Campus News

Eye experts hold international symposium

More than a dozen of the world’s leading experts in low vision treatment and research will travel to UGA to speak at the inaugural Aniridia and Low Vision Research Symposium, held July 15-17 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.

The Aniridia Foundation International’s 2011 Medical Conference will also be held July 13-17 at the Georgia Center. This conference focuses on educating patients and their families on the medical and genetic aspects of aniridia.

Together, the two events will be the largest international gathering focused on treating aniridia and the broad range of developmental and ocular disorders associated with the disease.

Aniridia is a rare, congenital eye disorder characterized by a complete or partial absence of the iris, or colored part of the eye. Most often caused by a defect in a gene important in eye development, aniridia can lead to a reduction in the sharpness of vision and increased sensitivity to light.

“The purpose of the medical conference is to provide access for aniridia patients and their families to people who understand the disease at the professional level,” said James Lauderdale, UGA associate professor of cellular biology and research symposium organizer.

The keynote addresses at the research symposium will be given by Dr. Peter Netland, professor and chairman of the department of ophthalmology at the University of Virginia Health System, and Robert Grainger, the W.L. Lyons Brown Professor of Biology in the department of biology at the University of Virginia.