Keynote speakers for RD20/20

We are very happy and proud to announce that the following distinguished scientists have agreed to present their outstanding work during dedicated keynote lectures.


Val Canto-Soler, Ph.D.

Val Canto-Soler, Ph.D.

Dr. Canto-Soler is the Doni Solich Family Chair in Ocular Stem Cell Research and the Director of CellSight – the Ocular Stem Cell and Regeneration Research Program at the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Throughout her training and early stages of her independent carrier, she acquired substantial expertise on the mechanisms regulating retinal progenitor cell differentiation in vivo and in vitro. This expertise has been a critical foundation for the current main area of research in her lab, which is directed to the development of stem cell-based technology for the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases. Using human induced pluripotent stem cells Dr. Canto-Soler and her research team have recently established a method to generate light-sensitive miniature human retinas in a laboratory dish. At CellSight, they are currently using this breakthrough technology to develop novel stem cell-based therapeutics to save and restore sight in patients with blinding diseases.
David M. Gamm, M.D., Ph.D.

David M. Gamm, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Gamm is the Emmett A. Humble Distinguished Director of the McPherson Eye Research Institute, the Sandra Lemke Trout Chair in Eye Research, and an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a member of the Waisman Center Stem Cell Research Program, the UW Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, the American Ophthalmological Society, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and is Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Opsis Therapeutics. Dr. Gamm earned his medical and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and completed his residency and pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his clinical practice, Dr. Gamm diagnoses and manages a wide range of pediatric eye and vision disorders; however, the majority of his effort is directed toward basic and translational retinal stem cell research. The aims of his laboratory are 1) to investigate the cellular and molecular events that occur during human retinal development and 2) to generate cells and tissues for use in disease modeling and cell replacement therapies aimed at delaying or reversing the effects of blinding disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa and age–related macular degeneration.
Anneke den Hollander Ph.D.

Anneke den Hollander Ph.D.,

Dr. den Hollander, is a professor in Molecular Ophthalmology at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Anneke’s research focuses on molecular mechanisms of retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Her group performs genetic, biomarker, omics and cellular studies in relation to the disease mechanisms, disease progression and treatment response of AMD. Other projects in her group include studies on retinal detachment, central serous chorioretinopathy and central areolar choroidal dystrophy. She has been working in the retinal research field for more than 20 years, having authored and co-authored more than 250 peer-reviewed publications, including many in top journals of the ophthalmology and genetics fields. She has (co-)supervised 20 PhD students to completion, and has received a considerable number of awards for her work, including the Cogan award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Douglas C. Wallace, Ph.D.

Douglas C. Wallace, Ph.D.

Michael and Charles Barnett Endowed Chair in Pediatric Mitochondrial Medicine and Metabolic Disease Director, Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine (CMEM) Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Human Genetics University of Pennsylvania. More coming soon...