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Newsletter - 2006, Volume 9, Number 1

Table of Contents

XXXII AOI Meeting—Sao Paolo, Brazil—February, 2006

The XXXII Meeting of the Academic Ophthalmologica Internationalis met in Sao Paolo, Brazil in conjunction with the World Congress of Ophthalmology meeting. In the evening prior to the formal AOI meeting, Members and their guests were among those treated to a delightful evening atop a unique hotel with panoramic views of Sao Paolo and its surrounding landscape. The following morning, the Business Meeting took place in the Convention Center of the Transamerica Hotel. Forty-four Members were in attendance. During his report President Koichi Shimizu thanked Prof. Rubens Belfort for his extraordinary organization of the World Congress, for his thorough assistance in arranging for the AOI Business Meeting and Scientific Session and for the generous hospitality with all social events. Reports were also presented by the Secretary-General, Prof. Lichter, and the Treasurer, Prof. Verdaguer. The following newly inducted Members of the Academia received from President Shimizu their AOI certificates and medals: Professors Miguel Burnier (Chair XLV), Gerhard Lang (Chair X), and Shigeaki Ohno (Chair XVI). The Academia's continuing support of one IFOS/ICO Fellowship was approved by the membership and a second fellowship was added as well.

World Congress of Ophthalmology Opening Ceremony entertainment
The Opening Ceremony of the World Congress of Ophthalmology was held at the Credicard Hall on the evening of Monday, February 20, 2006. Following a processional in full academic dress and remarks from several Brazilian dignitaries, the audience was shown warm and welcoming videotaped messages from President Prof. Koichi Shimizu and from the President of the International Council of Ophthalmology, Prof. Gottfried O.H. Naumann. During the awards portion of the Opening Ceremony, Prof. Naumann was presented with the Academia's prestigious Bernardo Streiff Gold Medal. Spectacular entertainment was enjoyed by Opening Ceremony attendees. Congress delegates and guests then were treated to a multi-tented outdoor reception with festive music.

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Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Members gathered for
a photograph during the meeting of February 20, 2006.

Academia Elects New Members

Professor Enrique Graue Elected to the AOI (Chair XXXVI)
Professor Enrique L. Graue W. was elected to Chair XXXVI in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on March 24, 2007. Prof. Graue obtained his Doctor of Medicine from the Universidad de Puerto Rico in 1976. He then specialized in Ophthalmology at the Facultad de Medicina. From 1977-1978, Prof. Graue completed a Fellowship in corneal and retinal studies at the University of Florida. Prof. Graue is one of the most important leaders of Latin American Ophthalmology and has served in many important functions including as president of the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology and as a member of the ICO Advisory Committee. Currently he is Dean of Postgraduate Medicine and Professor Titular del Posgrado de Oftalmología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico City, Mexico.

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Professor Tatsuro Ishibashi Elected to the AOI (Chair LIX)
Professor Tatsuro Ishibashi was elected to Chair LIX in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on March 24, 2007. Prof. Ishibashi received his Doctor of Medicine from Kyushu University in 1975 and his Doctor of Medical Science from Kyushu University in 1981. For the period of 1977-1981, he was a Postgraduate in Pathology in Kyushu. From 1984-1986, he was a Research Fellow at the Doheny Eye Institute/Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. After retuning to Japan, Prof. Ishibashi rose from Assistant to Associate Professor and in 2001 became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, at Kyushu University. He is also the Chief Director of the Research Committee on Chorioretinal Degeneration and Optic Atrophy for the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan. Prof. Ishibashi is a leading member of Japanese ophthalmology through his roles as Executive Director of the Japanese Ophthalmological Society, Director of the Vitreoretinal Society of Japan, and Director of The Japanese Society of Ophthalmic Diabetology. In international ophthalmology, Prof. Ishibashi is a member of The Club Jules Gonin, The International Committee of The Michaelson Club, and The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

