2020 Annual Symposium

The 69th Annual Symposium will be held January 31st – February 2nd, 2020 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.

Participants will learn from the brightest ophthalmologists from around the country on the topics of Cataract, Refractive Surgery, Uveitis, and Retina.

Program Highlights:

    • Astigmatism Management
    • Building on 2019 – MIGS update
    • Clinical trials in uveitis
    • Handling Unhappy refractive surgery patients
    • Hot topics in keratoplasty
    • How to diagnose the patient with uveitis
    • Latest advances in vitreoretinal surgery
    • Medical retina: what’s in the pipeline?
    • New techniques and technology in anterior segment surgery
    • Ocular allergies
    • Presbyopia Correction
    • Treatment of Uveitis
    • Uveitis evaluation and update
    • Update on the newest IOLs and novel techniques for IOLS
    • What am I doing wrong here?  Learning from tough cataract cases
    • What’s new in dry eye?
    • When to use PRK, LASIK or SMILE
    • Innovation session

Intimate Roundtables, question & answer sessions, hand-on workshops and much more!

Hotel Information
A block of rooms at the host hotel, the Sheraton New Orleans, have been reserved for registrants, exhibitors, and technicians, at the special rate of $219.00. Please call the Sheraton at (888) 627-7033 or  (504) 525-2500 and mention the New Orleans Academy of Ophthalmology.

If you are a NOAO member, please log in and visit your member page to register. Otherwise, please register by clicking the button below.

Register Here


2020 Confirmed Faculty Speakers

Nisha Acharya, M.D., Francis I. Proctor Foundation at University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Rosa Braga-Mele, M.D., University of Toronto, Toronto, CA
Massimo Busin, M.D., University of Ferrara, Ferrara, ITL
Janet Davis, M.D., Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL
Terrence O’Brien, M.D., Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Narsing Rao, M.D., Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
John Vukich, M.D., Davis Duerh Dean Whitewater, Whitewater, WI

Speaker Biographies

Nisha Acharya, MD is the Director of the Uveitis and Ocular Inflammatory Disease Service and the Uveitis Fellowship at the F.I. Proctor Foundation. Her clinical expertise is the diagnosis and management of patients with infectious and inflammatory eye diseases. She is experienced with the latest treatments for uveitis, including treatment with new immunomodulatory drugs and biologic therapies. Dr. Acharya’s research focuses on the design and implementation of clinical trials to determine the optimal treatment for these conditions. Current projects include clinical trials comparing treatments for uveitis and uveitic-macular edema, and epidemiological studies on ocular inflammatory diseases.


Rosa Braga-Mele, MD, is a Professor of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Ottawa Medical School. She then completed her residency at the University of Toronto. She went on to complete her Masters Degree in Higher Education with areas of specialty in curriculum development and patient-physician communication skills. She has a special interest in Professionalism including biomedical ethics and communication issues and has published papers and given symposia in these areas. She is Director of Professionalism and Bio-Medical Ethics for the Department of Ophthalmology at U of T.

Dr. Braga-Mele is a cataract specialist and educator who speaks frequently at both the national and international level on advanced surgical techniques and innovations in the area of phacoemulsification surgery and complicated cataract cases and IOL development. She was voted by her peers as one of the top 50 opinion leaders in cataract and refractive surgery. She has over 150 published abstracts and papers. She has also been involved in clinical trials pertaining to wavefront IOL’s and multifocal IOL’s and phacoemulsification surgery.

Dr. Braga-Mele serves as the Chair of the Education Clinical Committee (2015–present) for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and is a member of the Governing Board and Program Committee for ASCRS. She was Chair of the Cataract Clinical Committee for ASCRS from 2011–2015. She was an active member of the AAO Special Programs Committee from 2007–2011, and in 2015–2016 was part of the AAO Cataract Preferred Practice Patterns Committee. She was also the chairperson for the cataract section of the Canadian Ophthalmology Society (COS) meeting for 2004, 2005 and 2006. She sat on the executive committee and was a board member for the Canadian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery as chairperson for the annual meeting for the years 2003 and 2004. She is Cataract Section Editor for EyeWorld and is on the editorial board of other ophthalmic publications.

She was the inaugural Research Director at the Kensington Eye Institute in Toronto from 2007–2012. She was appointed Cataract Director at the Kensington Eye Institute in May 2013.

