Plan your visit to Seattle: This year's ARVO meeting promises must-see programming


The meeting kicks off with symposia and an opening keynote speech from Ed Yong

The Public Market in Seattle, Washington. Image credit: ©jayyuan –

The Public Market is one of many appealing area landmarks for tourists in Seattle, Washington. Image credit: ©jayyuan –

Clean out your travel coffee tumbler, choose your favorite windbreaker, and pack binoculars, just in case you're lucky enough to take a trip to the observation deck of the Space Needle. This month, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) will commence the ARVO Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington. The meeting will run from 5 May to 9 May at the Seattle Convention Center.

The 2024 meeting will focus on vision research and how it is endlessly being transformed by new innovations, information and technology; for instance, the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence over the course of the last year.

ARVO is the largest community of eye and vision researchers in the world, with more than 10,000 members from over 75 countries. Approximately 10,000 vision researchers, clinicians and scientists from around the world attend the ARVO meeting annually for scientific sessions, poster presentations and invited speaker sessions.

The meeting kicks off with the symposia, cohesive programmes focused on cross-disciplinary topics that are of interest to the entire ARVO membership, on Monday, 5 May. Topics discussed during the symposia include the following:

  • Advancing therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative blindness
  • Imaging cellular dynamics: current trends in ophthalmic research
  • Vision for the future: exploring the transformative potential of artificial intelligence in ophthalmology

Following the symposia, the opening keynote speaker will be Ed Yong, Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author. The keynote will cover his recent book, An Immense World, which takes audiences through the hidden realms of animal senses with a special focus on the extraordinarily varied ways in which other creatures see the world. Attendees will have an opportunity to get a signed copy of Young’s book immediately following the session.

The closing keynote speaker will be Sheril Kirshenbaum, Emmy Award-winning scientist and author, on Thursday, 9 May. During the keynote, Kirshenbaum will address best practices to connect with different audiences, counter the rise of misinformation, promote evidence-based thinking and inform the decision-making process.

Members-in-Training Outstanding Poster Awards will be given to the first authors of the top 5 scored abstracts, scheduled as poster presentations from each Scientific Section and Cross-Sectional Group. Award recipients are announced at the closing keynote session during the meeting.

Apart from keynote lectures, achievement award lectures will take place over the course of the meeting as well. They include the following:

  • Proctor Medal Lecture: Emily Y. Chew, MD, FARVO
  • Friedenwald Award Lecture: Anand Swaroop, PhD, FARVO
  • Weisenfeld Award Lecture: Martine J. Jager, MD, PhD, FARVO
  • Cogan Award Lecture: Daniel R. Saban, PhD, FARVO

Minisymposia, cohesive programmes that include an introduction with presentations that pull together the overall topic, will take place throughout the meeting and cover a wide range of topics.

Outside of the lectures and presentations, ARVO attendees can also look forward to a suite of networking events. Capping off the end of the first night, the ARVO Sunday Social event will take place at the Museum of Flight and allow colleagues to view over 175 aircraft and spacecraft, countless artifacts, historical photographs, and fun interactive exhibits. Tickets are required to attend.

On Tuesday, 7 May, Breakfast With the Experts will allow attendees to meet with subject experts for in-depth conversations in a small group setting. Registration is required for the event.

The ARVO Karaoke Night will take place on Wednesday, 8 May, at the Museum of Pop Culture. Attendees can join in with music, cocktails, dancing, and singing and will also have access to the Museum of Pop Culture’s galleries.

Women in Eye and Vision Research will also be holding a luncheon at the event as well as a drop-in mentoring programme, where female ARVO members in mid- and senior-level positions will be available to meet with individuals. They will provide career guidance and mentorship from the unique perspectives of women in eye care.

After making the most of the landmarks and nontraditional venues in Seattle, ARVO will set its sights on the 2025 annual meeting location: Salt Lake City, Utah.

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