The European Vision Institute Award lectures 2013 took place at the EVER meeting in Nice, France on October 11th, 2012. The laureates Frank Schaeffel from Tuebingen, Germany and Juan Tabernero from Murcia, Spain were honoured for their extraordinary scientific achievements. The laudatory speeches were given by Christian Lappe from Carl Zeiss Vision, Germany and Thomas Wheeler-Schilling, CEO of the European Vision Institute.
Frank Schäffel, this year’s awardee, gave in his key note lecture "From chickens to humans - learning about the puzzles of myopia" a fascinating overview on the present status of myopia research.
After it was found that the growing vertebrate eye uses the focus of the retinal image to fine-tune its axial length to the focal length of the optics, it seemed as if the solution of the problem of myopia was in close reach. While a lot was learned about the fascinating details of biological mechanisms coordinating eye growth by vision from animal experiments, it is still a puzzle why eyes of children start to deviate from the correct path and become too long.
Currently, a major challenge is to find out which details of visual experience in kids may have a similar effect as wearing a negative lens or a diffuser - since these are the two treatments that induce axial myopia in animal models. The talk also gave a review on some current attempts to slow down the progression of myopia once it had already started.
“Applied Optics for better vision: New trends in cataract, presbyopia and myopia research”, was the title of the Carl Zeiss European Young Investigator winner Juan F. Tabernero from Murcia in Spain. The effects of cataracts, presbyopia and myopia are well described in the classical physiological optics literarature. Even some "old time" optical corrections are commonly used today. Recent experiments based on advanced optical technologies challenge some of those solutions.
The understanding of the balance of aberrations between cornea and lens in the human eye has provoked a revolution in the optical design of intraocular lenses for cataract surgery. In presbyopia research, the application of the pinhole effect to corneal inlays may suppose a terribly simple but otherwise effective solution. And the myopia research community is still strikingly looking at the effects of new spectacle designs that modify the peripheral optics of the eye and pretend to stop the progression of the disease.
This talk will briefly review the concepts and basic experiments generating all these new research lines that will eventually lead to a general improve in functional vision of the population.
The European Vision Institute serves as a European Alliance for the Promotion of Vision Research and Ophthalmology for the benefit of the whole community.
Presently in Europe the notable accomplishments of Vision Research and Ophthalmology in respect to publications, clinical and basic research and patient care are sold under worth to our colleagues in other areas of the life sciences, the political decision makers and the general public. An active communication process to clarify the importance and illustrate the success stories of our research-and clinical activities in all their rich facets must foster and increase the support from the public and private sector.
The main aspect is to significantly increase the competiveness and visibility of Vision Research and Ophthalmology on a European level by the following objectives:
The Carl Zeiss Group is an international leader in the fields of optics and optoelectronics.
In fiscal year 2010/11 the company's approx. 24,000 employees generated revenue of about 4.237 billion euros. In the markets for Industrial Solutions, Research Solutions, Medical Technology and Consumer Optics, Carl Zeiss has contributed to technological progress all over the world for more than 160 years and enhances the quality of life of many people around the globe.
With its innovative technologies and leading-edge solutions, Carl Zeiss is successful in the fields of Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Metrology, Microscopy, Medical Technology, Vision Care and Consumer Optics/Optronics. Carl Zeiss is represented with around 30 production and over 50 sales and service sites in more than 30 countries worldwide.
Carl Zeiss AG is fully owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation). Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany.
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