Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Sankara Nethralaya explores the power of collaborative learning
The knowledge acquisition and dissemination arm of an institution dedicated to the cause of ‘Knowledge for the common good of Mankind’ began the New Year most aptly with a high profile and high level exchange of knowledge and the latest scientific findings. The Elite School of Optometry a world leader in optometry research and education and education arm of Sankara Nethralaya joined hands with the University of Melbourne, a highly respected seat of learning and research since 1855 and the Indian Institute of Science the nation’s premier research institute to conduct a Workshop on ‘Vision and Visual Neuroscience- Basic and Translational, between the 8th-10th of January 2014, the workshop being jointly funded by the University of Melbourne and Sankara Nethralaya.
The event witnessed the participation of more than 150 delegates and leading Neuro and Ophthalmology professionals like Dr Trichur R.Vidyasagar, Professor, Department of Optometry and Vision Science, Dr Allison Mckendrick, Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychophysics, Dr Bang Bui an expert in age related neurological issues, Dr Andrew Anderson, Specialist in Perimetry, Eye movement, neural decision making and visual psychophysics, Dr Andrew Anderson, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), Andrew Metha, Assistant Professor, Department of Optometry and Vision Science from the University of Melbourne, Professor
Govindarajan Rangarajan, Department of Mathematics and coordinator , DST Centre for Mathematical Biology and Dr SP.Arun, Assistant Professor & Wellcome-DBT Intermediate Fellow, Center for Neuro Sciences, from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Senior Researchers and Consultant from Sankara Nethralaya including Dr HN .Madhavan, Director, Microbiology Department and Dr Ronnie George, Director, Vision Research Foundation.
Dr. Trichur R.Vidyasagar began the first day’s proceedings with a high word of praise for Dr SS.Badrinath and Sankara Nethralaya for the responsiveness and amazing speed of lending effective logistic support for the workshop which according to him exhibited clear and quick decision making, unhampered by bureaucratic delays, he complimented the Vision Research Foundation as high expertise institution engaged in exhaustive research in vision, on a lighter vein he remarked that the most engaging Indo-Australian joint participation is the game of cricket followed keenly by millions in both countries and added that unlike cricket there was no confrontation but only complementary efforts in research between the two countries. Dr SS.Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya extended a warm welcome to the distinguished delegates from the University of Melbourne and Indian Institute of Science with the Sanskrit verse ’Adithi Devo bava’ which means ‘Our Guest is our God”. He utilized the opportunity to explain the motto of the institution which is ingrained in its name to the visitors, he underlined that the word ‘Sankara’ means –To do Good or one who does Good and Nethralaya - A place of worship, underlining that at Sankara Nethralaya work was carried out as a prayer with the employees giving themselves totally to their temple of work. He underlined the three governing principles of Medicare, Research and Education and how the three converge to make the battle against blindness successful in a country which sadly has the largest number of visually impaired. Dr SS.Badrinath emphasized the importance of collaborative learning with giants like the University of Melbourne and the Indian Institute of Science and hoped that the workshop would be a harbinger of long term collaborative learning by the three premier institutions.
The first day of the event witnessed in-depths lectures on a wide array of topics in the realm of visual science and visual neuroscience, the second day was dedicated to a tour of the clinical science and basic science research departments, presentation of the strengths of each institute and a summary of funding sources for collaborative research. The workshop also had parallel group discussions on Glaucoma/Perimetry/Age related macular degeneration, Imaging, Neurophysiology/Attention/Eye Movements/Infectious diseases and Contact lens; the topics for discussions were coordinated by the Elite School of optometry, keeping in mind the specific areas of interest of the University of Melbourne and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The workshop also provided the students and faculty members of the ESO a rare opportunity to listen to lectures pertaining to various topics on ophthalmology and neuroscience from the masters on these subjects and guidelines for pursuing higher studies in the University of Melbourne. The three day workshop helped in cementing the bonds between the three pioneers in research, identify areas for collaborative research and pave the way for future academic and clinical research.
Posted by Venkataramanan Ramasethu