Keynote speakers

Erick D. Bothun, MD
Arthur B. Cummings, MMEd
Tamara Fountain, MD
Sunir J. Garg, MD
Suzanne Gilbert, PhD, MPH
Jean-Marie Giraud, MD
Louis Hoffart, MD
Donald C. Hood, PhD
Aki Kawasaki, MD, PhD
Laurent Kodjikian, MD
Tara McCannel, MD
Richard Mimeault, MD
Jean-Marc Perone, MD
Alan Proia, MD
Paolo Rama, MD
Douglas J. Rhee, MD
Ken Rosenthal, MD, FACS
Jonathan Solomon, MD
Donald Tan, MD
Carlos Torres, MD
Walter Wittich, PhD
Manfred Zierhut, MD


Ken Rosenthal, MD, FACS

Jonathan Solomon, MD

Jonathan Solomon, MD

Dr. Solomon specializes in laser lens-based refractive surgery and laser vision correction. He is the director of refractive surgery at Solomon Eye Associates-Physicians & Surgeons located in the DC Metro area, and medical director of the University of Maryland, Capital Region Surgery Center, and previous clinical instructor at The Wilmer Eye Institute at The Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Solomon serves as a consultant to the FDA’s Ophthalmic Device Panel.

Dr. Solomon earned his doctorate from Temple University School of Medicine, and completed his postgraduate training at the Casey Eye Institute and at Devers Eye Institute, Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Solomon has been active in ophthalmic research and has played significant investigator roles in numerous FDA clinical trials as director of the Bowie Vision Institute for Ophthalmic Innovation and Research. He serves on numerous editorial and review boards in addition to the International Relations Committee and Accreditation Board for the Eye Bank Association of America. As a member of the medical advisory board – MD/DC/VA Lupus Foundation, Dr. Solomon served as a corneal specialist and provided much needed guidance related to ocular surface manifestations associated with auto-immune diseases and inflammatory disorders.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Solomon has/had an affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:

  1. Alcon
  2. Allergan
  3. Bausch + Lomb
  4. Carl Zeiss Meditec
  5. CheckedUp
  6. Johnson & Johnson Vision
  1. Nidek
  2. Ocular Science
  3. RPS
  4. TrueVision
  5. OASIS
  6. Zeiss
  7. Ziemer


Arthur B. Cummings, MMed(Ophth), FCS(SA), FRCSEd, PCEO

Arthur B. Cummings, MMEd

Dr. Cummings is a South African born and trained ophthalmologist who relocated to Ireland in 1998. He practices as a cataract and refractive surgeon at the Wellington Eye Clinic in Dublin.

Dr. Cummings is involved in clinical studies as investigator and serves on the medical advisory boards of more than 10 ophthalmic companies. He is the immediate past-president of AECOS Europe and the global ambassador of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, a group dedicated to growing refractive surgery through collaboration.

He serves as associate chief medical editor of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today Europe and is a reviewer for numerous journals including JRS and JCRS. He has published more than 120 articles in peer-reviewed and trade journals, 12 book chapters, co-edited 2 textbooks and delivered more than 350 lectures at international meetings. In 2018, he was ranked in the top 100 most influential ophthalmologists worldwide by readers of The Ophthalmologist.



Dr. Tan is adjunct professor in ophthalmology at the Singapore National Eye Centre and Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School, senior scientific advisor at the Singapore Eye Research Institute, and a senior partner at Eye & Retina Surgeons and Eye & Cornea Surgeons.

He has published over 390 peer-reviewed articles in the field of cornea and is the recipient of over 20 international awards, which include the 2009 AAO/ISRS Casebeer Award,the 2012 EuCornea Medal, the 2013 Albrecht von Graefe Innovator’s Lecture, the 2015 ASCRS Binkhorst Lecture, and the 2018 Fuchs Symposium Charles Tillett Lecturer.

A past president of the US-based Cornea Society, Dr. Tan is also the founding and current president of the Asia Cornea Society, which he formed in 2007, and the founding and current chair of the Association of Eye Banks of Asia. He was inducted as a member of the Academia Ophthalmologia Internationalis in 2018, and currently serves as an International Trustee-at-Large for the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Tan has/had an affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:

  1. Santen Inc.
  2. Eye-Lens Pte Ltd
  3. network Medical Products, UK


Donald C. Hood, PhD

Donald C. Hood, MD

Donald Hood, the James F. Bender Professor of Psychology and Professor of Ophthalmic Science (in Ophthalmology), has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 1969. He holds MSc and PhD (1970) degrees from Brown University and honorary degrees from Smith College (2000) and Brown University (2017). He is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of an Alcon Research Institute Award (2014).

