Funds are requested to support The Fifth Biennial Symposium on Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) to be held October 12 & 13, 2018 in the Starr Center for Scientific Communications at the Schepens Eye Research Institute (SERI) ? Mass. Eye and Ear (MEE). The meeting is co-organized by Drs. Patricia A. D'Amore, Director of Research at SERI, Mass Eye and Ear (MEE); Dr. Ivana Kim, a retinal specialist at MEE; Dr. Joan Miller Chief of Ophthalmology at MEE and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School; and, Dr. Deeba Husain, Site Director, MEE Retina Consultants. This meeting will build on the strong successes of four previous biennial meetings that were held in September 2010, September 2012, October 2014, and October 2016. AMD is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in people 50 years or older in industrialized countries. More than fifteen million Americans have AMD, and as a result of the aging population, the prevalence of AMD is expected to increase by more than 50% by the year 2020. In light of these demographics, the incomplete understanding of the pathogenesis of AMD makes this a timely and important meeting. The goal of this conference is to stimulate discussion and collaborations aimed at elucidating the mechanisms that underlie the development of AMD and, thus, to identify means to treat, cure, and ultimately prevent AMD. Topics to be covered include: biomarkers and physiology, the vasculature, inflammation, epigenetics, and mitochondria. There will be a full session dedicated to presentation by travel award winners, which will provide trainees and young faculty with an opportunity to showcase their research. Funds are requested to support the registration for all trainees and 10 travel awards that will support the airfare and accommodations for 10 recipients selected from abstracts. This meeting will be distinct from other meetings on AMD in its format, which allows about 50% of scheduled time for discussion. An additional unique feature is the inclusion of speakers from other fields whose impact on AMD has not yet been realized. Speakers from outside vision research have been invited to speak on metabolomics in disease, epigenetics in cardiovascular disease, computational epigenetics as well as the effect of aging on mitochondrial function. Dr. Anthony Adamis, a leader in the field, will provide introductory comments. Dr. Francois Delori will give the Keynote Friedman lecture, and Dr. Patricia D'Amore will deliver a summary and concluding remarks.
More than fifteen million Americans have AMD, close to two million have advanced disease, this number is expected to increase by more than 50% by the year 2020. The objective of this multidisciplinary conference is to bring together vision scientists and researchers from relevant fields outside of ophthalmology to stimulate discussion and collaborations aimed at elucidating the mechanisms that underlie the development of AMD and to provide trainees, the next generation of vision scientists, an opportunity to present their work and to network with leaders in the field. These goals will not only further the quality of life for our aging population but will, in the long term, address the high costs of care for people disabled by this devastating pathology.