Irene M. Maumenee
KOLOA, Hawaii — An ophthalmologist whose life’s work has led to advancements in the field of genetic eye disease was honored here at Hawaiian Eye 2020.
“Three developments are essential for the development of ocular genetics: identification of all genes leading to vision loss and their mutations, development of gene therapy and establishment of ophthalmic genetic centers across the U.S.,” said Irene M. Maumenee, MD, recipient of the Philip M. Corboy, MD, Memorial Award for Distinguished Service in Ophthalmology.
“Gene research continues at a rapid pace. Mutation analysis has become a standard procedure,” she said.
Maumenee pointed to the FDA approval of Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzl, Spark Therapeutics). Leber’s congenital amaurosis is the first condition that is successfully treated with gene therapy.
Establishment of ophthalmic genetic centers in the U.S. is critical, she said. “It requires the teaching of the next generation of teachers, of students to continue in the field of ophthalmic genetics.”
“There has to be the establishment of a career path...leading to dual board certification of ophthalmology and medical genetics,” Maumenee said. “It must be done right because there is too much at stake.”
The award was presented by the Hawaiian Eye Foundation through the sponsorship of Bausch + Lomb. – by Joan-Marie Stiglich, ELS
Reference: Maumenee IM. Hawaiian Eye Foundation symposium. Presented at: Hawaiian Eye 2020; Jan. 18-24, 2020; Koloa, Hawaii.
Disclosure: Maumenee reports no relevant financial disclosures.