Dr. Hood currently serves as editor-in-chief of IOVS and is on the editorial boards of IOVS (since 1992), Documenta Ophthalmologica (since 2004), and the Journal of Glaucoma (since 2016); and he previously served on the boards of Translational Vision Science & Technology (2011-2017), Progress in Retinal and Eye Reseach (2016-2018), and the Journal of Vision (2004-2012). While some of his over 300 publications deal with issues of the basic neuroscience of vision, most of his work over the last 25 years has concerned research on diseases of the retina and optic nerve. He has had continuous grant support from NIH/NEI for over 45 years.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Hood has/had an affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:

  1. Topcon, Inc.
  2. Heidelberg Engineering, Inc.
  3. Novartis

Douglas J. Rhee, MD

Douglas J. Rhee, MD

Chair, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, UH Cleveland Medical Center
Visiting Professor, Ophthalmology, CWRU School of Medicine
Director, Eye Institute, University Hospitals

Dr. Rhee arrived at the University Hospitals’ Eye Institute in 2013 and serves as the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. He is a glaucoma specialist, molecular biologist, and board-certified ophthalmologist. Previously, he had served at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), Children’s Hospital Boston (CHB) and was an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. Prior to MEEI and CHB, Dr. Rhee was an attending physician at Wills Eye Hospitals and was an assistant professor at Jefferson Medical College in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Pathology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology.

Dr. Rhee was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in Detroit, Michigan. After graduating valedictorian of his high school, he entered the combined pre-medical/medical program at the University of Michigan Medical School. After graduating in the top 10% of his class (Alpha Omega Alpha), he then finished an internship at the University of Michigan affiliated Oakwood Hospital (Dearborn, MI). Dr. Rhee completed his ophthalmology residency at Wills Eye Hospital where he also served as co-chief resident. He was awarded a competitive Heed Fellow award and completed a clinical glaucoma fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and a post-doctoral laboratory fellowship at the National Eye Institute of the national Institutes of health (Bethesda, MD) investigating the molecular biology of intraocular pressure regulation.

Dr. Rhee was an attending physician on the glaucoma service of Wills Eye Hospital for four years, a clinical consultant of the National Eye Institute for 5 years, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary for 8 years prior to coming to the UH Eye Institute.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Rhee has/had an affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:

  1. Aerie
  2. Bausch & Lomb
  3. Allergan
  4. Ivantis
  5. Glaukos


Richard Mimeault, MD

Richard Mimeault, MD

Dr. Mimeault completed his medical degree at McGill University in 1982. He went on to do an internship at the Wellesley Hospital in Toronto, followed by a general surgery residency in Ottawa and then a two-year transplant fellowship at the University Hospital in London, Ontario.

In 1989, he returned to Ottawa where he started a practice of general and hepatobiliary surgery at the Ottawa Hospital. He was in practice for 27 years during which time he was closely involved with the residency training program and undergraduate education.

Dr. Mimeault was also peer assessor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and volunteered in third-world surgery and surgical education. He joined the CMPA as a physician advisor in 2017.


Suzanne S. Gilbert, PhD, MPH

Suzanne Gilbert, PhD, MPH

Dr. Gilbert is a respected innovator with 40 years experience designing and scaling comprehensive, equitable eye care services in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. She is a cofounder of Seva Foundation where she is senior director of Innovation & Sight Programs in Berkeley, California.

A social epidemiologist by training, Dr. Gilbert has participated in design and implementation of landmark community-based studies of the prevalence of blindness and associated factors, has scaled training of ophthalmic personnel worldwide, and has built consortia to fast-track innovations in service delivery. She often collaborates with Seva Canada and the British Columbia Centre for Epidemiology and Ophthalmology, both based in Vancouver.

Dr. Gilbert is a Trustee of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, chair of the IAPB North America Region, co-chair of the IAPB Human Resource in Eye Health Work Group, president of the International Society of Geographic & Epidemiologic Ophthalmology, and member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Global Outreach and Education Committee.

