International Council of Opthalmology
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February 2016
Ico Insight : News, Resources, and Events fort he World’s Ophthalmologists

ICO Insight Wrap-Up Issue: Focus on WOC2016

The vibrancy, warmth, and flavor of Mexico took center stage at the opening ceremony of the February 5–9 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) in Guadalajara, creating an experience attendees will not soon forget.

The evening included a video history of ophthalmology and the honoring of colleagues who received well-deserved medals and awards, followed by a grand fiesta with mariachis and dancing. Thank you to our host, the Sociedad Mexicana de Oftalmología (SMO) for organizing a tremendous opening ceremony and social events––and ensuring that everyone had a superb time.

In addition, thank you to Prof. Clement Tham and his team for organizing an outstanding scientific program. Through this common purpose and joint commitment, WOC2016 was an unconditional success and will be remembered as a great Congress.

Medal recipients at the WOC2016 opening ceremony were:

  • Jules François Golden Medal: Clare Gilbert, MB ChB, FRCOphth
  • Bietti Medal: Sir Peng Khaw, PhD, FRCS, FRCP
  • Tadeusz Krwawicz Gold Medal: Marie-José Tassignon, MD, PhD
  • Bruce Spivey Ophthalmic Education Award: David S. Taylor, FRCOphth, DSc(Med)
  • ICO Mark Tso Golden Apple Award: Richard Abbott, MD
  • Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology Gradle Medal: Rafael Sánchez Fontán, MD

To learn more about the medals and medal recipients, go to:

Online News and Interviews Highlight Important Topics at WOC2016

The international scientific program at WOC2016 included more than 2,000 speakers participating in 200 scientific sessions covering the whole range of ophthalmology, including new and breaking research.

New ICO Officers and Board Members

Dr. Hugh Taylor <br> ICO President Dr. Hugh Taylor
ICO President

During the Guadalajara Congress, new ICO Officers and Board members were welcomed, and retiring Officers and Board members were acknowledged for their outstanding service and commitment to the ICO.  

Incoming ICO Board Officers

  • Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President
  • Kgaogelo (Eddie) Legodi, MD, Vice President

Outgoing ICO Board Officers

  • Abdulaziz AlRajhi, MD, Vice President
  • Enrique L. Graue, MD, Vice President

Incoming ICO Board Members

  • Harminder Dua, MD, PhD, FRCP, Advisory Committee Chair
  • Mohamed Alaa Eldanasoury, MD, FRCS
  • Van Lansingh, MD, Director for Advocacy
  • Wanjiku Mathenge, MD, PhD, FEACO
  • Serge Resnikoff, MD, PhD, Director for Eye Care Delivery (Dr. Resnikoff’s previous position on the ICO Board was as Director for Advocacy)
  • Berthold Seitz, MD, Director for Fellowships
  • Marie-José Tassignon, MD, PhD

Outgoing ICO Board Members

  • Abdulaziz AlRajhi, MD, Vice President and President WOC2012
  • Emilio Campos, MD
  • Veit-Peter Gabel, MD, FARVO, Director for Fellowships
  • Adekunle Olubola Hassan, MD, FRCS, FRCON
  • Tetsuro Oshika, MD, PhD, Past Congress President, WOC2014
  • Alfred Sommer, MD, Director for Eye Care Delivery

Incoming Members of the Advisory Committee

  • Ebtisam Al Alawi, FRCS (Glas, Ed), MRCOPhth
  • Catherine Green, MBChB, MMedSc, FRANZCO
  • Joao Furtado, MD, PhD
  • Wei He, MD, PhD
  • Ahmed Trabelsi, MD

Outgoing Members of the Advisory Committee

  • Manal Bouhaimed, MBChB, PhD
  • Mohamed Alaa Eldanasoury, MD, FRCS*
  • Thomas Fenech, MBBS, FRCOphth
  • Neeru Gupta, MD, PhD, MBA*
  • Harminder Dua, MD, PhD, FRCP, Advisory Committee Chair
  • Santosh Honavar, MD, FACS
  • Wanjiku Mathenge, MD, PhD, MBChB*

*Drs. Eldanasoury and Mathenge have been elected to the Board, and Dr. Gupta has been elected Vice President.

Through the dedicated participation of ICO Officers, Board members, and Advisory Committee members, the ICO has made and will continue to make huge advances as an organization and in our mission to preserve and restore vision for the people of the world. To see the full list of ICO Board and Advisory Committee members, go to:

2016 ICO General Assembly

At the February 5 ICO General Assembly, outgoing ICO Director for Fellowships Veit-Peter Gabel, MD, FARVO, was thanked for his focus and commitment to the ICO Fellowships Program, and Berthold Seitz, MD, was welcomed as the incoming ICO Director for Fellowships.

Alfred Sommer, MD, outgoing ICO Director for Eye Care Delivery, delivered the General Assembly keynote presentation “Eye Health: What are the Greatest Barriers to Healthy Eyes and Good Vision?”

ICO Strategic Plan for 2016–2020 Underway

The World Ophthalmology Congress in Guadalajara was the venue for initial discussions for the next ICO Strategic Plan. Attendees at the ICO’s February 4 Board Meeting, February 5 General Assembly, and February 7 breakfast meeting of ICO Committees were asked to offer their thoughts on the ICO’s focus and direction for the next five years.

The 2016–2020 ICO Strategic Plan will build on the goals and strategies defined in the 2011–2015 ICO Strategic Plan.

