Duke Elder Professor of Ophthalmology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology. London, UK
Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Bristol, UK
Co-Director of National Health Institute for Research Biomedical Research Centre, Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL-Institute of Ophthalmology, London.
Professor Andrew Dick qualified in medicine also with a degree in Biochemistry (BSc (Hons)) from the University of London, and during his medical education he spent time as an MRC sponsored research associate in Biochemistry with Professor Coleman in Yale. Following training in internal medicine and MRCP he entered ophthalmology residency and obtained his postgraduate research degree inImmunology in 1993 at the University of Aberdeen with Professor John Forrester. He underwent an MRC Post Doctoral Travelling Fellowship to work with Jon Sedgwick at the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology in Sydney Australia. His clinical expertise is in inflammatory eye disease, medical and surgical retina.
His research spans the basic and translational science conduit to early phase trials in inflammation as related to autoinflammatory, autoimmune and degenerative retinal disease, as well as randomized control trials for immunomodulatory therapy in uveitis. Professor Dick was made a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) in 2007 for his significant contribution to research and scholarship in medicine and was awarded the Alcon Research Institute Research annual award in 2011.
Prior to becoming Director of UCL-Institute of Ophthalmology, he was Director of Research for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at University of Bristol. He has previously been Editor of British Journal of Ophthalmology, President of European Vision and Eye Research (EVER), Master of Oxford Ophthalmological Congress and vice-president of ARVO.
Prof. Francesca Fanelli works at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE), the Department of Life Sciences in Modena, Italy. She owns a Master degree in Medicinal Chemistry, University of Bari, Italy (1989) and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry in the area of Computational Medicinal and Biophysical Chemistry from the University of Bari (1994). From 1994 to 2001 she was a postdoctoral fellow at UNIMORE with frequent visits at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) in the context of scientific collaboration. In the years 2000 to 2005 Prof. Fanelli worked as an external consultant of Serono Pharmaceutical Research Institute (Geneva, Switzerland). From 2002 to 2006 she was an Assistant Scientist of the Dulbecco Telethon Institute (DTI), hosted by the Department of Chemistry, UNIMORE. DTI is a program of personal awards conceived to avoid “Brain Drain” or allow “Brain Gain”. In the years 2007-2011, she was an Associate Scientist of DTI, hosted by the Department of Chemistry, UNIMORE. Later from 2007 to 2019 she was an Associate Professor of Biochemistry, the Department of Life Sciences, UNIMORE, and from 2019 to present she is a Professor of Biochemistry, the Department of Life Sciences, UNIMORE. Since 2002 she is the Leader of the Computational Structural Biology group (https://www.csbl.unimore.it/) at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
Her main research topics include:
Computational modeling and simulations of RasGTPases and their GEFs, with focus on GPCRs and heterotrimeric G proteins;
structural determinants of rod opsin mutations linked to autosomal dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa;
development and applications of software for the structural analysis of molecular simulations;
development and application of tools and protocols for predicting supra-macromolecular assemblies;
Pablo Artal studied Physics at the University of Zaragoza. He was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Madrid-CSIC “Instituto de Optica” under the supervision of Javier Santamaria, a post-doctoral research fellow, first at Cambridge University (UK) and later at the Institut d’Optique in Orsay, France. He obtained a researcher position at the Instituto de Optica. In 1994, he became the first full Professor of Optics at the University of Murcia, Spain founding the “Laboratorio de Optica”. He spent sabbatical years in Rochester (USA) and Sydney (Australia) and currently is a distinguished visiting professor at the Central South University in Changsha, China. His research interests are centered on the optics of eye and the retina and the development of optical and electronic imaging techniques to be applied in Vision, Ophthalmology and Biomedicine.