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Professor Marie-José Tassignon Elected to the AOI (Chair L)
Professor Marie-José Tassignon was elected to Chair L in the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis on March 24, 2007. Prof. Tassignon completed her training in ophthalmology at the University Hospital Brussels in 1981. In 1990, she obtained her Ph.D. from the Rijksuniversiteit Leiden. Since 1999, Prof. Tassignon has been recognized as a physician-specialist in ophthalmology and in rehabilitation of the visually disabled. Prof. Tassignon is also an active member in over eighteen international societies, member of eight national societies, board member of six national societies (president or past-president of four national societies), and board member of four international societies including: President of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Vice-President of the European Laser Association, Treasurer of the International Uveitis Study Group, and President-elect of the European Board of Ophthalmology. Prof. Tassignon is currently a full Professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

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AOI Officers Elected

The Membership elected the following as Officers of the AOI for the term 2006-2010: President, Prof. Peter Watson; First Vice-President, Prof. Juan Verdaguer T.; Second Vice-President, Prof. Pran Nagpal; Secretary-General, Prof. Paul R. Lichter; Treasurer, Prof. Balder Gloor.

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Oral Obituary for Professor Saiichi Mishima

Professor Akira Nakajima delivered a superbly illustrated obituary to remember Professor Saiichi Mishima who was renowned the world over for his many contributions to ophthalmology and to academic medicine. Prof. Mishima will be remembered with the greatest admiration and respect by his fellow Academicians and by colleagues throughout the world.

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AOI Oration by Professor Fernando Henrique Cordoso, Former President of Brazil

The AOI was honored in having the Academia Oration delivered by the former President of Brazil, Professor Fernando Henrique Cordoso. A standing-room crowd of well over 1,000 persons was treated to Professor Cordoso's scholarly and highly informative Oration on the Transformation of Brazil. He explained that when Brazil declared its independence from Portugal in 1832, slavery existed in the country. When it disappeared, it was replaced by an illiterate population. Yet, today, over 95 per cent of the population is literate. Professor Cordoso noted that in 1931 when he was born, only 15 per cent of the population lived in cities, whereas today this number is close to 80 per cent. The Brazilian population has expanded from 50 million people in 1950 to 185 million today. Educational opportunities have increased, as well. For example, very few doctorate degrees were granted when Professor Cordoso received his Ph.D. in 1961 from the University of Sao Paolo. It was highly unusual. That is not the case now. Professor Cordoso provided a comprehensive description of progress in both the Brazilian social structure and its economy. Among the points he discussed was the fact that Brazil is now third in the world in agricultural exports and is essentially self-sufficient in satisfying its need for fuel oil. While he is generally upbeat with regard to Brazil's future, Professor Cordoso pointed out the problems that exist and that need to be addressed including the rule of law, reform of the social security system and the disparity of income between classes that he said was among the worst in the world.

Because Brazil is among the top five countries in the world in terms of number of ophthalmologists, Professor Cordoso's perspective was of exceptional interest to the audience. In addition to giving the audience an overview of the country and its progress and challenges, he provided a solid background for understanding the remarkable achievements of our Brazilian colleagues. They are known around the world for delivering high quality eye care, for being among the world's leaders in prevention of blindness programs, for producing well-trained ophthalmologists, and for conducting the highest level of research. In honor of his Oration and his many accomplishments, Professor Shimizu presented Professor Cordoso with the Academia's traditional silver tray.

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AOI Special Scientific Session Features Inaugural Lectures and Member Talks

Inaugural Lectures were delivered by the three newly inducted Members. Professor Miguel Burnier's talk was entitled "Uveal Melanoma: Ocular and Systemic Disease."  The second Inaugural Lecture was presented by Professor Gerhard Lang, entitled "Neuro-ophthalmology from the perspective of an Anterior Segment Surgeon." Click here to view the presentation. Professor Shigeaki Ohno delivered the third Inaugural Lecture entitled "Recent Advances in Ocular Immunology and Inflammation." Two Members delivered talks in the Special Scientific Session: Professor Jean-Jacques DeLaey presented "The AOI in the Past 20 Years." Click here to view the presentation. Professor Zbigniew Zagorski spoke on "Synthesis and Possible Significance of Kynurenic Acid in the Eye." Members then adjourned for a delightful buffet lunch in the Anturius Restaurant.

