The Vanderbilt Eye Institute (VEI) recently hosted the Southeastern Vision Conference to celebrate and share excellence in vision science.

The two-day seminar held at the Vanderbilt University Marriott brought together three vision research groups from Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Emory University to foster collaborations among the groups.

The recent Southeastern Vision Conference brought together research groups
from across the region to share excellence in vision science and
discuss collaboration. (photo by Steve Green)

“We all share a common focus on mechanisms of vision and new treatments for diseases that affect vision,” said David Calkins, Ph.D., Denis M. O’Day Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Vanderbilt.

“Collectively, research at these three institutions covers all aspects of vision and diseases of the visual system, forming a hub for excellence in the Southeast.

“Yet, despite our proximity and commonalities, we never gathered everyone to discuss new and innovative research for the purpose of accelerating the science through collaboration, communication and sharing of scientific resources,” said Calkins, vice chair and director for Research at VEI and director of the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center.

Collaborators from Morehouse School of Medicine, Alabama Eye Bank, Hamilton Eye Institute at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Department of Ophthalmology, Meharry Medical College and Georgia Institute of Technology also joined the conference for poster presentations.

Another organizer of the conference, Christine Curcio, Ph.D., professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was interested in stimulating new connections outside of the larger national meeting settings.

“We decided to convene, get better acquainted with each other’s research strengths and figure out how to collaborate better, to do more good science for healthy vision,” Curcio said. “Especially in times of lean funding, collaboration is the key to continued progress.”


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