James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute

Annual Scientific Meetings

The Culver Vision Discovery Institute gathers annually to present the progress and innovation within the member labs. This structured meeting features both intra and extramural lecturers. The keynote address is delivered by individuals whose scope of research has proven its impact at the national or international level.

The intramural lectures are selected to showcase work being done locally. Most of the labs have posters displayed for review in the poster sessions or between lectures. The meeting generally closes with a group discussion on future direction and strategic planning. This includes discussion on translational merit and impact and consideration for future speakers and formats.

5th Annual Vision Discovery Institute Retreat

Thursday, March 14th, 2013 - Friday, March 15th, 2013   (Agenda below)

Keith Green Lecturer: Napoleone Ferrara, Ph.D.
University: University of California San Diego Medical Center
Rank: Distinguished Professor of Pathology
Role: Senior Deputy Director for Basic Sciences, Moores Cancer Center

Location: River Room, Saint Paul's Church
2nd Annual Keith Green Lecture
The late Dr. Keith Green joined the then Medical College of Georgia as Director of Ophthalmology Research in 1974. In 1978 he was appointed as the third Regents' Professor (highest academic status in the University System of Georgia). Dr. Green instructed many across the academic spectrum throughout his tenure here and is specifically noted for having published 330 scientific articles and contributed to 30 research texts. In honor of his achievements a named lectureship has been established.

Thursday evening a reception is being held in honor of Dr. Napoleone Ferrara. This will be held at the same venue as the poster sessions and lectures. Please join us for this time of interaction.

Lectures & Poster session
In addition to the keynote lecture by our invited speaker a number of plenary lectures will be given as well. These will be heavily focused in the specialties of the VDI members. Those who will be speaking are listed below.


The Posters Expected: 21
1. Juan Mo, M.S.
Mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis during Murine Cytomegalovirus (MCMV) Infection of the Retina in mice
2. Wanwisa Promsote, BS
Regulation of the cholesterol efflux transporter ABCA1 by the niacin receptor GPR109A: potential relevance to drusen biogenesis and inflammation in age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
3. Islam Mohamed, M.S.
Role of TXNIP in endothelial activation and microvascular degeneration
4. Barbara Mysona, Ph.D.
Role of proNGF/p75NTR mediated RhoA in diabetes-induced blood retinal barrier breakdown
5. Amany Tawfik, M.D.
Mechanisms of Retinal Vascular Alteration in Hyperhomocysteinemia
6. Shanu Markand, M.S.
Hyperhomocysteinemia induced retinopathy in Methylene Tetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) deficient mice
7. Arul Kumaran Shanmugam, PhD
Role of sigma receptor1 in modulating cytokines produced by oxidatively stressed retinal Müller cells
8. Renee Baldowski, Ph.D.
TXNIP deficiency prevents neurovascular degeneration and preserves retina function in a model of optic neuropathy.
9. Shanab Ahmed, M.D., PhD
Knocking down p75NTR expression prevents retinal acellular capillary formation in proNGF-overexpression model.
10. Jay Hegde, Ph.D.
Assessing Depth Perception in Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration
11. Mohamed Al-Shabrawey, Ph.D.
Caspase-14; A Novel Caspase in Retina with Potential Role in Diabetic Retinopathy
12. Lakshman Segar, Ph.D.
PDGF induces nerve growth factor promoter activity in retinal ganglion cells by recruiting AP1 and CREB transcription factors
13. Esraa Shosha, Ph.D.Student
Role of Arginase in Senescence-induced Vascular Injury in Diabetic Retinopathy
14. Modesto Rojas*
Diabetes-induced retinal inflammatory injury requires NOX2 expression in both bone marrow derived cells and retinal cells
15. Sally El-Shaer, Ph.D.Student
Involvement of nerve growth factor precursor (proNGF) in hypoxia induced retinal Neovascularization
16. Harika Sabbineni*
Candesartan preserves retinal vasculature via Inhibition of iNOS expression in ischemic retinopathy
17. Nicole Shumiloff*
Systemic effects of ocular cyclopentolate in a model of retinopathy of prematurity
18. Amina Farooq*
Imbalance of proNGF/NGF ratio as biomarker for diabetic retinopathy
19. Mohamed Elsherbiny*
Role of 12/15-Lipoxygenase in early inflammatory response during diabetic retinopathy
20. Zhimin Xu, n/s
Deletion of Arginase 2 Prevents Retinal Ganglion Cell Loss and Blocks Formation of Acellular Capillaries after Ischemia Reperfusion Injury
21. Kanjana Jittiporn*
Role of α-mangostin in hypoxia induced oxidative stress and neovascularizationy
*Incomplete degree information   
The Agenda
March 14th, 2013, Thursday
3:00 pm ~ Registration/Poster set-up
3:30 pm ~ Welcome/Introductory remarks
4:00 pm ~ A direct and melanopsin-dependent fetal light response regulates mouse eye development
5:00 pm ~ Data Blitz to kick off poster session
5:30 pm ~ Reception
March 15th, 2013, Friday
7:30 am ~ Registration and refreshments
8:15 am ~ Julian Nussbaum, M.D.
Introductory remarks
8:25 am ~ Ricardo Azziz, M.D., MPH, MBA
Welcome remarks: GRU Senior Leadership
8:30 am ~ Peter Buckley, M.D.
Welcome remarks: GRU Senior Leadership
8:35 am ~ Gretchen Caughman, PhD
Welcome remarks: GRU Senior Leadership
8:40 am ~ Sylvia Smith, Ph.D.
VDI Update
9:00 am ~ Manuela Bartoli, Ph.D.
Introduction of keynote speaker
9:10 am ~ Napoleone Ferrara, M.D.
Role of VEGF in intraocular neovascular disorders
10:10 am ~ Break
10:25 am ~ Saif Ahmed, PhD
Role of Adenosine Kinase in Traumatic Optic Neuropathy
10:40 am ~ Folami Lamoke
Peroxiredoxin-Dependent Up-Regulation Of Toll-like Receptor 4 In The Diabetic Retina
10:55 am ~ Azza El-Remessy, PhD, RPh, FAHA
Retinal VEGF and Redox-state: Is more always better?
11:10 am ~ Wanwisa Promsote
Sickle Cell Retinopathy: RPE as a hemoglobin producer & novel drugs for treatment
11:25 am ~ Luncheon and Poster Session
1:25 pm ~ Manuela Bartoli, PhD
Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3) and retinal ischemic diseases
1:40 pm ~ Kathryn Bollinger, M.D., PhD
Toward Testing Sigma Receptor Activation as a Treatment for Glaucoma
1:55 pm ~ Priya Narayanan, PhD
Role of Arginase 2 in retinal neurodegeneration
2:10 pm ~ Break
2:20 pm ~ Steven Walker
Genetic Circuitry Dynamics of Cell-specific Regeneration in the Retina
2:35 pm ~ Brendan Marshall, PhD
Triggering of retinal cell death through viral insult of RPE cells
2:50 pm ~ Karishma Choksi
“Role of Bone Morphogenic protein/SMAd pathway on Diabetic retinopathy
3:05 pm ~ Discussion of VDI initiatives and future directions