Join Us in Durham or Online


After a successful virtual symposium in 2020, Duke VisionFest returns September 23, 2022 for an exciting hybrid event showcasing Duke's vibrant vision research spanning basic to clinical programs.

Free & open to everyone interested in joining!

The event will be held in person at Duke's Trent Semans Center and streamed via Zoom, and include several scientific talks and networking opportunities, featuring keynote speaker Constance Cepko, PhD, from Harvard Medical School.

Registrations details and program agenda will be available by Sept. 1st.


Keynote talk: "Gene Therapy Approaches to Preserve Vision”

Constance Cepko, Ph.D.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator,

Bullard Professor of Genetics and Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School

Read more about Dr. Cepko's research

The event will be held in person at Duke's Trent Semans Center and streamed via Zoom.

Abstract submissions are now closed.

Registration is now closed.

8:30 amBreakfast  
9:00 amOpening RemarksMiranda Scalabrino, PhD (organizer) 
9:05 amResearch Talks

Nerve Associated Macrophage Populations Maintain Corneal Nerve Health and Homeostasis

Sejiro Littleton

PhD student, Saban Lab, Immunology


Robotic OCT for Unstabilized Ophthalmic Imaging

Mark Draelos, MD, PhD

Postdoc, Izatt Lab, Biomedical Engineering


The role of inflammatory, immune-mediated complications in inherited retinal degenerations: beyond cystoid macular edema

Alex Iannaccone, MD, MS, FARVO

Faculty, Ophthalmology

9:50 amPanel DiscussionModerator: Romain Cartoni, PhD 
10:00 amResearch Talks     

scRNA seq reveals a microglial population selectively associated with nerve fiber layer astrocytes in developing retina

Sage Martineau

Staff, Kay Lab, Neurobiology


Astrocytic LRRK2 Controls Cortical Astrocyte Morphology and Synaptic Connectivity through Regulation of Ezrin Phosphorylation

Shiyi Wang, PhD

Postdoc, Eroglu Lab, Cell Biology


The role of nitric oxide in outflow homeostasis

Ruth Kelly, PhD

Postdoc, Stamer Lab, Ophthalmology

10:45 amPanel DiscussionModerator: Paloma Liton, PhD 
10:55 amBreak  
11:05 amLightning Talks

Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration: From Biomarkers to Therapeutic Approaches

Catherine Yao

Staff, Lad Lab, Ophthalmology


Risk Factors Associated with Progression of Diabetic Ocular Complications in Pregnant Patients

Jay Rathinavelu

MD Candidate, Student of Majda Hadziahmetovic, MD, Ophthalmology


Studying astrocyte-guided retinal angiogenesis using an explant assay

Juan Valdez-Lopez, PhD

Postdoc, Kay Lab, Neurobiology


Brain Connectivity and Cognitive Brain Reserve in Life Long Musicians

Andrew Michael, PhD

Research Scientist, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences


Changes in the Bipolar Cell Transcriptome during Photoreceptor Degeneration

Mishek Thapa          

Staff, Field Lab, Neurobiology


Rejection of inappropriate synaptic partners mediated by transcellular FLRT2-UNC5 signaling

Arsha Sharma         

Undergrad, Kay Lab, Neurobiology


Bidirectional modulation of ionotropic AMPA and GABAA receptor-mediated synaptic function in the retina using DART.2

Haidun Yan, MD

Staff, Field & Tadross Labs     Neurobiology


A synaptic mechanism underlying rapid adaptation in V1

Jennifer Li,

PhD student, Glickfeld Lab, Neurobiology


Excitatory inputs to somatostatin interneurons modulate context-dependence of the visual cortex

Celine Cammarata, PhD

Postdoc, Glickfeld Lab, Neurobiology


A spatially invariant representation of motion arises via feedforward projections in the mouse visual cortex

Sara Gannon

PhD student, Glickfeld Lab, Neurobiology


Nucleus Accumbens Microglia May Sense Dopamine Through Endogenously Expressed D1 Receptors

Roshen Amin          

Undergrad, Bilbo Lab, Psychology & Neuroscience


The Role of Pantothenate in Various Stages of Cell Division.

Talya Jeter



Artificial intelligence- based prediction of dry AMD progression

Ella Arnon Katz

Research Fellow, Lad Lab, Ophthalmology

12:00 PMLunch  
12:50 PMDemo TalkAdvanced Cell Diagnostics   
1:00 PMResearch Talks

Continuous hypoxia rescues retinal ganglion cell death in a mouse model of mitochondrial optic neuropathy

Sidney Gospe, MD

Faculty, Ophthalmology


Discovering the structure and function of the retinotectal circuit in rats and primates

Martin Bohlen, PhD

Postdoc, Sommer Lab, Biomedical Engineering


Visual areas differ in calcium-binding protein expression

Juliane Kruger, PhD

Postdoc, Disney Lab, Neurobiology

1:45 PMPanel DiscussionModerator: Marc Sommer, PhD    
1:55 PMCoffee Break  
2:05 PMResearch Talks

Influence of visual background on discrimination of signal-relevant colors in zebra finches

Stephen Nowicki, PhD 

Faculty, Biology


Sight as a Sea Urchin: No Eyes, No Problem

Julia Notar, PhD

Staff, Johnsen Lab, Biology


Homeostatic release of microvesicles from inner segments of healthy photoreceptors is a conserved phenomenon in mammalian species

Tylor Lewis, PhD

Postdoc, Arshavsky Lab, Ophthalmology

2:50 PMPanel DiscussionModerator: Lindsey Glickfeld, PhD           
3:00 PMSnack Break             

Gene Therapy Approaches to Preserve Vision

Connie Cepko, PhD

Departments of Genetics, Neuroscience, Harvard University

4:10 PMQ&A  
4:20 PMClosing & Prize Announcement

Marija Rudzite & Lindsey Chew (co-organizers)                                          




Organizers & Sponsors

Duke VisionFest 2022 is organized by Miranda Scalabrino, PhD; Marija Rudzite; Lindsey Chew; and Cameron Prigge, PhD; and is graciously sponsored by Duke Institute for Brain SciencesDuke Neurobiology, Duke OphthalmologyNikonProteintech, Advanced Cell Diagnostics, Inc., and Atsena Therapeutics.