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Latest news from Dalhousie University’s Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science

Dalhousie University’s Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science gives us the latest updates and events that took place over the past few months.

The Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science (DOVS) conducts internationally recognized research and supports the training of future researchers. Here we highlight some of our recent initiatives in research.

Mathers awards provide support for ophthalmology research

The DOVS has built productive, high-impact research programs—not only through the ability of its members to attract peer-reviewed grant funding, but also through its own base of endowed funds. One such endowment, from the estate of the late Peggy St. George in honour of her stepparents, Dr. R. Evattand Rita Mathers, allowed for the establishment of Dr. R. Evatt and Rita Mathers Trainee Scholarships in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Dr. Mathers was an Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat specialist born in Halifax in 1874. He was educated at Dalhousie and in New York and practiced in Halifax from 1900 to 1947.Dr. Mathers was affiliated with the Dalhousie Medical School throughout his professional career, including lecturing in ophthalmology.

The Mathers fund supports the research chair currently held by Dr. Balwantray Chauhan,as well as scholarships in various trainee categories. These annual scholarships were established in 2015.

Our 2022 Mathers awards recipients include:

· Research Fellowship: Dr. Ryo Tomita

· PhD in Vision Science: Delaney Henderson

· Masters in Clinical Vision Science: Katie MacLellan

· Masters in Vision Science: Ryan Matthews

2022 Mathers awardees

Left to right: Ryo Tomita, Delaney Henderson, Katie MacLellan, Ryan Matthews

New research recruits strengthen department

We continue to build for the future by recruiting young faculty to enhance our research program. In 2021, Dr. Corey Smith was appointed as QEII Foundation Scholar in Retina Research. Dr. Smith’s primary research goal is to provide new insight into retinal diseases using ophthalmic imaging. Dr. Melina Agosto also joined our department recently in a joint recruitment with the Department of Physiology and Biophysics to work at the Retina and Optic Nerve Laboratory, bringing expertise in neurobiology and biochemistry, further augmenting our retina research program.

Research Recruits

Left to right: Corey Smith and Melina Agosto

Form & function in ocular disease

Our Form and Function in Ocular Disease symposium took place on October 28-29, 2022. This is a multidisciplinary clinical and basic science meeting. Our guest faculty this year included renowned experts in topics ranging from ocular imaging to gene therapy to AI in ophthalmology.

Form and Function Guest Faculty

Left to right: Val Sheffield, Ross Ethier, Christine Curcio, Reza Dana,

Jonathan Horton, Andrew Grzybowski, Christina Schwarz, Richard Spaide

Glaucoma Research Society meeting

The Glaucoma Research Society (GRS) is an international society limited to 100 members. In August of 2022, we had the honour to hold the GRS biennial meeting in Halifax, welcoming 85 delegates from around the world. One of the event highlights was when Dr. Anja Tuulonen, from Finland, delivered the Goldmann Lecture.

GMOPC Consortium

The Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is proud to be part of the Glaucoma / Myopia OCT Phenotyping Consortium as a primary site and clinical reading centre. The GMOPC was established in 2020 as an investigator-initiated clinical research study. The group consists of clinical centres in seven countries (13 sites) with the goal to improve the detection of glaucoma in myopic patients.



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