ICO Fellowship Alumni Reception at WOC2016

ICO Fellowship alumni and hosts reconnected at the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) in Guadalajara for networking, further education, and career development.

The reception began with a welcome address from ICO President Hugh Taylor, AC, MD. Hosts and fellows then presented short reports describing their unique experiences. The turnout was both enthusiastic and inspiring, and the positive feedback from all those who participated was a testament to the success of the ICO Fellowships Program.

For information about the ICO Fellowships Program and to find profiles of ICO Fellows, go to:

Travel Grant Recipients
WOC2016 travel grant recipients were also recognized at the Fellowship reception. Eleven grants, funded by the David Pyott Foundation and others, were awarded to former ICO Fellows from regions throughout the world to support their travel to WOC2016 in Guadalajara.

In addition, the International Society of Pathology (ISOP) awarded a travel grant to a pathology-focused attendee. This is the first year that ISOP has awarded a travel grant to the WOC, and future ISOP WOC travel grants are planned.

The WOC2016 travel grant recipients were:

  • Sahin Afsun, MD, Turkey
  • Pradeep Bastola, MBBS, MD, MSc, Nepal
  • Veronica Elisa Castillo Benitez, MD, Paraguay (ISOP Travel Award Recipient)
  • Alexis Kahindo Kahatane, MD, DR Congo
  • Jnanankar Medhi, MBBS, MS, India
  • Bwetsia Freddy Mbumba, MD, Uganda
  • Eman Mohamed Abo Taleb, MD, Yemen
  • Rene Moya, MD, Chile
  • Olufunmilola Ogun, FWACS, Nigeria
  • Jason Pithuwa Nirwoth, MD, Congo
  • Raed Shatnawi, MD, FRCS, Jordan
  • Rustam Usmanov, MD, Uzbekistan

ICO Holds Reception for Young Ophthalmologists at WOC2016

On Sunday, February 7, more than 70 young ophthalmologists gathered to watch Super Bowl 50 and meet with ICO leaders and staff at WOC2016 in Guadalajara.

This was the ICO’s first Young Ophthalmologists Reception, and it offered the opportunity for those new to ophthalmology and those who have been in practice for a little bit longer to enjoy one another’s company while also learning about the ICO’s programs and initiatives. ICO President Hugh Taylor, AC, MD, welcomed attendees and emphasized the importance of younger ophthalmologists taking an active role in preserving and restoring vision for the people of the world.

To learn more about the ICO, including the many ways to get involved, email Jennifer Hanes, ICO Membership and Society Relations Manager, at:

ICO Ophthalmic Educators Group Holds Inaugural Meeting at WOC2016

The recently launched ICO Ophthalmic Educators Group (ICO-OEG) held its inaugural reception on February 6 at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Guadalajara.

The ICO-OEG is a new special interest group that was formed to increase recognition of ophthalmic education as a critical component of ophthalmology. The ICO-OEG supports educators and teachers of ophthalmology and provides a platform for collaboration, networking, and professional development.

Anyone interested in ophthalmic education is encouraged to join the ICO-OEG, and membership is free. Learn more about the ICO Ophthalmic Educators Group.

WOEC Keynote Luncheon Offers Unique Perspectives on Leadership in Ophthalmic Education

The World Ophthalmic Education Colloquium (WOEC) luncheon February 6 in Guadalajara was a well-attended and thought-provoking event, which was highlighted by three speakers:

  • The keynote presentation, “Leadership in Ophthalmic Education: Making a Difference,” was given by Stewart Mennin, PhD.
  • David Taylor, FRCOphth, presented the Bruce Spivey Ophthalmic Education Award lecture “Listen, Look, Think: Make Diagnoses!” 
  • Richard Abbott, MD, recipient of the Mark Tso Golden Apple Award, gave the associated lecture “Creating the Link Between Clinical Guidelines and Outcomes Data: Its Impact on Future Ophthalmic Education.”

The luncheon was chaired by Bruce Spivey, MD, MS, MEd, Immediate Past President of the ICO, and Jorge Valdez García, MD, President, Mexican Society of Ophthalmology.

World Ophthalmology Congresses in 2018 and 2020

Mark your calendars and join your colleagues at these upcoming WOCs:

WOC2018: Barcelona, Spain
June 16–20, 2018

WOC2018 will be hosted by the Spanish Society of Ophthalmology (Sociedad Española de Oftalmología–SEO). The European Society of Ophthalmology (SOE) and the Spanish Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (SECOIR) will co-host the Congress, in conjunction with the Catalan Society of Ophthalmology and Barraquer Institute. Rafael I. Barraquer, MD, PhD, will serve as the President of WOC2018.

WOC2020: Cape Town, South Africa
June 26–29, 2020

WOC2020 will be hosted by the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA), with the African Ophthalmology Council (AOC) and Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) as co-hosts. Kgaogelo “Eddie” Legodi, MD, will serve as the President of WOC2020.

Sign up to receive more information at:

WOC2022 in Asia-Pacific Region

The 2022 World Ophthalmology Congress® (WOC) of the International Council of Ophthalmology will take place in the Asia-Pacific region.

Notifications have been sent to ICO Member societies in the Asia-Pacific region requesting they inform the ICO by September 2, 2016, if there is an intent to submit a proposal to host WOC2022. Full proposals will be due no later than January 20, 2017. The host society and city will be selected provisionally by the ICO Board of Trustees on March 1, 2017, in Singapore.

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