Our Advisory Board includes the following members:
- Anat Loewenstein, MD, Tel Aviv, Israel
- J Fernando Arevalo, MD, FACS, Baltimore, USA
- Lihteh Wu, MD, San José, Costa Rica
- David Chow, MD, Toronto, Canada
- Thomas Albini, MD, Miami, USA
- Rupert Bourne, MD, Cambridge, UK
- Luca Sergio, New York, USA
- Didi Discar, San Diego, USA
* * * * *
Anat Loewenstein, MD
Professor Anat Loewenstein is Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Tel Aviv Medical Center, and Full Professor of Ophthalmology, incumbent of the Sydney A. Fox Chair in Ophthalmology, and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel. After studying medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and completing a residency in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Tel Aviv Medical Center, she completed a fellowship in retinal vascular diseases and vitreoretinal surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Professor Loewenstein holds multiple international leadership positions. She was recently appointed General Secretary of the EURETINA board, she is the international representative to the Board of the American Society of Retinal Specialists, and represents Israel on the European Society of Ophthalmology Board. She is also a member of the international committee in the Macula Society Board. She was recently granted a chair in the Academia Ophthalmological Internationalis.
Professor Loewenstein’s main areas of expertise are AMD, RVO, and the investigation of drug toxicity to the retina. She is the author of 280 publications in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks of ophthalmology, and serves on several editorial boards in addition to being the editor of Case Reports in Ophthalmology. She has also led the development of novel technology for early detection of AMD.
* * *
J. Fernando Arevalo, MD, FACS, completed his medical and ophthalmology training in Caracas, Venezuela, his native country, before traveling to Bogota, Colombia for a two-year Retina and Vitreous fellowship at the Barraquer Institute and the Fundacion Oftalmogica Nacional (University of El Rosario) in 1992-1993. Subsequently, he completed a 2-year Retina and Vitreous/Uveitis and Intraocular Inflammation fellowship at the University of California, San Diego (1993-1995) and a one-year Ocular Oncology fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital under the mentoring of Drs. Jerry and Carol Shields. Dr. Arevalo returned to Venezuela in 1996, where he was appointed to the rank of Chairman of Ophthalmology at the Clinica Oftalmologica Centro Caracas in Caracas, Venezuela, and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Los Andes, Merida, Venezuela. Dr. Arevalo has become recognized as one of the leading ophthalmologists in South America and in 2001 founded the Arevalo-Coutinho Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology. In 2011, Dr. Arevalo was invited by Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore to work as a Professor of Ophthalmology and the Chief of the Retina Division of the King Khaled Eye Hospital (KKESH) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for a four-year tenure (July 2011-15), followed by an appointment at the Wilmer Eye Institute as the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Professor of Ophthalmology in the Retina Division, and an appointment as chief of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in 2015. As a clinical scientist, Dr. Arevalo has more than 800 scientific publications (more than 220 on MEDLINE), 11 books, more than 700 scientific paper presentations, and more than 1000 invited lecture presentations in North-America, South-America, Central-America, Europe, Africa, and Asia that have led to international recognition and awards. Dr. Arevalo belongs to numerous scientific societies including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Retina Society, the Macula Society, the Club Jules Gonin, the International Uveitis Study Group, the International Society of Ocular Oncology, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and has a seat at the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis. Dr. Arevalo is a former President of the Pan-American Retina and Vitreous Society (2006-2008). Dr. Arevalo is the President-Elect (2015-2017) of the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO).
* * *
Following the completion of his undergraduate studies at Cornell University, where he graduated with distinction in all subjects, Dr Wu went on to Tulane University School of Medicine to pursue his medical education. During this time he was awarded a Pew Research Fellowship that allowed him to spend a year at the Rockefeller University in New York. He then trained at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City (internship), the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City (ophthalmology residency), and the National Retina Institute in Baltimore under the mentorship of Drs Bert Glaser and Robert Murphy (vitreoretinal fellowship). In 1999, Dr Wu returned to Costa Rica where he was appointed Associate Professor at the University of Costa Rica and the Director of the Vitreo-Retinal Department at the Insituto de Cirugía Ocular in San José, Costa Rica. Dr Wu is a founding member of the Pan American Collaborative Retina Study (PACORES) Group. He has authored and co-authored more than 50 peer reviewed articles, more than 40 chapters and has edited 5 books. He has been awarded the Senior Honor Award (2007) by the American Society of Retina Specialists, Senior Honor Award (2010) by the Greek Vitreoretinal Society, Achievement Award (2006) and the Senior Achievement Award (2013) by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In addition he was the 2014 Sociedad Panamericana de Retina y Vitreo GLADAOF Lecturer. Dr Wu is past President of the Pan American Retina and Vitreous Society and serves as the current Vice-President for the Pan American Association of Ophthalmology. He also served two terms as President of the Costa Rican Ophthalmological Association. In addition, he is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is a member of the Club Jules Gonin, Macula Society, Retina Society and the American Society of Retinal Specialists. Dr Wu has been invited to speak at several international meetings like the American Academy of Ophthalmology Retina Subspecialty Day and the Vail Vitrectomy Meeting.
