With clarity, warmth and humor, ocular immunologist Dr. Michael E. Stern mesmerized the audience with a lecture on “Aspects of aging and inflammation in dry eye disease” in his second visit to the University of Cologne. His talk was held on September 29th, 2015 in the CECAD lecture hall on the campus of the University of Cologne, right across the street from the newly renovated Eye Hospital, the main location of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Cologne. Dr. Stern, a long-standing giant in dry eye disease research, is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine, Cullen Eye Institute in Houston, Texas and Co-Director of the IOBA Ocular Surface Disease Program at the University of Valladolid, Spain. While Vice President of Inflammation Research at Allergan Inc. in Irvine, California, Dr. Stern laid the groundwork for the development of topical ophthalmic CsA (Restasis®), the only FDA-approved therapy for dry eye, a common autoimmune-based ocular inflammatory disease. On September 28th, 2015, Dr. Stern met with the researchers of the DFG-funded research unit FOR2240 “Angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and cellular immunity in inflammatory diseases of the eye” in the group led by PD Dr. Philipp Steven, a principle investigator in the central project “Cologne Experimental Eye Imaging Center (CEE-IC)”, who invited Dr. Stern.
Dr. Stern’s talk provided a framework in which several major unknowns in the field of dry eye disease research could be coherently identified and understood in a larger context.
Pictured from left: Prof. Claus Cursiefen, Speaker of the FOR2240 and Director of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Cologne, Dr. Michael E. Stern, PD Dr. Philipp Steven