Professor Miguel Burnier receiving certificate and medal. From Left: AOI President Prof. Koichi Shimizu, Prof. Miguel Burnier and AOI Secretary-General Prof. Paul Lichter
Professor Gerhard Klaus Lang receiving certificate and medal. From Left: AOI President Prof. Koichi Shimizu, Prof. Gerhard Klaus Lang and AOI Secretary-General Prof. Paul Lichter
Professor Shigeaki Ohno receiving certificate and medal. From Left: AOI President Prof. Koichi Shimizu, Prof. Shigeaki Ohno and AOI Secretary-General Prof. Paul Lichter

The World Congress Executive Committee Dinner was held on Tuesday evening, February 21, at La Luna Restaurant and AOI Members and their guests were among the attendees. On the next evening, a Carnival Ball was the social event of the evening, held at the Via Funchal, and the Congress social events closed on the final evening with the Speakers Dinner at Espaco Noah.

Prof. Michael Blumenthal, Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr., Prof. Frank A. Billson Prof. Stephen J. Ryan, Prof. August F. Deutman,
and Prof. Ian J. Constable

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AOI Symposium in Sao Paolo

In view of the special significance of the World Congress, the AOI was invited to present two symposia during the meeting. The first, chaired by Profs. Gabriel Coscas, Hilel Lewis, and Juan Verdaquer T., was entitled "New Developments in Medical and Surgical Retina."  The program was as follows:

Refractive Errors in Adult ROP Prof. William Tasman
Characterization of Different Diabetic Retinopathy Phenotypes Prof. José Cunha-Vaz
New Developments in Treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema Prof. Hilel Lewis
Subfoveal CNV and Macular Retinoschisis in Pathologic Myopia Prof. Juan Verdaguer T.
Imaging Diagnosis of AMD Prof. Rosario Brancato
Vascularized Pigment Epithelium Detachments Prof. Gabriel J. Coscas
Lucentis Therapy for AMD Prof. Francesco Bandello
Age-Related Macular Degeneration:
The Possible Role of Anti-Inflammatory Treatment
Prof. Jean-Jacques C. De Laey
Macular Surgery: From Here Towards Artificial Vision Prof. Yasuo Tano
Gene Specific Therapies for Retinal Disease Prof. Ian J. Constable

The second symposium was chaired by Professors Enrique Malbran, Gottfried Naumann, and Ronald Smith, and was entitled “New Developments in Medical and Surgical Cornea.” AOI Members and their talks are as follows:

Large Diameter (11-14 mm) Penetrating Keratoplasties Surgical Technique and Results

Prof. Joaquin Barraquer
Recent Developments in Corneal Dystrophies

Prof. Rafael Barraquer

Cost-effectiveness of Refractive Surgery vs. Eye Glasses and Contact Lenses. Vision for the Future

Prof. Francisco Contreras

New Aspects in Lamellar Grafts

Prof. Enrique S. Malbran

The Role of Corneal Astigmatism in Modern Cataract Surgery

Prof. Gerhard Lang

Eye Banking Systems for Developing Countries. A Model

Prof. Gullapalli Rao

OCT and Corneal Disease

Prof. Ronald E. Smith

Causes of Cornea Disease Worldwide

Prof. Rubens Belfort Jr.

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AOI Lectures in Other Meeting Venues

During the year, Academicians were invited to deliver AOI Lectures as a part of scientific programs in several countries. Each of these Lectures was highlighted in the meeting programs and began with a brief description of the Academia by way of background for attendees.

30th June 2006
Polish Ophthalmological Society
Lublin, Poland
President Peter Watson

17th July 2006
Zurich Ophthalmological Society
Zurich, Switzerland
President Peter Watson

31st August 2006
AOI Lecture
Third Chinese World Congress of Ophthalmology
Professor Paul R. Lichter

21st November 2006
Iranian Ophthalmological Society
Teheran, Iran
President Peter Watson

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Announcement of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Academia will take place in Capetown South Africa on Saturday, March 24, 2007 in conjunction with the meeting of the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa.

Prof. Stephen J. Ryan, Prof. Miguel Burnier, Prof. Rubens Belfort, Jr., and Prof. Ronald E. Smith Prof. Alfred Sommer, Prof. Gottfried O. H. Naumann, and Prof. Balder P. Gloor

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