Dr. Gilbert recently completed book chapters on epidemiology and on human resources as well as co-editing an issue of the Community Eye Health Journal (London) focusing on human resources in eye health.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Gilbert has/had an affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:

  1. Seva Foundation
  2. International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness


Aki Kawasaki, MD, PhD

Aki Kawasaki, MD, PhD

Associate professor, Faculty of Biology and Medicine University of Lausanne
Médecin Associé, Hôpital Ophtalmique Jules Gonin, Lausanne, Switzerland
Director, Laboratory of pupillometry, Hôpital Ophtalmique Jules Gonin

Professor Kawasaki is a board-certified neurologist and has received specialty training in neuro-ophthalmology at Indiana University, Midwest Eye Institute, and University of Iowa. She has been at the Hôpital Ophtalmique Jules Gonin, University of Lausanne in Switzerland since 2004. Her research interest is focused on the pupil as a biomarker of retinal light sensitivity in health and disease.

She has served as president of the European Association for Vision and Eye Research and associate editor for Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports. She is currently active as board member of the International Council of Ophthalmology, a board member of the European Professsors of Ophthalmology, editor of Frontiers in Neuro-Ophthalmology, and associate editor of Acta Ophthalmologica and Scientific Reports.

Professor Kawasaki shares her time equally between professional and family work schedules. She has promoted dialogue and awareness of issues relevant to young ophthalmologists and visual scientists, including career advancement, leadership, and raising a family.

Financial disclosure: Professor Kawasaki does not have any affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization.

Carlos Torres, MD, FRCPC

Carlos Torres, MD

Associate Professor of Radiology
Department of Radiology, University of Ottawa
Department of Medical Imaging, The Ottawa Hospital
Clinical Investigator, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute OHRI

Dr. Torres is an associate professor of radiology at the University of Ottawa and a staff neuroradiologist at the Ottawa Hospital since 2008. He completed a 2-year neuroradiology Fellowship at McGill University before joining the Department of Medical Imaging at the Ottawa Hospital.

Dr. Torres is the former director of the Neuroradiology Fellowship Program at the U of Ottawa. He has been the director and co-director of multiple CME courses in Europe, North America, and Latin America. Dr. Torres has given 270 national and international invited lectures and is regularly invited to speak at all major North American radiology and neuroradiology meetings. He has been visiting professor in multiple academic centres in the United States and Canada as well as in Asia, Central and South-America, including Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Chile, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, and Mongolia.

Dr. Torres is actively involved in medical education and research. He has multiple peer-reviewed publications and has written 15 book chapters. He has received numerous departmental, national, and international awards for his teaching and research. In 2017, Dr. Torres received the National Order of Merit Award in the Rank of Officer from the Republic of Colombia (equivalent to The Order of Canada) for his scientific contributions in the field of diagnostic neuroradiology in Canada and he was appointed as distinguished professor of radiology at Zhengzhou University in China.

Most recently, he received the 2018 Anne G. Osborn ASNR Outreach Professor Award to represent the American Society of Neuroradiology in Myanmar and was selected as Outreach International VP to represent the ARRS in Spain in 2019.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Torres does not have any affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:


Paolo Rama, MD

Paolo Rama, MD

Dr. Rama is director of the Cornea and Ocular Surface Unit at San Raffaele Hospital (Milano), director of the Eye Repair Lab – San Raffaele Scientific Institute, and professor at the University of Milano. His main fields of competence are corneal and ocular surface diseases. He was the first person to apply NGF eye-drops to treat patients affected by neurotrophic corneal ulcers (New England Journal of Medicine 1998). The treatment has been recently approved by EMA in Europe and by FDA in US under the name of Oxervate®. He was also one of the first surgeons to transplant cultivated limbal epithelial stem cells: preliminary results published in the Transplantation Journal (2001) and long term results published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2010). The treatment has been recently approved by EMA in Europe under the name of Holoclar®.


Tamara Fountain, MD

Tamara Fountain, MD

Dr. Fountain is professor of ophthalmology at Rush University Medical Center and maintains a private practice in oculofacial plastics in Chicago’s northern suburbs.

She graduated with a BA from Stanford University and an MD from Harvard. After completing a residency in ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins’ Wilmer Eye Institute, she pursued fellowship training in oculoplastic surgery at Doheny Eye Institute/University of Southern California.

