Event Details
Date: 12 December 2023

Location name: Cambridge, UK

Location address: Science Centre, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Contact: Megan Vaughan

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December 2, 2022, brought together Women in Vision UK (WVUK) members for their winter meeting. WVUK is a membership organisation focussed on gender equality in vision-related sciences and healthcare.

This year’s winter meeting was held in Moorfields Education Hub and was attended by a hugely diverse mix of professional backgrounds including ophthalmologists, nurses, academics, orthoptists, and optometrists.

Several high-quality abstracts were submitted ahead of the event from early career researchers (ECRs), with the top three scoring abstracts allocated 15 minutes to deliver their talk: Emily Charlesworth from the University of Bradford spoke about her work on a Delphi study to develop refractive management recommendations for patients undergoing cataract surgery; Hajrah Sarkar from UCL and the Crick Institute talked about her work on choroideremia and the vascular and melanosome related changes that occur; Emily O’Neill from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children rounded off our ECR session with her talk about the sex imbalance in medical research data and how her research investigated the retinal macular parameters in children and how sex influences this.

Following on from the ECR session, Hemi Malkki provided a passionate and insightful training session on ‘How to be a good peer reviewer’. She gave us context for why it’s important to engage in peer reviewing – even as an early career researcher – and how we can all do our bit to improve the peer review system. She provided useful information of practical steps to take for those wanting to engage in peer review, whatever stage of their career they are at. This talk had a particularly great level of engagement with much talk and questions afterwards.

In the afternoon, the focus was ‘The Menopause’, highlighted because everyone will experience it in the workplace whether personal or by proxy. Our keynote speaker Amy Lewis, a GP with a specialist interest in women’s health, delivered a thought-provoking talk about her experiences in the NHS and in her career. For example, facts like one in four women consider leaving work because of the effects of the menopause. Two incredible speakers were there for the interactive workshops. Katie Sanders spoke about the importance of nutrition in the menopause and Jo Cawthorne gave some expert tips on how to use movement to help the menopause.

Over our afternoon tea break the group enjoyed networking over eye-shaped biscuits (kindly baked by Lindsay Rountree) and were treated to some talented ECRs who presented their work in bitesize ‘Three Minute Thesis’ style presentations: Cécile Méjécasespoke spoke about the associations between RDH12 mutations and Leber congenital amaurosis; Shuchi Kohli talked about her work on glaucoma at St Paul’s Eye Hospital; Monika McAtarsney-Kovacs from the Vision and Eye Research Institute who gave us a talk about visual short-term memory; Noha Soliman from Moorfield’s Eye Hospital then spoke about her fascinating work on 3D-printed eyes, and Dina Al-Hazaimeh ended the session with her talk about her work on virtual medical retina clinics.

Professor Moosajee closed the meeting with her own personal experience as a ‘woman in vision’, and announced her and Helen Khan were stepping down as president and vice president of WVUK.

Women in Vision UK would like to express a big thank you to our speakers for providing uniquely insightful sessions for our attendees to enjoy! We were very grateful to have been able to secure generous support from Scope and Roche and NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre. Don’t forget, we are open to nominations for WVUK president and vice president roles.

To join: https://womeninvision.co.uk/

Twitter: @womeninvisionuk