* * *
David Chow, MD, is an Assistant Professor at St Michael’s hospital, University of Toronto and Director of the Toronto Retina Institute. He completed his medical degree at the University of Toronto followed by a fellowship in Ocular Pathology and then Ophthalmology reisdency at McGill University. His vitreoretinal fellowship took place with Associated Retinal Consultants in Royal Oak, Michigan at William Beaumont hospital. His first staff position was at McGill University where he worked for 5 years as the Director of Retinal Research and the Vitreoretinal Fellowship. He then moved to Chicago to join Illinois Retina Associates where he worked for 5 years and restarted the Vitreoretinal Fellowship. He subsequently moved back to his hometown in Toronto 9 years ago. He has served on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Retina Specialists as head of the Film Festival and Research. He co-founded the Canadian Retina Society, Best of Retina meeting and ASRS Fellows Forum for which he has also served as the Program director for the last 6 years. He was the Editor in Chief of the journal Techinques in Ophthalmology and co-authored the textbook, Microincisional Vitrectomy Surgery. He has authored over 50 publications and presented over 300 talks. His main interests have been Vitreoretinal Instrumentation for which he has patented and designed multiple instruments. He is married to an oculoplastic surgeon and has 3 very active sporty daughters. He enjoys Golf, travel, the muskoka cottage and watching his daughters sports!
* * * * *
Thomas Albini, MD, is currently at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Albini received a Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Princeton University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed an ophthalmology residency at Doheny Eye Institute of the University of Southern California. He completed a uveitis clinical and research fellowship at Doheny Eye Institute and a vitreoretinal fellowship at Cullen Eye Institute of the Baylor College of Medicine.
* * *
Rupert Bourne is Professor of Ophthalmology at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, directs the Huntingdon Glaucoma Diagnostic and Research Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, and is also Honorary Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. He trained at Moorfields Eye Hospital and undertook two Glaucoma fellowships, one there and another at the Shiley Eye Centre/Hamilton Glaucoma Center in San Diego, California. He has a strong research interest, particularly in advanced techniques of Glaucoma diagnosis and progression and the management of Glaucoma in the community, along with overseas ophthalmology which has involved design and analysis of several large population-based surveys of eye disease, several national in scope, eg. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Trinidad. He is the Chair of the National Institute for Health Research Ophthalmology Specialty Group, responsible for NHS research delivery. In his role as Coordinator of the Vision Loss Expert Group of the Global Burden of Disease Study, he has overseen the long-term research into the world-wide prevalence rates of blindness and visual impairment, in partnership with the World Health Organization.
* * *
Luca Sergio is CEO and Owner of Ethis, Inc. and Managing Partner of Ethis HealthTech, the former being a marketing communications agency focused on ophthalmology and optometry and the latter being a consultancy addressing strategy and business development opportunities in eye care, digital health and beyond.
Luca has focused his energies on multinational technology commercialization, leading sales, marketing, and product development teams in the ophthalmic, dental, and infection control verticals. Most recently prior to taking the helm at Ethis, Luca served as Vice President of Sales, Americas, for Topcon Medical Systems, a Japanese ophthalmic diagnostic and healthcare IT firm, and earlier as Vice President of Marketing for WaveLight, Inc., a German ophthalmic surgical laser company. Earlier on, Luca earned a Masters in International Business from Columbia University and a Bachelors in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University.
His passions are all things eye care (on a global basis) and mHealth (mobilized healthcare) / healthcare IT. He was the architect of the first mHealth application / cloud system in ophthalmology, Topcon’s EyeRoute Synergy system.
* * *
Didi Discar has grown Carling Communications over the past 7 years into a full-service healthcare advertising agency that was recently acquired by the Fishawack Group of Companies. Carling has a team of nearly 100 who specialize in award-winning, full-service marketing, advertising, and physician communications for clients from the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. Since its early focus in ophthalmology and dermatology, the agency has expanded its expertise to 35 therapeutic areas, including aesthetics, cardiovascular, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and pain management.
Didi has been committed to the retina community for the past 10 years. Before starting her agency in 2010, Didi began her healthcare marketing career on the client side with Wyeth-Ayerst (now Pfizer) in 1993 after earning a biomedical engineering degree from the University of Southern California. She went on to help develop and execute strategies for nearly 50 brands in the healthcare industry for Astra/Merck (now AstraZeneca) and Allergan, overseeing the global launch of ALPHAGAN® P and RESTASIS®.
Didi’s accomplishments and influence in the industry have been recognized at the highest levels. She was named to the inaugural class of MM&M’s Hall of Femme, which honored 6 female leaders from all sectors of the US health care industry who have made a significant impact in marketing and communications. Also in 2016, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) awarded Didi with its highest national honor, the National Woman Business Owner of the Year, for her creative initiatives to overcome obstacles, create jobs, grow a successful business, and inspire community involvement.
* * *