Publishing date: January 2019
Chair: Gauti Jóhannesson
Co-chairs: Esther Hoffmann, Francesco Oddone, Anthony Khawaja
1. Update on ongoing projects
The Next Generation Partnership (NGP) is a mentorship and networking programme aiming to enhance the professional and leadership development of emerging leaders in glaucoma care delivery, education and research who are interested and able to support the goals of the EGS.
Established in 2017, the NGP-SIG organized the first NGP day at the Members’ Meeting in London the same year.
- 2nd NGP day at the EGS Members’ Meeting in Bordeaux in August 2019
- Collaboration in course organization and networking activities at EGS congress in Brussels in 2020
- Take active participation in the EGS residents’ course.
Furthermore, the NGP-SIG hopes to enhance educational matters by giving educational interactive courses and identifying leadership training opportunities/courses which EGS may be able to sponsor and/or recognize with an “approval stamp”.
2. A suggestion of a relevant breakthrough in glaucoma
Nat Genet. 2018 Jun doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0126-8.
Genome-wide analyses identify 68 new loci associated with intraocular pressure and improve risk prediction for primary open-angle glaucoma.
Khawaja AP, Cooke Bailey JN, Wareham NJ, Scott RA, Simcoe M, Igo RP Jr, Song YE, Wojciechowski R, Cheng CY, Khaw PT, Pasquale LR, Haines JL, Foster PJ, Wiggs JL, Hammond CJ, Hysi PG; UK Biobank Eye and Vision Consortium; NEIGHBORHOOD Consortium.
This study represents a huge leap forward in the understanding of glaucoma genetics. Using data from the UK Biobank study, over 100 genetic loci have been identified that explain 17% of the variance of intraocular pressure (IOP). These genetic variants predicted primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) with 76% accuracy in the independent NEIGHBORHOOD study. This opens up the possibility of identifying people at high risk of glaucoma in populations on the basis of their genetic make-up alone, potentially enabling targeted screening. The genes identified point towards anatomical development and lymphangiogenic factors (supporting the lymphatic vessel nature of Schlemm's canal) as major determinants of adult IOP and risk of POAG.
3. New Year’s tip from the NGP SIG
Tips for young ophthalmologists interested in reaching a leadership position in university clinic settings:
1. High motivation
2. Interest in scientific work
3. Joy in writing
4. Wish to invest in further education (e.g. epidemiology, critical evaluation of literature, health economics, biomedicine, medical ethics, time management)
5. Courage to continue in the event of set-backs (little time, rejected applications, lack of support, lack of mentoring, lost in administration work).
But the most important tip is: Don´t lose track of your goals!
The search for EGS goal of “Paving the Way to Better Glaucoma Care” continues together with Outcome and other EGS Committees as well as SIGs, i.e. how to promote the best possible well-being and minimal glaucoma-induced visual disability in individuals with glaucoma within affordable healthcare systems.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of the EGS.
SIG Corner editor: João Barbosa Breda