Jun 18, 2018

Foundation Fighting Blindness VISIONS 2018 is the Leading Global Conference Showcasing Advances in Retinal Research

Press Releases

Three-day conference in San Diego will feature retinal science’s leading researchers and clinicians, and focus on the year’s top science and emerging treatments

COLUMBIA, MD –June 18, 2018 –The Foundation Fighting Blindness VISIONS 2018 conference, June 21 – 23, 2018 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, will bring together the world’s leading vision scientists, assistive technologies experts, and the visually impaired community. The full conference program can be found at: https://www.fightingblindness.org/visions/.

More than 450 people from around the world will attend VISIONS 2018, making it one of the largest global meetings dedicated solely to individuals and families who are affected by retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, and Stargardt disease.

The conference will host more than 30 distinguished panelists and speakers. Several keynote speakers include: Daniel Chung, DO, Spark Therapeutics; Halden Conner, CEO and president of Nacuity Pharmaceuticals; Jim Platzer, motivational speaker and former Fortune 500 company executive; Emmett Cunningham Jr., MD, PhD, MPH, managing director of Clarus; Ben Yerxa, PhD, CEO of the Foundation Fighting Blindness; and Stephen Rose, PhD, chief scientific officer of the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

“Our VISIONS conference is the perfect opportunity to discuss the tremendous progress being made by FFB-funded scientists and clinical researchers as we search for treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases,” said Stephen Rose, PhD, the Foundation’s chief scientific officer. “The momentum from the recent FDA-approval of LUXTURNA™, the first ever FDA-approved gene therapy for the eye or any inherited disease, is boosting commercial development of additional treatments for other inherited retinal diseases.”

Science-focused programming will cover issues of importance to all patients with retinal diseases, including genetic testing and patient registries, and how to know if a clinical trial is right for you. Other programming will include disease specific clinical updates and sessions on adapting and thriving, presentations on adapted running, cooking with low or no vision, ensuring academic success for students with low or no vision, self-care, and how to support a loved one with an inherited retinal disease.

“In addition to being the world leader in retinal research funding, the Foundation provides information, assistance and a sense of community to the 10 million Americans and millions more worldwide dealing with blinding retinal diseases,” said Ben Yerxa, PhD, CEO of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. “Nowhere else is there access to the latest retinal research and clinical trials, doctors performing the work, and other families from around the world living with the same diseases.”

VISIONS 2018 corporate partners include Platinum partner Aira, Gold partners Shire and Spark Therapeutics, Silver partner MeiraGTx, and Bronze partners AGTC, Second Sight and Vitrisa Therapeutics.
Several of the VISIONS program sessions will be live streamed on the Foundation’s Facebook Page, and Eye on the Cure Blog. The full schedule of live sessions will include:

Friday, June 22, 2018

  • 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. – Opening Session: Mission Possible! The Year’s Top Advances and What’s Next in Retinal Disease Science
  • 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. – Keynote Luncheon: Think Outside our Perceived Limitations, Featuring Keynote Speaker Jim Platzer
  • 3:10 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. – Science Plenary Session 1: What You Need to Know About Genetics, Genetic Testing, and Patient Registries
  • 4:20 p.m. - 5:25 p.m. – Science Plenary Session 2: Clinical Trials Update and Is a Clinical Trial Right for You?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

  • 9:00 a.m. - 10:25 a.m. – Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) Research and Clinical Updates
  • 10:30 a.m. - 11:40 a.m. – Stress Management and Self-Care for People with Degenerative Diseases 
  • 1:00 p.m. - 2:35 p.m. – Adapting and Thriving: Find Your Product – Tips and Tools for Peak Personal Performance
  • 3:05 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. – Closing Session: Featuring Biotech Executive and Managing Director of Clarus, Emmett Cunningham, and Chapter Awards

The mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will bring an end to the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt disease, and Usher syndrome. The conditions affect more than 10 million people in the US and 150 million people worldwide. In addition to funding research at prominent academic labs, FFB is partnering with biotechs and pharmaceuticals to advance emerging therapies into and through clinical trials and out to the people who need them. Visit www.FightingBlindness.org for the latest information on retinal disease research. Follow the Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: Ben Shaberman
(410) 499-9158

Original Date: 

Monday, June 18, 2018