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National OCT Conference speaker line up announced


 Attracting nearly 300 delegates last year, which had increased from the inaugural conference in 2015, Topcon are confident that with even more internationally-renowned names being added to the speaker list, this year’s conference is going to be the biggest one yet.


The conference will be opened by the creator of the ‘Hood Report’, Professor Donald Hood from Columbia State University, New York. Professor Hood will be presenting on the development and clinical use of the Hood Report. His analysis of Swept Source OCT Triton data to examine the ganglion cell and nerve fibre layer has shown a very high level of agreement with the decisions made by Glaucoma consultants.  


Swiss ophthalmologist Dr Peter Maloca, is currently working at Moorfields Eye Hospital in Professor Adnan Tufail’s research group. The latest imaging techniques are allowing them to further investigate the choroid, which is now thought to play a much more substantial role in many retinal diseases, than previously thought. Dr Maloca has produced the first 3D OCT film for IMAX film theatre and the world’s first 3D prints of the choroid and retina. He won the Wellcome Image awards for best of medical science imaging in 2016 and 2017. Dr Maloca’s lecture will cover new 3D OCT imaging technology, and how combining this with virtual reality software for OCT analysis will enhance our ability to detect and understand disease.




Dr Konstantinos Balaskas is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Manchester. Dr Balaskas’ research interests include clinical trials for macular conditions, retinal imaging and service delivery research. He is chair of the Research Committee at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and NIHR Clinical Research Network Subspecialty Lead for Ophthalmology at the Greater Manchester. Dr Balaskas’ lecture will focus on Structural OCT and OCTA in the Diagnosis of Wet AMD.




Professor David Henson is a PhD supervisor at the Medical School of Manchester University. Professor Henson was awarded a personal chair in Ophthalmology & Vision Sciences in 2002 at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. In 2004 he was made a Life Fellow of the College of Optometrists and he has been a long time member of the International Perimetric Society. Professor Henson has published over 100 papers within the scientific literature along with two complete texts, Optometric Instrumentation (Butterworth Heinmann) and Visual Fields (Oxford University Press). Professor Henson’s main field of interest is the development of techniques to aid the detection and management of ophthalmic disease, particularly in visual fields and glaucoma. At this autumn’s conference, David will hold a keynote lecture on The Structure/Function Relationship and Recent Developments in Functional Measures.




Professor Sunil Shah is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre and Honorary Consultant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Ulster and Aston University, Birmingham. Voted in the top 100 most influential ophthalmologists in the world in 2014, Professor Shah performs over 500 cataract/lens extraction procedures a year and specialises in complex cataract surgery. He also is one of a handful of surgeons able to offer femtosecond laser cataract surgery. Professor Shah’s keynote lecture is titled ‘Is your OCT useful for anything other than the retina?’.        




Professor Christine Purslow is the Head of Medical Affairs, UK & Ireland for Thea Pharmaceuticals Limited. She is also involved in research at Cardiff University, and is a visiting Professor at Plymouth and Aston Universities. Professor Purslow is a member of the College of Optometrists (UK), a Fellow of both the IACLE and the BCLA, and a recipient of the Irving Fatt Memorial Award for her work in anterior eye research. Christine has authored numerous scientific papers and professional articles, and presents regularly to both national and international audiences, generally on dry eye, tear film, ocular surface and contact lenses. At the National OCT Conference, Christine will discuss the impact of the tear film on ocular imaging.





Professor Chris Hammond, Frost Professor of Ophthalmology at King’s College London and Consultant at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is one of the leading international researchers into the genetic epidemiology of common eye diseases including glaucoma, cataract, myopia, dry eye disease and age-related degeneration. His research group is based within the TwinsUK cohort, one of the most deeply phenotyped and genotyped cohorts in the world. Professor Hammond’s conference lecture will look at how OCT assessment of the RNFL can aid the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. 





Professor Paulo Stanga is Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreoretinal Surgeon for the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, and Professor of Ophthalmology and Retinal Regeneration for the University of Manchester. Professor Stanga’s main areas of interest are in the development and application of the new outpatient and surgical therapies and technologies, such as genetics and AMD, retinal pigment epithelium translocation surgery, micropulse diode and Pascal® laser photocoagulation, and Swept-Source (DRI-OCT®) optical coherence tomography (OCT), amongst many more. Professor Paulo Stanga’s keynote lecture will be on the subject of Vitreo Retinal interface and macular holes.






Dr Alice McTrusty is a qualified Independent Prescribing Optometrist with a keen interest in ocular pathology. She has worked in private practice, the Hospital Eye Service and as part of the Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Service. Alice is currently a Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, where she obtained her PhD looking at effects of axial myopia on visual performance. She was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2016 and sits on the Local Optometric Committee. Her main areas of interest are visual fields, myopia and OCT. At the conference, Dr McTrusty will take those who are complete beginners in OCT through an introductory lecture including how to interpret an OCT scan.


 Mr Ali Yagan is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in Neuro Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Surgery at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. Ali has been performing complex squint assessments, botox injections and surgeries as well as dealing with various neuro ophthalmology conditions affecting the visual pathways and ocular motility since 2015 at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. He is also a clinical supervisor training doctors in neuro ophthalmology, squint and cataract surgeries.  Ali is a fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) and a member of the UK neuro ophthalmology special interest group (UKNOSIG). Ali has several papers, posters and presentations in the UK and abroad on ophthalmology in general and neuro ophthalmology in specific.



Charlotte Hazel is an Optometrist Specialist and Senior Research Optometrist at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. After completing her PhD, Charlotte spent time as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Bradford, taking the position of Optometrist Specialist in 2008. Her work is split between the Bradford Macular Centre, where she manages patients with a range of retinal conditions, an acute referral clinic and the Bradford Ophthalmology Research Network. For the latter, she is a research optometrist for several international commercial research studies as well as helping to develop research within the department. Charlotte’s lecture at the conference will be about Examining AMD using OCT - insights from a macular clinic optometrist. 



The main conference programme offers a total of 19 CET points for optometrists (based on attending 4 keynote lectures and 5 workshops), as well as points for CLOs and DOs over the two days.  Workshop topics will range from a step by step introduction to scanning for glaucoma through to innovative techniques like OCT Angiography, which is set to revolutionise the referral and monitoring of patients in primary eyecare, and provide significant relief for the overstretched HES.

Peer discussion sessions will also be running alongside the workshops, allowing delegates to discuss clinical cases incorporating OCT, with their peers and experienced facilitators. Mr Nigel Davies, Medical Retinal Consultant, from St Thomas’ Hospital, will lead one of the peer discussion sessions.

 Topcon University could not deliver such a comprehensive programme without support from a whole host of workshop leads. Just some of the well-known names include Brian Tompkins (Enhancing your Scleral Lens Fitting with OCT), Dr Alice McTrusty (Introduction to using Swept Source OCT), Drew Thompson (OCT Angiography in Primary Care), Morven Campbell (Assessing the Vitreoretinal Interface with OCT) and a Business lecture by Nicholas Rumney, Shelly Bansal and Stuart Burn amongst many more.