Dr. Fountain was President of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2019 and is past membership secretary and at-large member the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. Fountain served for 15 years as a committee member and director for the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company and was chair of the Board of Directors in 2014 and 2015. She is a past-president of the Illinois Association of Ophthalmology. Dr. Fountain was elected chair of the Alumni Fund for Harvard Medical School and enjoys travel, golf and tennis when she’s not doing the above.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Fountain does not have any affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization.


Alan Proia, MD, PhD

Alan D. Proia, MD, PhD

Dr. Proia is professor of pathology and ophthalmology at Duke University Medical Center and professor and clinical chair of pathology at Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Proia received his bachelor’s degree in biology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1973. He was a fellow in The Rockefeller University – Cornell University Medical College MD-PhD program in the Biomedical Sciences and received his PhD in lipid metabolism in 1979 and his MD in 1980. He subspecialized in ophthalmic pathology during his residency in pathology at Duke University from 1980-1984.

Dr. Proia has been on the faculty at Duke University since 1984 and the faculty of Campbell University since January 2019. Dr. Proia has been a member of the Eastern Ophthalmic Pathology Society since 1987 and the Verhoeff-Zimmerman Society since 1992.

Dr. Proia’s research interests focus on the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and open-angle glaucoma.


Erick D. Bothun, MD

Erick D. Bothun, MD

Dr. Bothun is a pediatric ophthalmologist with expertise in pediatric cataract or lens abnormalities and strabismus. He is board certified through the American Board of Ophthalmology. His expertise and research includes the surgical care of anterior segment anomalies, complex strabismus, and metabolic disease.

Dr. Bothun is recognized as a principle investigator for multiple national multicenter studies including the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study and the Pediatric Artisan Aphakic Lens study. He has studied the use of intraocular lenses in young children and newer lens designs for patients with lens subluxation.

Dr. Bothun has received regional and national recognition for his work including the US News and World Report Top Doctors, Best Doctors in America, Honor Award American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Helen Keller Sight Award from the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, and the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

His current and past leadership roles include Mayo Clinic Department of Ophthalmology quality chair, president of the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology, medical director of the Minnesota Lions Children’s Eye Clinic, and co-director for the Center for Thyroid Eye Disease, University of Minnesota. Dr. Bothun shares his expertise through international service and education endeavors and is the chair of the International Committee for the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.


Sunir J. Garg, MD

Sunir J. Garg, MD

Dr. Garg is professor of ophthalmology at the Retina Service of Wills Eye Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University, and is a partner with Mid Atlantic Retina. He is co-director of the Retina Research Unit at Wills Eye Hospital.

Dr. Garg has published over 100 papers and book chapters and is editor of ophthalmology for the Merck Manual, Retina Committee chair for the American Academy of Ophthalmology ONE Network, and editor-in-chief for Retina Times, an official publication of the American Society of Retina Specialists.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Garg has/had an affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:

  1. Bausch & Lomb
  2. Deciphera
  3. Santen
  4. Aerpio
  5. Allergan
  6. Eyegate

Tara McCannel, MD, PhD

Tara McCannel, MD

Director, Ophthalmic Oncology Center at the Stein Eye Institute of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Dr. McCannel is a leader in the field of ophthalmology and diseases of the retina and vitreous. She has pioneered new surgical treatment strategies in ocular melanoma that are both vision saving and provide patients with more knowledge about their cancer.

Dr. McCannel belongs to a number of professional organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the International Association of Ocular Oncology, the Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology, and the American Society of Retina Specialists. She is also a member of both the prestigious Retina and Macula Societies.

Dr. McCannel earned her doctor of medicine degree at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine. She also completed her internship and a 4-year residency in ophthalmology at the University of Toronto’s Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences. Dr. McCannel was named chief resident in ophthalmology and matriculated in the University’s Clinician Investigator Program, from which she earned her PhD in the School of Graduate Studies, in the field of molecular biology.

Before being recruited to UCLA, she completed a 2-year vitreoretinal surgical Fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School.
Throughout her academic career, Dr. Tara McCannel has garnered recognition for her superior scholarship and achievement. Since receiving her doctorate, she has been awarded several research grants.

Dr. McCannel sits on the editorial board and serves as a reviewer for more than a dozen medical journals, in addition to her medical and surgical responsibilities to her patients at UCLA.

