22nd EURETINA Congress opens in Hamburg

Retinal specialists and researchers from across the globe descend on Hamburg for the the 22nd Annual Congress of EURETINA.

As one of Germany’s most vibrant port cities, Hamburg provides the ideal backdrop to this year’s gathering of clinicians and surgeons interested in the research and treatment of retinal and macular diseases.

Addressing the assembled crowd at the official opening ceremony, Alistair Laidlaw, president of EURETINA, said how gratified he was that the Congress could once again take place in person.

“With over 5,000 delegates, we are proud to say that you are taking part in the biggest retina meeting in the world. That is a big step up from the 230 people who arrived at the very first EURETINA meeting, which was also in Hamburg and organized by Gisbert Richard and August Deutman, in 2001. So you could say that this is the home of EURETINA,” he said.

Dr Laidlaw made special mention of the large online audience logging in from around the globe and said it vindicated the decision of the EURETINA Board to make the annual congress a hybrid event.

“It’s great to be able to address people face to face after two years of online meetings, but that doesn’t take away from the welcome to the one-in-three delegates, who for any number of reasons, both professional and social, are tuning in online. Welcome to one and all,” he said.

Dr Laidlaw paid a special tribute to colleagues in Ukraine and their efforts to continue working on behalf of their patients in extremely difficult circumstances. He also extended his gratitude to industry partners for their support in making the annual congress such a huge success.

As part of the opening ceremony, the EURETINA Lecture 2022 was delivered by Professor Sobha Sivaprasad on the topic of “Steps to Achieving the Impossible in the Clinical Management of Diabetic Retinopathy”.

Prof. Sivaprasad’s lecture was followed by the presentation of the Retina Medicine Clinical Research Grant winners for 2022 by Reinier O. Schlingemann, Chair of the EURETINA Research Committee.

The first grant award went to Claudia Farinha from Coimbra University, Portugal for her project on “Diet, lifestyle, systemic medication and genetics: can the risk for AMD be modulated?”, while the second awardee was Suzanne Yzer of Radboud University Medical Center in the Netherlands for her project entitled “Risk of posterior staphyloma in highly myopic Europeans: from epidemiology to anatomy and back”.

The Opening Ceremony concluded with the video competition awards, with first prize going to Gagan Bhatia of India for his entry entitled “Black Nucleus”, which described the rescue of a cataract surgery which had left a dislocated black nucleus lying over the posterior pole. Second and third prizes went to Piergiacomo Grassi and Adel Al-Akeely respectively.

All registered attendees will be able to view this session via playback on the virtual platform.