Medical and surgical eye care experts gather in San Francisco for AAO 2019

More than 25,000 are expected to attend the American Academy of Ophthalmology's 123rd annual meeting, AAO 2019, from Oct. 12-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The four-day meeting offers opportunities to hear from the greatest minds in medical and surgical eye care discuss the latest in gene therapy for blinding eye conditions, the potential of robotic surgery, the future of presbyopia-correcting surgery, how artificial intelligence is changing the practice of medicine, and many other topics. It features more than 350 instruction courses, more than 100 hours of lectures and discussions, and hundreds of exhibiting companies showcasing the latest pharmaceuticals, devices, and technologies. Plus, a petting zoo.

The theme for AAO 2019 is Inspire! Here are just a few inspiring highlights from the thousands of presentations and programs scheduled:

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration: Nutrition, Genes and Deep Learning Emily Y. Chew, MD, leading AMD researcher, is delivering the Jackson Memorial Lecture during the Opening Session. Sunday, 9:33 a.m.
  • The Evolution and Effect of Genomic Medicine, Blockchain, and Robot-assisted Surgery See how widespread technological trends in medical practice and management apply to the ophthalmic industry. Monday, 8:30-10 a.m.
  • The Impact of AI on Ophthalmology Artificial intelligence is changing our world; from the way, we communicate with each other to providing the data needed for earlier diagnosis. Monday, 12:45-1:45 p.m.
  • Project Human Genome Bring your laptop to this session and learn how to apply genetic testing tools to real-life cases-; from identifying appropriate patients to interpreting resulting data for genetic counseling. Monday, 1-3 p.m.
  • Ebola, Emerging Infectious Diseases, and the Eye Much of what we know about Ebola and its ability to lurk inside the eye comes from Steven Yeh, M.D., and a team of dedicated ophthalmologists from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Yeh will discuss his experience and key takeaways on providing care during an epidemic. Monday, 12:45-1:45 p.m.
  • The Future of Vision Restoration in Glaucoma There is a significant unmet need for neuroprotection and vision restoration in glaucoma and other optic neuropathies. Leading researcher Jeffrey L. Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., will discuss the latest advances and data from early clinical trials. Monday, 9:30 a.m.
  • A New Retina Explosion? The retina disease pipeline is rich with new and innovative therapies that are restoring vision. From new gene therapies, cell therapies, and new drug delivery mechanisms, this program features leading experts discussing the most promising strategies. Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to noon.
  • The Millennial Movement Changing the Industry Known as the collaborative generation, millennials are already erupting the workforce. This panel will dive into how other ophthalmology will continue to evolve with the millennial medical providers of the future. Tuesday, 8:30-10 a.m.
  • Stop the Bleed: First Response Training for Ophthalmologists It can take less than thirty minutes to save a life during an emergency. In this hands-on training course, ophthalmologists will learn first response skills that could help save a life during the time it takes emergency responders to arrive. Saturday, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • Extinguishing Burnout and Reigniting Joy in Medicine Surveys show more than 50 percent of physicians suffer from burnout. Susan E. Connolly, M.D., teaches practical tips for reducing burnout and maximizing happiness in the healthcare workplace. Tuesday, 9 -10 a.m.

New this year: Collaboration in Education Across the Industry

Starting this year, the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses (ASORN) annual meeting is fully integrated with AAO 2019. In an effort to support professional collaboration, ASORN meeting participants will now have access to AAO educational assets, including access to the symposia and spotlight sessions, papers, e-posters, and videos.

Coming Soon: Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye

The Academy is set to open in San Francisco in early 2020, the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye. It's the first free-admission public museum dedicated to vision and eye health. The museum will celebrate the history of ophthalmology, educate the public on the importance of eye health, and inspire the next generation of eye physicians and surgeons.

Registration for AAO 2019 remains open to credentialed members of the media. Learn more at For more information about the meeting, visit

A searchable program is available at Selected hours of educational content will be streamed live Oct. 11 to 15. Learn more and sign up at


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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