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XVIIIth International Symposium on Retinal Degeneration

In the last decade, there has been a burst of information and insight into molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms underlying inherited and age-related retinal degenerations.

The Deadline for Travel Award application is May 18, 2018

Through our generous sponsors, we have raised funds to fully support ~60 Travel Awards for students, post-doctoral fellows, and young faculty lower than the rank of Associate Professor. This provides the opportunity to meet and interact with world leaders in the field.  The Travel Award application site is open now  Travel Award Application site

There have been major advances in the pharmaceutical and gene- and cell-based therapeutic approaches, as well as in vision restoration.  One such example is the recent landmark FDA approval of the first AAV-based therapy for the treatment of RPE65-mediated inherited retinal dystrophies in humans.  The scientific program and venue of the XVIII International RD Symposium will provide an excellent forum:

  • To discuss the current state of knowledge on the pathophysiologic mechanisms of acquired, inherited, and age-related retinal degenerations, as well as new and developing therapeutic approaches.
  • To encourage the exchange of novel ideas among basic and clinician scientists and to meet and establish research collaborations with vision scientists from around the world.
  • To enhance the emerging careers of young investigators in retinal degeneration research by providing Travel Awards to attend the meeting.


RD2018 will be organized into a series of Keynote lectures, platform presentations, and poster sessions as follows. 

Keynote Lectures:                               

  • Mario Capecchi, PhD, Nobel Laureate (Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2007), University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • Rando Allikmets, PhD, The William and Donna Acquavella Professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Pathology & Cell Biology, and Director of Research at the Harkness Eye Institute, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • James T. Handa, MD, Robert Bond Welch Professor, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Peter Humphries, PhD, MRIA, Professor of Medical Molecular Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

The Keynote speakers have been invited to provide a broad perspective on the causes and developing treatments of retinal degenerative diseases.

Platform Presentations

Platform sessions will be scheduled for 20 minutes each, followed by 10 minutes for discussion. Speakers will be selected from submitted abstracts, and sessions will be organized around specific themes including:

  • Molecular and genetic mechanisms in photoreceptor degeneration
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • New diagnostic techniques for retinal degenerations
  • Neuroprotection in the prevention of retinal degeneration
  • Gene therapy and the correction of gene defects
  • Stem cell and other cell-based approaches
  • Vision restoration
  • Newly emerging topics

Poster Sessions

Investigators submitting abstracts not selected for a platform presentation are invited to present their research in well-attended poster sessions. Posters will be available for viewing throughout the meeting, and there will be extended evening sessions devoted entirely to poster viewing and discussion.

Each attendee is encouraged to submit a chapter for publication in the proceedings volume.


The XVIIIth International Symposium on Retinal Degeneration (RD2018) will be held in the beautiful town of Killarney, Ireland. All attendees will be housed in the marvelous Victorian hotel, The Great Southern (formerly named ‘The Malton’), in downtown Killarney, just opposite of the railway station (  The Great Southern not only has unique rooms, exceptionally good food, and a very friendly staff, it also has a spacious conference center with comfortable seating, up-to-date audio-visual equipment, and sufficient space for poster sessions. This venue will allow for maximal interaction of all attendees during the meeting.  The meeting is a satellite of the XXIIIth Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research to be held September 9-13, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

More Information and Registration Forms

To learn more about the meeting, the venue, Travel Awards, registration and abstract submission, please visit the RD2018 web site:

Important Deadlines

  • Travel Award applications:  May 18, 2018
  • Meeting and Hotel Registration: June 29, 2018
  • Online Abstract Submission: June 29, 2018


As in all previous RD Symposia, RD2018 has received a generous pledge of support for travel awards from the National Eye Institute NIH, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the BrightFocus Foundation, ProRetina Germany, and the Fritz Tobler Foundation.  We also gratefully acknowledge meeting and travel award support from Bayer Switzerland, Science Foundation Ireland, Novartis/Fighting Blindness Ireland, Bioscience.

Women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities are all encouraged to apply for Travel Awards and to attend the meeting.

We are excited about the RD2018 meeting and look forward to seeing you there.