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On Saturday, April 1st, the 2023 UNC EYE Symposium drew colleagues in eye care practice from across North Carolina and out of state to the William & Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill, NC for a daylong conference. This year, this annual symposium reached its highest attendance to date. In total, visiting eye care practitioners and UNC Department of Ophthalmology faculty, residents and fellows reached almost 200 private and academic professionals who attended this daylong conference.

This year’s symposium featured talks by distinguished guest speakers and UNC Ophthalmology faculty subspecialists covering all major areas of clinical eye care, including retina, glaucoma, oculoplastics and reconstructive surgery, neuro-ophthalmology and cornea and external disease.

Seventeen 2023 UNC Eye Symposium speakers presented the latest in diagnosis and treatment updates in their areas of expertise. Among them, five distinguished guest speakers included institutional leaders from major academic medical centers across the U.S.:

  • Andrew J. W. Huang, MD, MPH: Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science (Washington University Physicians Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences)
  • Carlos E. Mendoza Santiestban, MD: Associate Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology  (University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute)
  • Paul Sternberg, Jr., MD: Chairman, G.W. Hale Professor & Vanderbilt Eye Institute Director (Vanderbilt Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences)
  • Carla Siegfried, MD: Jacquelyn E. and Allan E. Kolker, MD, Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (Washington University Physicians Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences)
  • Jennifer A. Sivak-Callcott, MD: Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon (Mon Health Medical Center – WVa) & Immediate Past President/CEO of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS)

In 1963, the UNC EYE Symposium was initiated as an annual staff meeting of the UNC Eye Department that drew outstanding visiting speakers to lecture on a range of topics. Sixty years later, 2023 UNC EYE Symposium Course Director and Kittner Family Distinguished Professor Donald J. Budenz, MD, MPH, and Co-Course Director and Assistant Professor Maja Kostic, MD, MPH, PhD led extensive planning efforts that ensured the 2023 symposium offered scholarly excellence and professional enrichment. Dr. Kostic noted:

“As co-director of the symposium, I believe that what made the 2023 event stand apart was the exceptional strength and diversity of our speakers, the thought-provoking topics we presented with novel talks from virtual reality to gene therapy and the impressive potential for growth in the years to come, setting a high standard for future symposiums.”