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.

9th Annual James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Retreat

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 - Thursday, March 23rd, 2017   (Agenda below)

Keith Green Lecturer: Emily Chew M.D.
National Eye Institute: National Institutes of Health

Location: Augusta University Summerville Campus Ballroom
Dr.Keith Green Lectureship keynote address
“Nutrition, genes and age-related macular degeneration”


The Posters Expected: 21
1. Xiaowen Lu, Ph.D.
“VDR Knockout Effects on Mouse Corneal Epithelial Cell Proliferation and Vitamin D Metabolizing and Catabolizing Enzymes”
2. Jingwen Cai, Ph.D.Student
“Proteomics Analysis of LOXL1-containing Exosomes Secreted by Len Epithelial Cells”
3. Megan Buning, PhD
“Examination of the Relationship between Vision Training and Reading Performance”
4. Jing Wang, n/s
"Sigma 1 receptor regulates retinal ER and Oxidative stress"
5. Mutsa Seremwe, BS
“A Summary of the Ocular Tissue Biorepository at MCG”
6. Esraa Shosha, Ph.D.Student
"Retinal Ischemia Reperfusion: Role of Arginase 2"
7. Amany Tawfik, M.D.
"Epigenetic modifications associated with Hyperhomocysteinemia; potential role in Blood-Retinal Barrier dysfunction"
8. Inas Helwa, BDS, Ph.D.
“Differential miRNA expression in response to mechanical stress in Human Trabecular Meshwork cells”
9. Rachel Cui, M.D., Ph.D.
“Analysis of MTHFR, CBS, glutathione, taurine and hydrogen sulfide levels in retinas of hyperhomocysteinemic mice”
10. Modesto Rojas*
"Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid Cells (TREM-1) is Upregulated in Oxygen-Induced Retinopathy"
11. Kathryn Bollinger, M.D.
“Sigma 1 receptor mediated neuroprotection in a rat model of glaucoma”
12. Mariam Khaled, Ph.D.Student
“Molecular characterization of MIR184 mutation in keratoconus using primary human corneal cells”
13. Khaled El Masry, n/s
“Comparative miRNA Microarray Analysis of Diabetic Mice Retinas and Human Retinal Endothelial Cells Challenged With 15-HETE or High Glucose”
14. Menaka Thounaojam, Ph.D.
"Crosstalk of miR-34a and thioredoxin reductase-1 in regulating mitochondrial dysfunction-associated senescence"
15. Prahalathan Pichavaram, Ph.D.
“Overexpression of spermine oxidase enhances excitotoxicity mediated neuronal death and glial activation in retina”
16. Riyaz Mohamed*
“Role of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation in Blood-Retinal barrier dysfunction: Potential role in Diabetic retinopathy”
17. Michelle Drewry, Ph.D.
“Differentially expressed microRNAs in the aqueous humor of patients with exfoliation glaucoma or primary open-angle glaucoma”
18. Diana Gutsaeva, Ph.d.
“TNF alpha converting enzyme and diabetic retinopathy”
19. Soumya Navneet, Ph.D.Student
"Homocysteine (Hcy) upregulates the NRF2 antioxidant pathway in retinal Müller cells"
20. Shruti Sharma, Ph.d.
“Proteomic Alterations in Aqueous Humor in Patients with Primary Open Angle Glaucoma”
21. Prerana Malla*
"Uric Acid and Diabetic Retinopathy"
*Incomplete degree information   
The Agenda
March 22nd, 2017, Wednesday
2:00 pm ~ Poster set-up
2:45 pm ~ Sylvia Smith, Ph.D.
Welcome/Introductory remarks
3:00 pm ~ Folami Powell, Ph.D.
Journal Club
3:00 pm ~ Abdelrahman Fouda, Ph.D.
Journal Club
3:00 pm ~ Barbara Mysona Ph.D.
Journal Club
3:00 pm ~ Journal Club
4:15 pm ~ Break
4:30 pm ~ Michelle Drewry
Data Blitz: highlighting poster presentations
4:30 pm ~ Data Blitz: highlighting poster presentations
4:30 pm ~ Soumya Navneet
Data Blitz: highlighting poster presentations
4:30 pm ~ Mutsa Seremwe Ph.D.
Data Blitz: highlighting poster presentations
4:30 pm ~ Modesto Rojas M.D.
Data Blitz: highlighting poster presentations
4:30 pm ~ Data Blitz: highlighting poster presentations
5:15 pm ~ Reception
March 23rd, 2017, Thursday
7:30 am ~ Refreshments
8:15 am ~ Julian Nussbaum, M.D.
Introductory remarks
8:25 am ~ David C. Hess, M.D.
Welcome remarks
8:35 am ~ Gretchen Caughman, Ph.D.
Welcome remarks
8:40 am ~ Sylvia Smith, Ph.D.
VDI Update
9:00 am ~ Julian Nussbaum, M.D.
Introduction of keynote speaker
9:10 am ~ Emily Chew, M.D.
Dr. Keith Green Lectureship keynote address
10:10 am ~ Q & A Session
10:25 am ~ Break
10:40 am ~ Presentations by Culver VDI Members
10:40 am ~ Abdelrahman Y. Fouda, B.Pharm, Ph.D.
10:40 am ~ Inas Helwa, Ph.D.
10:55 am ~ Wendy Bollag, Ph.D.
11:10 am ~ Ming Zhang, Ph.D.
11:25 am ~ Luncheon and Poster Session
1:25 pm ~ Priya Narayanan, Ph.D.
1:25 pm ~ Abdelrahman Fouda, B.Pharm, Ph.D.
1:40 pm ~ Yutao Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
1:55 pm ~ Mallory Lanier, MHS, OTR/L
2:10 pm ~ Break
2:20 pm ~ Khaled Elmasry M.D., M.Sc.
2:20 pm ~ Jing Wang, Ph.D.
2:35 pm ~ Shubhra Rajpurohit
2:50 pm ~ Discussion of VDI initiatives and future directions