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.

7th Annual Scientific Retreat

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 - Thursday, March 12th, 2015   (Agenda below)

Keith Green Lecturer: Robert B. Nussenblatt, M.D.,MPD
NIH: National Eye Institute (NEI)
Rank: Chief, Laboratory of Immunology
Role: Senior advisor to deputy director of intramural research

Location: GRU Summerville Campus Ballroom
Invited guest speaker: Professor Folasade Akinsola
University: Lagos University College of Medicine. Teaching Hospital Lagos, Nigeria
Rank: Professor and Head, Department of Ophthalmology
Role: Consultant Ophthalmologist

Dr. Keith Green Lectureship
Dr. Nussenblatt, coming to us from the NIH will be giving this talk entitled: “The Immunology of AMD and therapeutic implications.”


The Posters Expected: 18
1. Sally El-Shaer, Ph.D.Student
Modulation of P75NTR protects against ischemic retinopathy: Possible contribution of TrkA receptor PI: Azza B. El-Remessy
2. Chintan Patel, BS
Polyamine oxidase: a novel mediator of hyperoxia-induced retinal neuro-vascular injury PI: Priya Narayanan
3. Jing Zhao, n/s
Sigma receptor ligand, (+)-pentazocine, protects retinal ganglion cells exposed to glaucoma-relevant stimuli PI: Kathryn Bollinger
4. Shanu Markand, M.S.
Role of mitocrondiain hypercysteinemia induced retinopathy in Mthfr deficient mice PI: Sylvia Smith
5. Esraa Shosha, Ph.D.Student
Arginase 2 Deletion Protects Against Neurovascular Degeneration in Retinal Ischemia Reperfusion Injury PI: Ruth Caldwell
6. Zhiyong Yang, Ph.D.
Hierarchical correlational structures in natural scenes
7. Folami Powell, Ph.D.
Deficits in outer retinal function correspond to dysregulation of immunomodulatory genes in GPR109a knockout mice PI : Pamela Martin
8. Xiaowen Lu, Ph.D.
Effects of 1,25-Vitamin D3 and 24,25-Vitamin D3 on Corneal Epithelial Gap Junctions PI: Mitch Watsky
9. Shruti Sharma, Ph.d.
Selective inhibition of IL-6 trans-signaling prevents inflammation and barrier disruption in retinal endothelial cells
10. Ahmed Ibrahim, Ph.D.
12/15-LOX and Dietary Supplement Therapy: Shaping EndogenousProtection in Traumatic Optic Neuropathy PI: Mohamed Al-Shabrawey
11. Selina Beasley, n/s
12/15 lipoxygenase-derived bioactive lipids activate endothelial nitric oxide synthase in human retinal endothelial cells PI: Mohamed Al-Shabrawey
12. Zhiyong Yang, Ph.D.
Action encoding and recognition based on multi-scale spatial-temporal natural action structures
13. Jingwen Cai, Ph.D.Student
Expression Profiling of Human Primary Schlemm's Canal Endothelial Cells with Glaucoma PI: Yutao Liu
14. Inas Helwa, BDS, Ph.D.
Association between central corneal thickness-associated variants and keratoconus in a Saudi Arabian population PI: Yutao Liu
15. Jing Wang, n/s
(+)-PTZ, the sigma 1 receptor ligand, preserves cone function in the Rd10 mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa PI: Sylvia Smith
16. Maha Coucha, Ph.D.
High fat diet dysregulates microRNA-17-5p and enhances retinal TXNIP expression: Role of ER-stress PI: Azza El-Remessy
17. Suchreet Mander, n/s
Retinal Pigment Epithelium barrier dysfunction in Hyperhomocysteinemia PI: Amany Tawfik
18. Fang Wang*
Impact of BMP on retinal barrier function PI: Mohamed Al-Shabrawey
*Incomplete degree information   
The Agenda
March 11th, 2015, Wednesday
2:00 pm ~ Registration/Poster set-up
2:45 pm ~ Sylvia Smith, Ph.D. and Amany Tawfik, MD, MSc
Welcome/Introductory remarks
3:00 pm ~ Barbara Mysona, Ph.D.-Session moderator
Data Blitz
3:45 pm ~ Break
4:00 pm ~ Julian Nussbaum, M.D. and Abiodun Akinwuntan, Ph.D., MPH, DRS
Introduction of Special Guest Lecturer
4:15 pm ~ Dr. Folasade Akinsola
Special Guest Lecturer
5:15 pm ~ Q & A Session
5:30 pm ~ Reception
6:45 pm ~ Adjourn
March 12th, 2015, Thursday
7:30 am ~ Registration and refreshments
8:15 am ~ Julian Nussbaum, M.D., Clinical co-director Culver VDI
Introductory remarks
8:25 am ~ Peter Buckley, M.D., Dean, Medical College of Georgia
Welcome remarks:
8:30 am ~ Gretchen Caughman, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Welcome remarks
8:35 am ~ Michael Diamond, M.D, Associate Dean for Research, Medical College of Georgia, Senior Vice President
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 ~ Dr. Robert Nussenblatt
Dr. Keith Green Lectureship keynote address
10:10 am ~ Q & A Session
10:25 am ~ Break
10:40 am ~ Wendy Bollag, Ph.D.
Dioleophosphatidylglycerol, a Naturally Occurring Phospholipid, to Accelerate Corneal Wound Healing
10:55 am ~ Mitch Watsky, Ph.D.
Shining Light on the Cornea
11:10 am ~ Manuela Bartoli, Ph.D.
Small data and big data in vision science
11:25 am ~ Luncheon and Poster Session
1:25 pm ~ Ming Zhang, Ph.D.
The role of RIP3 in innate immune responses and death of bystander cells during MCMV retinitis
1:40 pm ~ Yutao Liu, MD, PhD
Association of miR182 with primary open angle glaucoma
1:55 pm ~ Maud Ranchet, PhD
Performance-Based Visual Field Testing in Drivers with Glaucoma
2:10 pm ~ Break
2:20 pm ~ Amany Tawfik, MD, MSc
Homocysteine and Retinal Barrier Function: Potential Role in Retinal Diseases
2:35 pm ~ Jaya Pranava Gnana-Prakasam, Ph.D.
Acceleration of diabetic retinopathy by the iron overload disorder hemochromatosis
2:50 pm ~ Discussion of VDI initiatives and future directions
4:00 pm ~ Adjourn