#BDBlindness, the scientific value of debate

#BDBlindness

We are promoting the B·Debate, Fighting Blindness. Future Challenges and Opportunities for Visual Restoration (#BDBlindness), out of a dual conviction. Firstly, we are fully aware that encounters like these always produce lines of joint research and exploration that speed up the delivery of excellent results. This stems from the close collaboration between researchers and institutions that otherwise would have taken longer. The meetings that attract researchers specialising in such diverse disciplines are always shortcuts to knowledge.

Secondly, we are convinced that it is an essential task of a foundation like ours to promote scientific forums with these characteristics. This is the only way we will focus all the talent to be gathered at CaixaForum Barcelona on 6-7 September on what is our raison d’être: the fight against degenerative vision diseases. To explore more deeply the factors that trigger them and to discover visual restoration therapies. We are not alone in this task: we have promoted the debate in close collaboration with the Centre for Genomic Regulation and the Leitat Foundation, with which we are sure to link up for future projects, and we enjoy the support of the Quironsalud Foundation.

#BDBlindness will witness a convergence of viewpoints on AMD (session 1). This is where we will analyse the routes that will lead us in this decade to discover an appropriate therapy to halt the atrophic types of the disease. Also on the table (session 2) will be the techniques of nanomedicine that pave the way to visual restoration, which was unthinkable only a short time ago. In the field of genetic and gene therapy (session 3), we will examine in greater depth the paradigm this field represents for the treatment of macular degenerations. In the session devoted to photonics and image (4), we will study the microscopic and high-resolution tools and techniques applied to ophthalmology. With regard to optogenetics and artificial vision (session 5), we will look at the future prospects for neuroprosthetics, among other subjects. The session devoted to regenerative therapy and stem cells will cover the applications of induced pluripotent stem cells in degenerative diseases. The final session will take the form of a round table on technological transfer models.

By answering the call of Biocat and the Fundació “la Caixa” —the entities organising the B·Debate sessions- we at the Barcelona Macula Foundation assume the responsibility of bringing to Barcelona the top global and European experts in our field. The programme of #BDBlindness is ambitious and the attendees are of the highest level. We are convinced that the result will exceed all expectations.

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