She is involved in the resident surgical teaching curriculum development and implementation at the University of Toronto. She has won multiple teaching awards both at the undergraduate and resident levels for her teaching and mentorship abilities including the Silver Needle award in 2003, 2007 and 2012 for best resident surgical teacher. She was given the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Achievement Award in 2007 for distinguished volunteer service and the AAO Secretariat Award in 2012 for special contributions to the Academy and ophthalmology out of proportion to others and making a difference in her efforts. She has recently been awarded the AAO Senior Achievement Award in 2013 for volunteer services.

Massimo Busin, MD has been the director of the corneal physiopathology unit of Ospedali Privati ​​Forlì,  based at Villa Igea, since January 1987. Dr. Busin specialized in ophthalmology at the Eye Clinic of the University of Ferrara in July 1984. From July of 1984 to June of 1986, he was a Cornea Fellow at the Louisiana State University Eye Clinic, directed by Prof. Herbert E. Kaufman. In 1985 he moved to Bonn, Germany at the University Ophthalmology Clinic; he acquired Free Education in 1989 and then became a University Professor in 1991.

In 1995, he moved to Forlì as head of the ophthalmology department of Forlì Private Hospitals. Since then, he has carried out numerous consultations at hospitals in Italy and abroad.

Professor Busin is also a lecturer at the Postgraduate School of Ophthalmology at the University of Milan, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, and director of the Postgraduate School of Ophthalmology at the University of Ferrara. 
The clinical research activity, developed above all in the field of corneal transplantation, has distinguished itself nationally and internationally: Dr. Busin has developed new surgical techniques adopted all over the world and the results have been the subject of numerous publications in the world magazines with the highest scientific “impact factor”.

Professor Busin is the author of 106 articles, 21 book chapters, and a book. He was Associate Editor for Europe of the journal “Journal of Refractive Surgery” until 1997 and is currently a regular reviewer for all the major ophthalmologic journals, including “Ophthalmology”, “American Journal of Ophthalmology”, “Archives of Ophthalmology”,”British Journal of Ophthalmology”, “Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery”, etc.

Since 1984 Professor Busin has participated in over 400 worldwide conferences as an invited speaker. He received from the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) the “Honor Award” in 1993, the “Senior Achievement Award” in 2003 and the “Life Achievement Award” in 2013. The SOI Italian Ophthalmological Society awarded him the Medal of Gold “Master of Ophthalmology” in 2012. In 2013, Prof. Busin held the prestigious “Chancellor Lecture in Neurosciences and Ophthalmology” at the LSU Eye Center in New Orleans, which in previous years was also held by two Nobel Prize-winning scientists. He has also received numerous awards both for videos and for lectures held at international meetings, including the AAO, ESCRS, DOC, ASCRS, etc.
Professor Busin was President of SITRAC (Italian Cornea Transplantation Society) from 2010 to 2013 and is currently Vice-President.

Janet Davis, MD received a medical degree with high honors in 1981 from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and completed a residency in ophthalmology in 1986. She was a fellow in vitreoretinal diseases at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Medical School from 1986 to 1987 and joined the National Eye Institute Laboratory of Immunology as a Senior Staff Fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Nussenblatt in 1987. She returned to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in 1989 as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and was promoted to Professor of Ophthalmology in 2000. With Dr. William Culbertson, she instituted a Uveitis Section at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in 1994 and in 1997 initiated a consultative uveitis clinic for the resident physicians at BPEI. In addition to a clinical practice in uveitis and ocular infections, she also sees patients with medical and surgical vitreoretinal disorders and conducts clinical research.

Dr. Davis’s academic interests are infectious and inflammatory diseases of the eye, with an emphasis on diagnostic procedures and clinical management of uveitis, including the surgical management of uveitic complications. She is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Retina Society, Macula Society, American Uveitis Society (past president), International Uveitis Study Group, and International Ocular Inflammation Society. Since 2006 she has been a Director of the American Board of Ophthalmology.  She is a reviewer for several academic journals and an Executive Editor for the American Journal of Ophthalmology. She has published 28 book chapters, 145 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and made numerous presentations. She has been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, ARVO Silver Fellow, and listed in Best Doctors, America’s Top Ophthalmologists, and Florida Super Doctors.



Terrence O’ Brien, MD is an ophthalmologist practicing in Miami, FL. Before joining the team at the acclaimed Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Terrence O’Brien served as Director of Ocular Infectious Diseases at The Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was also the founder of the Eye Microbiology Lab at Wilmer Eye Institute.

