MREH 200 Bicentenary Academic Conference, Manchester Conference Centre

Report by Dr C O’Donnell and Dr A Hartwig

24th-27th June 2014

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital was established ~ 200 years ago, in 1814. The organising committee of MREH 200 welcomed delegates and speakers to a Bicentenary Academic Conference, at Manchester Conference Centre. The conference celebrated the clinical and research work of MREH with 125 speakers, alumni and delegates attending. The conference involved ophthalmologists, optometrists, orthoptists, vision scientists and ophthalmic nurses. The programme comprised parallel lecture sessions, poster presentations and an exhibition. Tuesday 24th had sessions on uveitis, paediatric ophthalmology and genetics in the morning.   The afternoon had sessions on neuro-ophthalmology and technology. The history of uveitis treatment in Manchester was elucidated by Mr N Jones. The session was concluded with free paper presentations describing latest research findings in the field of uveitis. The second topic of the day was paediatric ophthalmology. Data were presented comparing contact lenses to IOL implantation in babies. In an interesting presentation in a neuro-ophthalmology session, Mr A Zermansky described migraine and its link to vision. Wednesday 25th had sessions on ophthalmic imaging, ophthalmic nursing and ophthalmic emergencies. International speakers discussed retinal disease and the functional tests and imaging techniques that assist in diagnosis and management. Thursday 26th had sessions on medical retina, surgical retina, oculoplastics, optometry and vision science and cornea. Prof P Bishop gave an overview of important advances made in understanding the role of genetics in AMD, Mr S Kelly described the various AMD treatments that have become available over the past decade or so and the various clinical studies that have been carried out, Prof T Aslam discussed new and emerging approaches for AMD management and monitoring. In the vision science section Dr C O’Donnell presented research on corneal nerves in keratoconus and aberration-controlling contact lenses, Prof P Morgan discussed novel applications for contact lenses including myopia control and glucose sensing, Dr M Russell presented research on why keratoconic patients stop attending hospital visits. Prof CM Dickinson presented an overview of advances in the field of low vision including apps and medical devices. In the afternoon corneal session Mr A Ridgeway described his work in corneal dystrophies, Dr I Beshtawi presented novel research on collagen corneal cross-linking, Dr S Watson presented her work on corneal stem cells, describing these cells as the ‘ultimate spare part’ and Prof K Meek gave a fascinating overview of his research on corneal structure and biomechanical properties. Mr A Tullo was presented with a Medal by Conference organiser Mr N Jones. Friday 27th focussed on glaucoma , retina and the history of ophthalmology and medicine in Manchester Highlights included an overview of the major advantages offered by the use of an electronic database in glaucoma management ( Prof D Henson), Dr M Miranda discussed a novel visual field test for children, Professor Sir PT Khaw gave an inspirational presentation that considered how better data management and accessibility would form the basis for improving care for patients worldwide. Dr R Harper discussed hospital, community, optometrist-led and virtual glaucoma clinics and their possible role in disease management. Mr L Au described the role of surgery in glaucoma management. Mr S Beatty gave an interesting review about the role of macular pigment and the potential to improve visual performance in early age-related macular degeneration using supplements. Mr R Lucas provided a summary of his experiments which described the role of the ganglion cells as light receptors and the topic of circadian rhythms.