Brazil chapter meeting features US and UK speakers, travel grant presentations

By Solange R. Salomão, PhD, BRAVO President

Originally published in the Spring 2012 issue of ARVONews


The final selection of three recipients of travel grants to ARVO 2012 was among the highlights of the eighth Brazilian Research Association in Vision and Ophthalmology (BRAVO) Annual Meeting, which took place last August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The meeting was part of the 26th Federation of Brazilian Societies in Experimental Biology (FeSBE) Annual Meeting. 

BRAVO has awarded US$1,000 travel grants to the ARVO Annual Meeting since 2003, with the support of Allergan Laboratories of Brazil. The awards aim to encourage young scientists to submit abstracts for and attend ARVO meetings, as well as to improve their scientific background and networking. 

The August meeting included a day-long pre-FeSBE BRAVO session devoted to research scientists and clinician scientists in the field of visual sciences and ophthalmology and a general FeSBE program, to which BRAVO contributed with lectures of invited international guests. 

The exclusive BRAVO section of the meeting with 80 attendees featured Jay Neitz, PhD (University of Washington) as the keynote speaker with the lecture “Relative Activity of the L and M Cone Photoreceptors and the Cause and Prevention of Myopia.” 

Other international speakers were: 

  • David Zenisek, PhD (Yale University: Neurotransmitter Release at the Retinal Ribbon synapse 
  • M. Francesca Cordeiro, MD, PhD (University College London): Apoptosis in vivo: DARC (Detection of Apoptosing Retinal Cells) 
  • Maureen Neitz, PhD (University of Washington): Genotype-Phenotype Correlations in Inherited Red-Green Color Vision Defects 
  • Victor Perez, MD (Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami): Advances to Understand and to Treat Rejection in Cornea and Limbus Grafts in Ocular Surface Diseases 

 As part of the FeSBE meeting, which had more than 4,000 attendees, BRAVO speakers took part in a variety of sessions: 

 Maureen Neitz, PhD: Curing Color Blindness in a Primate Using Gene Therapy (Gene therapy session) 

  • David Zenisek, PhD: Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Neurotransmitter Release from the Analog Ribbon-Type Synapses of the Retina (Signal transduction in sensory, hormone and drug receptors session) 
  • M. Francesca Cordeiro, MD, PhD: Alzheimer’s and Neurodegeneration — Can We Use the Retina as a Window on to the Brain? (Neurodegeneration session) 

Brazilian BRAVO members participated in sessions on Function and Dysfunction of Sensorial Systems; Advances in Angiogenesis; Signal Transduction in Sensory, Hormone and Drug Receptors; Novel Mechanisms Involved in the Neurobiology of Pain and its Control; and Aging: from Bench to Bedside. 

The meeting was sponsored by a grant from the Coordenação de Aperfeiçomanto de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES, Brasília, Brasil), a major grant agency from the Brazilian federal government and a special donation from Allergan do Brasil. The full program is at

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