He has published more than 300 reviewed papers that received more than 22200 citations (h-index of 78). He was elected fellow member of the Optical Society of America (OSA) in 1999, fellow of the Association for research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in 2009 and 2013 (gold class), fellow of the European Optical Society (EOS) in 2014 and fellow of the SPIE in 2016. In 2013, he received the “Edwin H. Land Medal” for scientific contributions to the advancement of diagnostic and correction alternatives in visual optics. In 2014, he was awarded with an Advanced Research grant of the European Research Council. In 2015, he received the “King Jaime I” award. In 2018, he was awarded the Spanish National Research award “Juan de la Cierva” and in 2019 the “Edgar D. Tillyer” award of the OSA for “the pioneering use of optics and photonics technologies to unravel the human visual system and to improve eye diagnostics and correction”. In 2021, he was awarded the medal of the Spanish Royal Physics Society. He is a co-inventor of 30 international patents in the fields of Optics and Ophthalmology and the co-founder of four spin-off.
Arie Gruzman was born in Gorky, USSR in 1970. He graduated from First Nurse College, Gorky, USSR at 1988 (Practical Nursing, Summa cum Laude). After then, he started studying in Medical Institute, Gorky, USSR (MD). The study was interrupted in third year due to repatriation to Israel. He obtained his B.Sc. in Medicinal Chemistry from Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, at 1996. He obtained direct Ph.D. (Summa cum Laude) in pharmacology under supervision of Prof. S. Sasson, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel at 2003. After then he moved to USA, where he was trained as a post doctorate fellow at University of California, San Francisco & Research Institute of Pacific Medical Center at San Francisco, under supervision of Prof. V. Lingappa. Since 2009, he is a faculty member at Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. From 2011 until 2015 he was served as a Vice-President of Israel Association of Medicinal Chemistry. He was elected as Israeli Representative of the Chemistry and Human Health, Division of International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) for the term 2022–2023. He is also one of the founders of the startup drug development company “AltA-ZuZ”. His research group aims to develop new drug candidates against several devastating human diseases, such as ALS, autoimmune diseases, diabetes type 2 and retinopathies.
Prof. Alison Hardcastle, Deputy Director of UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, is a molecular geneticist specialising in inherited eye diseases. Her research harnesses next generation sequencing to identify novel genomic causes of disease, including previously intractable variants such as structural variants, non-coding mutations deep within introns or regulatory regions. The Hardcastle lab experimentally tests mechanisms of disease in patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells differentiated to RPE, 3D retinal organoids and corneal epithelial cells These models enable the study of pathogenic variants in genomic and cellular context, and development of potential therapies such as AAV gene augmentation, gene editing and antisense oligonucleotides.
Pearse Keane is a 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.
Since 2004 Karl-Wilhelm Koch is a W3 Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, since 2013 at the Department of Neuroscience, and between 2004 and 2012 at the Institute for Biology and Environmental Sciences. In the years 1993 to 2004 he was PD Dr. at the Institute of Biological Information Processing in the Research Center Jülich, Germany, and was a Lecturer at the University of Cologne, Germany. From 1988 to 2004 he was a Senior scientist and head of the laboratory of Biochemistry at the Institute of Biological Information Processing in the Research Center Jülich, Germany. Between 1987 and 1988 Prof. Koch was a Postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Cell Biology, Stanford University, California, USA (Laboratory of Prof. Dr. Lubert Stryer). In 1986 he graduated as a Dr. rer. nat. in Biochemistry (summa cum laude), University of Osnabrück, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. U. Benjamin Kaupp (University of Osnabrück, Germany, Department of Biophysics; Chair: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Junge). In 1993 Prof. Koch finished his Habilitation (venia legendi) for Biochemistry at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Cologne, in Germany. His mentor was Prof. Dr. U. Benjamin Kaupp (Director of the Institute of Biological Information Processing, Research Center Jülich, Germany).
Since 2012 he is a W2 Professor for Experimental Ophthalmology at Charité University Medicine Berlin. Between 2007 and 2012 Prof. Olaf Wolfgang Ralph Strauß worked as W2 Professor for Experimental Ophthalmology at the University Medical Center Regensburg. In the years 2002-2007, he was a C3 Professor for Experimental Ophthalmology, at UKE University of Hamburg. During 1999-2002 Prof. Olaf Wolfgang Ralph Straußwas a Research Associate (C1) at the Institute of Clinical Physiology in FU Berlin. From 1994 to 1999 he was a Postdoc and teaching assistant at the Institute of Clinical Physiology, UKBF in FU Berlin.
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