2022 ICTER ISC Meeting & Annual Review

On March 9, 2022, we held the ICTER ISC 2022 Annual Meeting and Review. We met in hybrid mode, physically at Varso Place, downtown Warsaw, and online via Zoom. We summarized our scientific and research activities in 2021 for the experts of the International Scientific Committee, and presented strategic goals for our future research program. Invited guests from Poland and abroad delivered talks.

Dr Colin Chu from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London gave a lecture entitled: “Imaging Immune Responses in the Retina”. Dr Colin Chu is a Clinical Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. He has recently been awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship to start his lab at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. He did his PhD at UCL before post-doctoral training with Prof Andrew Dick in Bristol and with Dr Ron Germain at the US National Institutes of Health. As a clinician-scientist and ophthalmologist his focus is on improving the care of patients with retinal diseases and studying fundamental immunology by applying in vivo and ex vivo imaging techniques to the eye.

Dr Alice Davidson from the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London gave a talk entitled “Corneal Endothelial Dystrophies: A Paradigm for Non-Coding and Repeat Expansion-Mediated Disease Mechanisms”. Associate Professor Alice Davidson is a UKRI Future Leader Fellow Professor at the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology (UCL IoO), London, UK. Dr Davidson started her scientific research career at the University of Manchester where she undertook a PhD in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology (2006-2010), investigating the role of bestrophin-1 in ocular disease. She subsequently worked as a postdoctoral scientist at UCL IoO (2010-2015). In 2015 she was awarded a Fight for Sight Early Career Investigator Award to initiate her own independent research programme at UCL IoO and later a prestigious UKRI Future Leader Fellowship (2019) to further advance her inherited corneal disease research program.

Prof. Pearse Keane from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London gave a lecture entitled: “Artificial intelligence in ophthalmology – going from code to clinic”. Pearse Keane is Professor of Artificial Medical Intelligence at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, and a consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. He is originally from Ireland and received his medical degree from University College Dublin (UCD), graduating in 2002. In 2016, he initiated a formal collaboration between Moorfields Eye Hospital and Google DeepMind, with the aim of developing artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for the earlier detection and treatment of retinal disease. In August 2018, the first results of this collaboration were published in the journal, Nature Medicine. In May 2020, he jointly led work, again published in Nature Medicine, to develop an early warning system for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), by far the commonest cause of blindness in many countries.

Prof. Krzysztof Palczewski of the University of California, Irvine gave a visionary lecture entitled: “Precise genome editing in the eye”. Prof. Palczewski is a co-founder of ICTER. He is a biochemist and a globally renown expert in biochemistry of vision – employed in the Medical School at the University of California Irvine, USA. Author of more than 500 scientific papers published in the leading magazines, including “Science,” “Nature” and “Molecular Cell” – filled over 10 patents and patent applications. His significant achievements include crystallizing and describing the structure and function of rhodopsin, as well as discovering the mechanisms leading to retinal degeneration and, in consequence, to vision loss.

At the meeting, representatives from the following authorities also attended and delivered presentations:

Polish Academy of Sciences: Vice President Prof. Paweł Rowiński,

Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences: Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs Dr. Adam Kubas, Professor of the Institute,

Foundation for Polish Science: President of the Board Prof. Maciej Żylicz.

All pictures were made by our senior researcher & photographer dr Karol Karnowski.

The master of ceremonies of this event was Marek Ziemba.