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. 

Dr. Langis Michaud, OD, FAAO (Dipl)

Biography: Dr Langis Michaud is graduated from École d’optométrie de l’Université de Montréal in 1986 whereDr Michaud headshot he also obtained his Master’s Degree in physiological optics (1998). He received also a diploma in Public administration from École Nationale d’Administration Publique (ENAP) in 2006. He is a full professor and practices at Université de Montréal since 2001, as the chief of the contact lens department. He is Fellow of the Ameican Academy of Optometry (Diplomate), the British Contact Lens Association, the Scleral Lens Education Society and of  the European Academy of Optometry.  Dr Michaud has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and publications or professional reviews. He is an author of more than 35 chapters of book edited in France and USA.  Because of his expertise he is a regular speaker at the American Academy of Optometry (Ellerbrock), at the BCLA meeting and at the European Academy of Optometry meeting. Finally, Dr Michaud is the current president of the College of Optometrists of Quebec (Ordre des Optométristes du Québec).

Presentation details:

Title: Be in charge of your myopia control strategy

Myopia control is becoming a standard of care and a lot of published works in 2016 provided an increased knowledge about the best ways to address this issue. That having been said, the next questions are obvious: who are the candidates? At what stage should we intervene? Which are the right ways for effectively controlling myopia?  This lecture attempts to establish these parameters and asks practitioners to put into practice myopia control strategies with the best options in contact lenses.

Dr. Daphne Maurer, Ph.D., F.R.S.C.

Biography: Daphne Maurer is a Distinguished University Professor from McMaster University. She has done fundamental research on how perception develops, beginning from birth, and how it is altered by visual Headshot of Dr. Mauerdeprivation. Although officially retired and now based in Toronto, she continues to do scientific research on deprivation amblyopia, as well as a new focus on visual screening, in part collaborating with Waterloo trainees. The goal is to find an effective system for checking the vision of kindergarten children to detect the approximately 15% with as-yet-undetected eye problems. In addition, she sits on the national council setting policy on the ethics of research with humans. She has almost 200 peer-reviewed publications, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Association for Psychological Science, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by McMaster last June.

Presentation details:

Title: New Insights into Critical Periods: Cross-modal Perception in Patients treated for Congenital Cataract

Children treated for congenital cataracts provide a natural experiment for investigating the role of visual input near birth in driving perceptual development. Despite early treatment, these patients end up with deficits in many aspects of vision. For low level visual capabilities like visual acuity, the outcome is worse in the affected eye after monocular deprivation than after binocular deprivation, unless offset by extensive patching of the previously deprived eye. For higher level visual capabilities like sensitivity to the direction of motion, there can be surprising sparing after monocular deprivation. In this talk, I will consider how cross-modal re-organization during the initial deprivation—as has been documented in the congenitally blind—might contribute to these outcomes and the consequent implications for new therapeutic approaches for deprivation amblyopia.