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24th Annual Meeting of the Vision Health Research Network

The 24th annual meeting of the VHRN was held on March 18, 2019, at Université Laval, was a great success, thanks to the participation of more than 200 students, postdoctoral fellows, researchers, clinicians, specialists and other professionals involved in vision health research. This meeting allowed our recently nominated director, Dr Michel Cayouette, to introduce himself to the members of the Network present at the meeting. For the occasion, Dr. Cayouette paid tribute to our outgoing Director, Dr. Isabelle Brunette, following the completion of a 6-year term as Director of our Network.

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This year, our members and their trainees presented over 40 oral presentations and more than 60 posters, allowing us to get a full picture of the work carried out in the 4 research axes of the Network in the last year.

For the occasion, Dr. Shigeru Kinoshita, Professor at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, was our keynote speaker (biography below).

At the end of the day, the Network rewarded 15 students for best presentations, two of them were presented by the « Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Metropolitan Montreal » (CRIR) (link to laureates).

The science outreach contest « A wink on my research » was a huge success. Six students at different academic levels (MSc, PhD and MD students) managed to present their research in lay language in less than 3 minutes! Congratulations to our participants!

We would like to thank the five speakers involved in the « Information and Research Strategies for Residents » session. Their expertise was shared with residents in ophthalmology, who were able to learn more about clinical research as a part of their academic curriculum.

For a second year, a special edition of the Annals of Eye Science journal will be available in the coming months and will include authorized abstracts from oral presentations and posters presented at the meeting. Details to come.

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2016 Kinoshita 633

Shigeru Kinoshita, MD, PhD

Dr Shigeru Kinoshita, a clinician scientist, graduated from Osaka University Medical School in 1974, and has served as the Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine since 1992. Because of his stepping down from the Chair of Ophthalmology in March 2015, he was elected the Professor and Chair of Frontier Medical Science and Technology for Ophthalmology at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in April 2015. And, he has been continuously working as a distinguished clinician scientist.

In the early 1980s at Harvard Medical School, he, in collaboration with Dr Richard A. Thoft, established the concept of centripetal movement of corneal epithelium, and his groundbreaking work has shed new light on the importance of limbal epithelium. Over the past 40 years, his primary interest has been focused on the translational research of new therapeutic modalities for severe corneal diseases. Following this path, his group has recently established the system of cultivated mucosal epithelial stem cell transplantation for severe ocular surface disorders such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and cultivated corneal endothelial cell transplantation for bullous keratopathy. His group also proved the clinical efficacy of Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK)-inhibitor topical application for partial endothelial dysfunction, aiming at the develop­ment of novel therapies for corneal endothelial dysfunction.

Kinoshita is a recipient of the 1999 Alcon Research Institute Award, the 2008 Castroviejo Medal Lecturer of the Cornea Society, the 2009 ARVO Gold Fellow, the Doyne Memorial Lecturer of the 2011 Oxford Ophthalmological Congress in United Kingdom, Charles D. Kelman Inovator Award, ASCRS 2015, the Friedenwal Award Lecturer at the ARVO 2016, The Coster Lecture at the Australian and New Zealand Cornea Society 2017, and David Easty Lecture at the Bowman’s Club 2017. He served as an ARVO Program Committee Member in the Cornea Section between 1996 and 1999, the ARVO Trustee of the Cornea Section between 2006 and 2011, and the ARVO Vice President in 2010-2011. Title: Novel approaches to prevent pathological retinal neovascularization

Title: Advanced Therapies for Corneal Endothelial Dysfunction

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The Network thanks all the participants, the volunteers, the evaluators and the organizers

who contribute to the success of the event.

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