Dr Blanka Golebiowski recently presented as a keynote speaker at the prestigious Gordon Conference for the Biology and Pathobiology of the Cornea. Held 29 February to 4 March in Ventura, California, the conference was chaired by Professor Darlene Dartt from Schepens Eye Research Institute and Harvard Medical School and Professor Robert Lavker from Northwest University School of Medicine.
In a session devoted to aetiology and treatment of ocular pain, Dr Golebiowski presented her recent work on corneal and conjunctival surface sensitivity, nerve morphology and discomfort in conditions commonly presenting to optometrists, such as dry eye, allergy and contact lens wear. Other inspiring speakers in the field of pain neurobiology included Professor Juana Gallar (Univ Miguel Hernandez), a neuroscientist with a focus on ocular pain and sensation, Dr Diana Bautista (UCLA) whose work aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of touch, pain and itch, and Professor David Borsook (Harvard Medical School), who spoke about the relationships between ocular pain and other types of pain including migraine.
With attendance deliberately limited, Gordon Research Conferences have a strong focus on presentation of unpublished science, on discussion and providing opportunities to network and form collaborations. The Cornea conference was full of cutting-edge scientific discussion on the function of the ocular surface and tear film in health and disease and provided opportunities for meeting and forming relationships with internationally renowned scientists and clinicians. Scientific discussion and debate amongst scientists and clinicians from fields within and outside the eye started with early morning breakfasts, continued across the daytime scientific sessions, dinner, evening conference sessions and for some over to late night drinks. Mission achieved.