Learn about Eversight’s experience at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology conference

Beyond the research: Experience ARVO through the lens of Eversight

May 23, 2024 – Eversight team members recently attended the 2024 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) conference in Seattle, Wash. This six-day conference was a shared experience of connection, education, relationship building and gratitude. 

The ARVO annual meeting is the premiere gathering for eye and vision scientists from across the globe. At all career stages, students, and those in affiliated fields, share the latest research findings and collaborate on innovative solutions. 

The conference was also a great opportunity for Eversight team members to meet with some of their research clients in person. 

First timers & memorable moments

For Eversight Clinical Services Director Julie McGahey, ARVO was an experience like no other. 

This was Julie’s first ARVO conference and one of her most memorable takeaways was being able to witness Eversight’s Research & Development team thrive in their element. 

You could see their enthusiasm connecting with research partners and talking through questions people had about Eversight and the services we offer,” she said. “We are truly lucky to have the team we do in research with the knowledge and passion they have for what they do.” 

Julie had the opportunity to meet some of Eversight’s research partners, Drs. Rui Chen, Darlene Dartt, Alexander Ljubimov, Renu Kowluru and Raji Sriram, and was touched by the gratitude they had for the R&D team and the work they do to help advance their studies.  

“All of our research partners who stopped by gave so many thanks for what we do,” Julie said. “It reminded me of talking to a donor family or recipient and the impact we can make.” 

arvo 2024 at conference
arvo 2024 at conference

Eversight Research Client Manager Caitlin Qualter was also a first-time attendee.  

At the conference, Caitlin appreciated the ability to meet the people she emails constantly, in person, saying it was great to finally put faces to names. 

arvo conference Eversight team
ARVO conference eversight team

“I found great value in meeting with our clients face-to-face,” she said. “It provided a deeper understanding of their needs and allowed for more meaningful discussions.” 

Caitlin also experienced a wave of gratitude during the week. 

“Many of our clients made a point to stop by the booth just to express their gratitude for the tissues provided and the outstanding customer service they have encountered,” Caitlin said. 

Those conversations touched on Eversight’s dissection capabilities and the additional services the team can provide with in-house research capabilities. 

Fostering relationships & excelling in the field

The Eversight team who attended ARVO weren’t all newbies. Eversight Vice President of Research & Development Onkar Sawant, PhD, was a part of the crew, adding his expertise and experience to the team, having attended ARVO 10 times in the past. 

Dr. Sawant spent much of his time meeting with Eversight’s various research clients, including: 

  • Dr. Peyman, the inventor of LASIK 
  • Peter Hessney from LighTopTech, a recent partner of Eversight 
  • Roger Goldberg, brother of Jeff Goldberg and co-founder of Emmecell 

This conference was noteworthy for Dr. Sawant as he was able to witness Eversight’s dual presence, seeing members of Eversight confidently speak to their areas of expertise and owning their space. 

ARVO emmecell group
Onkar Sawant and Michael Titus
Onkar Sawant and Jessica Ludwig

Eversight Partner Development Director Michael Szkarlat added his talents and skill to the ARVO team through his relationships and background with surgeons. 

He connected with Eversight surgeon Michael Seward, MD, and expanded his knowledge through conversations with researchers in the field of eye banking along with medical students and others in the industry. 

Michael Szkarlat and Onkar Sawant at ARVO
Jessica Ludwig and Onkar Sawant at ARVO conference

Swapping knowledge & expertise

Eversight not only attended ARVO, meeting new people and learning from peers, but also presented at the conference.

Eversight Associate Scientist Jessica Ludwig presented on limbal stem cell viability and the general difficulties of working with research-grade tissue for limbal stem cells.

Jessica was able to share her knowledge and findings regarding her poster presentation, and also attended Eversight research client lectures. 

“They gave me a great perspective on the breadth and depth of how our research tissue has an impact on all levels of research, from bench side discoveries all the way up to clinical trials,” she said. “To know what happens with the tissue after we ship it out is gratifying.” 

The biggest takeaway Jessica experienced was seeing how Eversight surprised potential customers. 

“People would come up to the booth expecting to be either turned away or only offered corneas and whole globes,” she said. “To be able to offer dissection, an array of storage medias, and in-house research as far up the project as they need, was very fulfilling.” 

Overall, ARVO was a week-long trip filled with new and old connections, sharing knowledge and findings, and educating potential customers on Eversight products and services—all in the interest of advancing new innovations to prevent, treat and cure blinding eye conditions. 

ARVO eversight staff group silly picture

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