Funds are requested to support The Third Biennial Symposium on Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) to be held October 23 &25, 2014 in the Starr Center for Scientific Communications at the Schepens Eye Research Institute (SERI). 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;and, Dr. Joan Miller Chief of Ophthalmology at MEE and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. This meeting will build on the strong successes of the first and second biennial meetings that were held in September 2010 and September 2012, respectively. AMD is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in industrialized countries in people 50 years or older. More than eight 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. This meeting will be distinct from other meetings on AMD in its format, which allows significant time for discussion. An additional unique feature is the inclusion of speakers who will highlight the parallels between AMD and other systemic manifestations of aging such as cardiovascular disease, lipid biology, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Joan Miller, a leader in the field, will present the Keynote address, and Dr. Robert D'Amato will deliver a summary and concluding remarks. Topics to be covered include: retinal pigment epithelial cell transplantation, retinal and choroidal vasculatures, inflammation, new concepts in pathology (ER stress, microRNAs in disease, metabolism), retinal pigment epithelial biology, neuroprotection and regeneration, imaging, and animal models. Travel awards will be provided to attract graduate students and fellows, with a particular emphasis on under-represented minorities and persons with disabilities.
More than eight million Americans have AMD, and due to the aging population, the prevalence is expected to increase by more than 50% by the year 2020;in spite of this epidemic of AMD, little is known about how the disease develops. The objective of this multidisciplinary conference is to stimulate discussions 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. These goals will not only further the quality of life fr our aging population but will, in the long term, address the high costs of care for AMD and for people disabled by this devastating pathology.