As an expert in the fields of refractive surgery and ocular infectious diseases, Dr. O’Brien is an internationally renowned physician, researcher, and educator. He has treated many prominent individuals including congressmen, professional athletes, and media personalities. Dr. O’Brien is recognized as an exceptional surgeon, with clinical specialties in cataracts and intraocular lens, laser vision correction, corneal and external diseases, ocular infectious diseases and corneal transplant surgery.

Dr. O’Brien’s significant contributions to the field of ophthalmology began in his early 20s when he helped to create several types of antibiotics in eye drop form. Since then, he had led the way as a top researcher in refractive surgery techniques, the avoidance and management of complications of refractive surgery, ocular infectious diseases, ocular microbiology, and corneal transplant surgery research. Dr. O’Brien has written many publications, including articles in the Journal of Cataract Refraction Surgery, Ophthalmology, Cornea, and the International Journal of Clinical Ophthalmology. He was the Past President of the Ocular Microbiology & Immunology Group, on the Executive Boards of the International Conference of Eye Infections, and an active member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. Additionally, Dr. O’Brien is senior assistant editor of the esteemed Journal of Refractive Surgery and past Editor-In-Chief of Contemporary Ophthalmology.

Narsing Rao, MD is involved in the treatment of inflammatory ocular diseases affecting the uveal tract, vitreous, retina, and sclera. Dr. Rao has published over 440 peer-reviewed papers in clinical and basic science findings. He has received numerous honors and awards for his research endeavors on ocular inflammatory diseases from Research to Prevent Blindness and the National Institute of Health. He delivered several named lectures, both nationally and internationally, including visiting professorships at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, University of Paris, France, Moorefields Eye Institute, London, University of Rome, Italy, Tokyo Medical University, Kyushu University in Fukoka, Japan, and University of Sydney, Australia.

For his outstanding contributions to ophthalmology, he was awarded the Lorenz E. Zimmerman medal from American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Ramon L. Font medal from Pan American Society of Ophthalmology, the International Ocular Inflammation Society Award, and received an award from European Vision and Eye Research Association in 2006. Dr. Rao was also the recipient of the prestigious Bietti Medal from International Council of Ophthalmology.

In the past 25 years, Dr. Rao has focused on clinical and basic research on oxidative stress-mediated retinal damage in intraocular inflammation/uveitis. Dr. Rao has had several successful NEI-funded R01 grants since 1985 and has worked on many projects with high relevance to public health.

John Vukich, MD received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. He is an associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Department of Ophthalmology and practices at Davis Duehr Dean in Madison, Wisconsin. He has served as principal investigator on 16 phase-III clinical device trials and has served on the regulatory team for several novel ophthalmic devices leading to FDA approval. Dr. Vukich currently is the Director of the Refractive Surgery Service at Dean Clinic.

Dr. Vukich’s academic accomplishments include multiple publications in the peer-reviewed and trade literature, which include journal articles, textbook chapters, and scientific abstracts. Dr. Vukich has delivered over 300 invited lectures, papers and courses both nationally and internationally. He has been the recipient of the Achievement Award and the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). His clinical and research work has earned him numerous honors. Dr. Vukich is continually listed in Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Ophthalmologists. He has also been voted by his peers as one of the “135 Leading Ophthalmologists in America” by Becker’s ASC Review, as well as one of the “Top 50 Opinion Leaders” by Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today.

Dr. Vukich serves as President of the American European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery, (AECOS), on the Governing Board for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) as Chair of the Refractive Clinical Committee and on the Annual Program Committee for the AAO. He has been inducted into the International Intra-Ocular Implant Club. Dr. Vukich has served on the Editorial Board and as an Associate Editor for several peer-reviewed journals and trade publications, including Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Ocular Surgery News, Eyeworld and Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today.


“I thought it was one of the MOST WONDERFUL meetings in the world! GREAT information, lots of fun and learning and GREAT attendees.” – Kathleen Digre, Salt Lake City, Utah

“Covers clinically significant subjects, nice group size, good facility, and of course, NOLA.” anonymous, 2016 Symposium

“Excellent conference with three areas of interest, updates and new technologies discussed, 20 hours of CME credit.” -anonymous, 2016 Symposium

“Overall, one of the best meetings as far as content and speakers, a very good learning environment.” -anonymous, 2016 Symposium

“Quality of lectures, ability to personally interact with the experts” – anonymous, 2016 Symposium

“Another phenomenal meeting sponsored by the NOAO!!” – anonymous attendee, 2015 Symposium

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