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Dr. Austin Roorda, PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Biography: Austin Roorda received his Ph.D from the University of Waterloo in 1996 with joint degrees in Vision Science & Physics. SiPhoto of Dr. Roordance that time, Dr. Roorda has been pioneering applications of adaptive optics and ophthalmoscopy, including mapping of the trichromatic cone mosaic while a postdoc at the University of Rochester, designing and building the first adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope at the University of Houston, tracking and targeting light delivery to individual cones in the human eye at UC Berkeley, and being part of the first team to use AO imaging to monitor efficacy of a treatment to slow retinal degeneration. Since 2005, he’s been at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry where he is a member of the Vision Science, Bioengineering and Neuroscience graduate programs. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Optometry. Notable awards are the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry (2007), the Glenn A. Fry award from the American Academy of Optometry (2009), a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship (2014) and an Alcon Research Institute Award (2016).

Dr. Roorda is our Larkworthy Memorial LecturerFollowing the war, Dr. Donald Larkworthy attended and graduated from the College of Optometrists of Ontario in 1949 when it was located in Toronto.  This was one of the largest classes in history.  He spent his career practicing optometry in Stratford, Ontario and was committed to the health and vision care needs of his patients. Dr. Larkworthy was grateful for his career and the quality of life that it provided for his family.  He was also passionate about learning and advancement of the optometric profession and therefore, he made a bequest to the School of Optometry & Vision Science to establish the Larkworthy Memorial Lecture.

Presentation details: 

Title: What you see isn’t always what you get: Lesson’s learned from adaptive optics ophthalmoscopy

Adaptive optics (AO) is a set of optical techniques - originally developed to correct for blur caused by atmospheric turbulence in ground-based telescopes – that actively correct the optical imperfections of the eye. When used in an ophthalmoscope, AO enables imaging of single cells (eg photoreceptors) in the eye. While the imaging has revealed a lot about the human retina in health and disease, it often leads to more questions than answers. This is why we and other groups have been actively working to develop ways to go beyond simple attempts to measure cellular structure by including measures of retinal function on the same scale. I this talk I will review the technology and show how we’ve used it to measure basic properties of human spatial and color vision as well as to make new discoveries about some retinal diseases.

Dr. Etty Bitton, BSc, OD, MSc, FAAO, FBCLA, Associate Professor, École d’optométrie ​Université de Montréal

​Biography: Dr. Bitton completed her Optometry degree at the University of Waterloo (1988), followed by a Photo of Dr. BittonMaster’s in Physiological Optics (1994) from the Université de Montréal in the area of tear film clinical physiology and its relevance in patients exhibiting dry eye. She presently holds the rank of Associate professor, she is the Director of the Externship Program as well as the Director of the Dry Eye Clinic which was established in 2012. Dr. Bitton is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and the British Contact Lens Association as well as a member of several regional and international professional organizations. Her research interests include tear film evaluation, dry eye and its effect on contact lens wear. Dr. Bitton received most recently (June 2017) the Lester B Janoff Award from the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE) for excellence in teaching, clinical work and publication.

Presentation details: 

Title: Anterior Blepharitis secondary to Demodex 

This lecture will provide a differential diagnosis of anterior blepharitis (staphylococcus vs seborrheic vs Demodex). A detailed description of the life cycle, clinical presentation, co-morbities of Demodex-induced anterior blepharitis will be presented. Home and in-office lid margin hygiene management options for anterior blepharitis will be discussed.

Dr. Ben Thompson, BSc, PhD, University of Waterloo

Biography: Ben completed his BSc and PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, UK.  He head shot of Dr. Thomsponthen completed postdoctoral training within the Department of Psychology, UCLA and the Department of Ophthalmology, McGill University. Ben’s first faculty position was within the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand where he still holds a research appointment. He joined the University of Waterloo in 2014 and currently leads an interdisciplinary research program focusing on human visual cortex development and plasticity.

Presentation details:

Title: New approaches to the treatment of amblyopia

Amblyopia is a neurodevelopmental disorder of vision that causes visual impairment in the affected eye and a loss of binocular function. Adult patients with amblyopia are often left untreated because the adult brain is thought to lack sufficient plasticity, or capacity for change, to relearn use of an amblyopic eye. I will describe a number of interventions designed to promote visual cortex plasticity and enable recovery of vision in adults with amblyopia. These include modified videogames, non-invasive stimulation of the primary visual cortex and administration of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.