The Society held its ninth biennial meeting — Retina 2003 – Back to Belgium – on July 5-8, 2003 in picturesque Brugge, Belgium to honor the founding president Dr. Charles L. Schepens who began his medical career in Belgium. The Crowne Plaza Hotel provided a beautiful site for the excellent scientific program that featured presentations by 47 world renowned speakers on such topics as the Vitreous, Vitreo-retinal Interface, Vitreo-retinal Surgery, Age-related Macular Degeneration Pathogenesis & Clinical Diagnostics, Age-related Macular Degeneration Therapeutics, Medical Retina/Uveitis, and Diabetes.

The Paul Kayser Awards were presented to Professor Wallace S. Foulds, whose topic was “Vascular Plasticity in the Retina and Choroid” and to Dr. Eugene deJuan who spoke on “New Treatment Strategies in AMD.”

The Leslie Nesmith Lecture was presented by Paul Bishop, PhD on the subject of “The Gel State of Vitreous from a Molecular Perspective.”

The meeting was attended by 121 ophthalmologists from 16 different countries. In keeping with the motto, “A WAY OF SHARING KNOWLEDGE” the Society provided meeting scholarships to 17 residents and fellows.

In addition to sharing knowledge, the meeting provided an excellent opportunity to renew old friendships and make new ones.

The social programs was highlighted by a visit to the Council Room of the gothic style Town Hall created in 1376. The city dignitaries held a ceremony to recognize Dr. Schepens for his contributions to the country as well as the field of ophthalmology. They presented him a book commemorating the evening and asked him to place his signature in a book reserved for visiting dignitaries and heads of state to sign when they visit the city of Brugge.

Other highlights of the social program included two dinners. One was held at the Belfry Tower — a 13th Century structure where judges used to meet. Those who wished were given an opportunity to mount the 366 steps leading to the top of the 83m high tower where one can get a panoramic view of the Flemish countryside. A second dinner was held at the restaurant on the site of the Old St. John Hospital which was preceded by a tour of the Memling Museum located at the same site.

Two tours were planned to provide an opportunity to visit such sites as the Church of Our Lady where Michelangelo’s  “Our Lady and the Infant” is on display. Several other churches and museums were visited along with a boat trip down the old Brugge canals.

No visit to Belgium could be complete without an opportunity to purchase some beautiful lace items from local shops, one of which demonstrated how the intricate lace designs were achieved.

Plans have begun for our 2005 meeting which will be held in Canada. Check this website for updates concerning this meeting.

we hope you will be able to join us for one of our future meetings.

To access the web site on which the syllabus is located, please go to: