ATHENS, Greece — With close to 2,000 delegates from seven countries and 34 exhibiting companies, the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Winter Meeting shows constant growth and appreciation. There were more than 1,000 attendees from Greece, the hosting country, “an amazing attendance,” Béatrice Cochener, MD, PhD, ESCRS president, said in her speech at the welcome ceremony.
Traditionally, the winter meeting places special emphasis on education and research.
“There is a need for us to encourage the young generation to be part of this adventure, which is the great evolution of cataract and refractive surgery,” Cochener said.
Ten observership grants and 40 bursaries to attend congresses have been established by the society. Now, in addition to the Peter Barry Fellowship of 60,000 euros, inaugurated in 2017, another bursary of 50,000 euros will be assigned annually with the contribution of Alcon to one trainee to work at a European center of excellence.
Research has been funded so far with more than 4 million euros by the ESCRS, Cochener said. A new large-scale multicenter trial designed and led by the ESCRS is in the pipeline, and smaller individual research projects will receive funding up to 50,000 euros.
This year, the annual donations of ESCRS to charity projects extend to a new initiative.
“I have the pleasure to announce our support to a project of the University of Crete and our colleague Ioannis Pallikaris, consisting of a mobile ophthalmology screening unit for refugee camps — a great initiative in which we are proud to take part,” Cochener said. – by Michela Cimberle
Cochener B. Welcome for the ESCRS president. Presented at: ESCRS Winter Meeting; Feb. 15-17, 2019; Athens, Greece.