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Gained in Translation Symposium Keynote

Sep 28 2019

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20/20 Blog

Portland, OR — Vinit Mahajan M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chair of Research for the Stanford Ophthalmology Department, traveled to Portland, Oregon to give the keynote lecture at the 10th Annual Gained in Translation Symposium held at the OHSU Knight Cancer Research Building.  

Mahajan’s lecture, Molecular Surgery for Vitreoretinal Disease, detailed work using proteomics, the large-scale study of proteins, to develop new precision health approaches using molecular biomarkers to diagnose retinal disease, select personalized therapies, and decode the anatomic structures of the human eye. 

Specific diseases such as uveitis and proliferative vitreoretinopathy were discussed, including how protein biomarker discovery studies can be translated into clinical practice.

Mahajan said, “We think that we have identified some very specific protein biomarkers that can diagnose hard to characterize eye diseases, and these could be commercially developed into point-of-care clinical tests.”    

Mahajan’s approach to creating a multi-disciplinary team, establishing collaborations between scientists and physicians, and sharing his expertise to further the field of ophthalmology was well received.

Over the past ten years, the symposium has brought together clinicians and vision scientists from the University of Washington, University of British Columbia, and Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) to share their translational and basic research aimed at improving clinical diagnosis and treatment plans. Established by Russ Van Gelder M.D., Ph.D., Chair of Ophthalmology at the University of Washington, this year’s topics included: Animal models for eye disease, Information technology and Big data: promises and ethics, Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis,and Ophthalmic imaging and siystemic disease. 

University of Washington’s Jennifer Chao M.D., Ph.D., OHSU’s Michael Chiang M.D., University of British Columbia’s Miriam Spering Ph.D. and Claire Sheldon M.D., Ph.D. organized the five sessions that comprised the day. In attendance were clinical and research faculty, community colleagues, residents, fellows, and students. Trainees and students gave poster presentations on their research.