Professor of Genetics, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School.

Other lecturers and topics will include:

Bressler Vision Science Symposium

  • Deniz Dalkara, PhD,Optogenetics for Vision Restoration.” Dr. Dalkara is Group leader, Biotherapeutics Department, Institut de la Vision, Paris, France.
  • Hendrik Scholl, MD, MA,Monitoring Progression and Developing Outcome Measures for Clinical Trials in Stargardt Disease: The ProgStar Study.” Dr. Scholl is Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Basel; and Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University.

Pisart Seminar

  • Felipe Medeiros, MD, PhD, “Artificial Intelligence in Glaucoma: Where Are We Now and Where Are We Heading.” Dr. Medeiros is Professor of Ophthalmology, Vice Chair for Technology, Director, Clinical Research Unit, Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University Medical School.
  • Joan O’Brien, MD, “Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma African-American Genetics Study and Personalized Medicine.” Dr. O’Brien is Professor of Ophthalmology, Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania, Director, Scheie Eye Institute.

Bressler Prize Recipient

Dr. Botond Roska

Dr. Roska has advanced the understanding of how cell types interact in local circuits in the visual system to compute visual information, created insights into the mechanisms of cell-type specific diseases, and designed new therapies for restoring vision in genetic forms of blindness.  The overall objective is to find ways to repair visual dysfunction for patients with retinitis pigmentosa and other diseases of the retina.

“Dr. Roska is combining different disciplines to expand knowledge of the retina and different stages of visual processing,” said Dr. Morse.  “His scientific achievements are powerful, precedent-setting and establish a new standard for retinal research.”

“It is an honor to receive this prestigious award from Lighthouse Guild,” said Dr. Roska, the recipient of numerous scientific awards and honors and the author of multiple papers.  “As a scientist working with many others, I am committed to creating a link between basic science and medicine by converting our research on retinal processing into effective treatments for patients with retinal diseases.”

The Bressler Prize recognizes an established professional in the field of vision science whose leadership, research and service have resulted in important advancements in the treatment of eye disease or rehabilitation of persons with vision loss and whose further work is expected to contribute significantly.

Pisart Award Recipient

Dr. Joshua Stein

Dr. Stein’s research focuses on trends in the use of eye care services, patients’ access to eye care services, patient outcomes after ocular surgery, the cost-effectiveness of different ocular interventions, and the quality of life of patients with ocular diseases.  He uses large databases (“big data”) with the goal of improving patients’ access to care and improving the quality and value of the eye care patients receive.  He also works to reduce racial and other disparities in eye care among different population groups.

“Dr. Stein is a pioneering vision researcher, whose findings have practical implications for clinical care, patient rehabilitation, and decision-making on how to best allocate limited eye care resources and improve access to eye care services,” said Dr. Morse.

The recipient of numerous awards and grants and a prolific author in his field,

Dr. Stein said, “It is a great privilege to receive this prestigious award from Lighthouse Guild, given the organization’s unparalleled commitment to preventing vision-threatening eye diseases and improving the lives of patients with compromised sight.  I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to advance this important mission.”

The Pisart Award recognizes early-career vision clinicians or scientists whose noteworthy, innovative and scholarly contributions have the potential for substantial influence in the understanding of vision loss, treatment of eye disease or the rehabilitation of people with vision loss.

About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. For more information, visit https://www.LighthouseGuild.org.