Financial disclosure: Dr. McCannel does not have any affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization.


Manfred Zierhut, MD

Manfred Zierhut, MD

Dr. Zierhut is a professor of ophthalmology at the University Clinic of Tuebingen in Germany. After studying chemistry (Duisburg, Cologne, Hannover) and medicine (Antwerp, Hannover), he served a residency at the Eye Clinic in Tuebingen. Subsequently, he received a Fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. He wrote his “habilitation” about the immunology of herpes-simplex-virus induced retinitis.

From 2009 to 2013, and again in 2018, Dr. Zierhut was president of the International Uveitis Study Group. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Ocular Immunology and Inflammation (impact factor 3.348).

Dr. Zierhut’s fields of interest include all types of extraocular (dry eye, allergy) and intraocular (uveitis) inflammation and infection of the eyes. He has written 150 original publications in journals, 65 chapters for books, and has been the editor or co-editor of 26 books. Moreover, he has presented approximately 1,100 lectures and was the main organizer of 45 congresses, workshops, and/or meetings.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Zierhut has/had an affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:

  1. AbbVie
  2. Santen
  3. Gilead


Walter Wittich, PhD

Walter Wittich, PhD

Walter Wittich is assistant professor at the l’École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, and a resident researcher at the CRIR/Centre de réadaptation MAB-Mackay du CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, as well as the CRIR/Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille du CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre.

Following his master’s degree in psychology (Concordia U) and a PhD in visual neuroscience (McGill), he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in audiology at the Centre de recherche of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal.

Coming from a background in age-related vision loss, he now conducts research in dual sensory impairment and deaf-blindness. His research domains include basic sensory science, as well as medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitation approaches to sensory loss.

He recently became a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and is Quebec’s first certified low vision therapist, certified by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals.

Financial disclosure: Dr. Wittich does not have any affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization.

Société française d’ophtalmologie

Laurent Kodjikian, MD, PhD, FEBO

Laurent Kodjikian, MD, PhD, FEBO

Professor Kodjikian is currently president of the Société française d’ophtalmologie (SFO) and vice-president of the Académie française d’ophtalmologie.

He is a professor of ophthalmology (first class) and chair of the University of Lyon, France, and associate chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, Croix-Rousse Teaching Hospital, Lyon, France.

Since 2005, Professor Kodjikian has been on the boards of the French Agency for Drug Security (ANSM, ex-AFSSAPS) and the National French Health Agency (HAS). Since 2009, he has also been an Expert on Clinical Research Projects in University Hospitals for the French Health Minister.

Before becoming president of the SFO in 2018, he served a administrator since 2013 and associate general secretary since 2016. He is a member of numerous scientific societies (ARVO, AAO, Euretina, Club Jules Gonin, SFO).

Professor Kodjikian’s research focus is on medical and surgical retina (especially AMD, DR, RVO) and infections & inflammations (uveitis). He was the principal coordinator of the national GEFAL study (head-to-head study comparing avastin to lucentis in AMD with a budget of US$5 million). He has been involved in more than 60 clinical trials, examining novel therapies for AMD and diabetic retinopathy.

Professor Kodjikian has contributed to more than 240 peer-reviewed publications in the ophthalmic literature. He is author or co-author of 8 books and was or is reviewer for 36 journals (including famous journals like The Lancet). He is currently on the Editorial Board of the Journal Français d’Ophtalmologie, the International Journal of Ophthalmology and Clinical Research, and the Journal of Ophthalmology.

Financial disclosure: Professor Kodjikian has/had an affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:

  1. Allergan
  2. Alimera
  3. Bayer
  4. Horus
  5. Novartis
  6. Roche
  7. Thea

Jean-Marie Giraud, MD

Jean-Marie Giraud, MD

Financial disclosure: Professeur Giraud does not have any affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization.

Louis Hoffart, MD, PhD, FEBO

Louis Hoffart, MD, PhD, FEBO

Financial disclosure: Dr. Hoffart has/had an affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization:

  1. Allergan
  2. Théa Pharma
  3. Alcon
  4. Horus Pharma
  5. Dompé

Jean-Marc Perone, MD

Jean-Marc Perone, MD

Financial disclosure: Dr. Perone does not have any affiliation (financial or otherwise) with a commercial organization.