I am honored to be the chairman of the International Conference on the
Lens (ICL) 2015. Open worldwide to all cataract and lens researchers, this
is the 3rd ICL conference which evolved from the previous US-Japan CCRG
meetings. Chaired by Prof. John McAvoy, the last ICL conference, which
was held in January 2014, attained the reputation of being one of the best
venues for lens researchers to date, exceeding even ARVO in my opinion.
Held approximately every two years in Hawaii, this wonderful conference
provides lens researchers a special opportunity to meet in a casual atmosphere
to exchange the latest cutting edge results in our field as well as to
socialize over meals and activities.
With advances in cataract surgery, there has been a trend to believe that
cataract research is of decreasing significance. Nevertheless, cataract
is still the leading cause of blindness in the world. One can easily
recognize that reducing the onset and progression of cataracts by identifying
new environmental risk factors and developing new medicines or treatments
will greatly benefit society and worldwide healthcare. The avascular lens
is also an excellent model for studying and elucidating the effects of
aging. With the exception of cataract, the development of presbyopia
is the most recognized age-related lens change. This era of lenticular
anti-aging research which should lead to identifying and preventing the
cause of presbyopia is also quickly coming under the spotlight.
As in past conferences, the National Foundation for Eye Research (NFER)
is supporting this conference through meeting support, travel awards, and
the Kinoshita Lectureship. We anticipate significant international participation
at this conference and I look forward to meeting all of you in Kona, Hawaii.
Chairman, International Conference on the Lens 2015