Retina Health Center and the Foundation Fighting Blindness will host the seventh annual Southwest Florida Macular Degeneration Symposium on Jan. 30. Two identical sessions will take place on Sat. Jan. 30 at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs. Low-vision devices will be available.


This year’s symposium features two keynote speakers, Brent Zanke MD, PhD, chairman and chief medical officer of ArcticDX Inc. and Mr. Edmund Mickunas, vice president of Advanced Cell Technologies, a biotechnology company that is developing stem cell technology for the treatments of macular degeneration.


A staff scientist at the Ottawa Health Research Institute, Zanke has won numerous awards, received over 25 grants worth more than 20 million dollars, co-authored more than 30 journal articles and presented at numerous meetings throughout the world. He has extensive experience in the field of genetics, particularly as it relates to macular degeneration, which he will be speaking about at the symposium.  In addition, Mickunas has extensive experience in gene therapy, and will discuss the latest in what stem cell research can mean for individuals with macular degeneration.


Both sessions of the symposium will be identical. Admission is free, but reservations are required. For reservations, call 800-455-0060.


Also presenting will be Drs. Alexander Eaton and Hussein Wafapoor of Retina Health Center, along with Dr. Timothy Schoen of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Eaton, director of the Retina Health Center, will provide an overview of macular degeneration and an update on the prevention of vision loss from macular degeneration. Hussein Wafapoor will cover some of the ongoing studies at the Retina Health Center that are helping patients on a local, national and international level. The center’s research arm, the Macular Degeneration Research Center, is continuously conducting studies to determine the effectiveness of investigational drugs and delivery methods that may prevent and treat macular degeneration. A national test site for the evaluation of new treatments and delivery systems for retinal disorders, Retina Health Center brings the world’s most advanced care to local patients.


About Retina Health Center:

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 13 years. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit