Message from the PAOF Chair

Feb 21, 2023From the PAOF Chair, PAOF

J. Fernando Arevalo MD PhD
PAOF Chair, 2021-2024

Dear Friends,

In an effort to stimulate research at the Pan-American level and recognize the efforts of our young investigators, the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology (PAAO) has been organizing the Pan-American Research Day, in conjunction with the important partnerships with the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and with Allergan Latin America, for the past 20 years and it has become an exciting tradition. Research development and our young vision scientists are very important for PAAO. In that regard, Pan-American Research Day (PARD) is held every year the day before ARVO. Everyone presenting at ARVO is invited to share their research in a quick 5-minute presentation format. This popular event will bring you up to speed on all the latest research in one day, therefore just to attend to learn about advances in research is worthwhile. It is FREE, will be held on Saturday, 22 April 2023 at the Neuroscience Center for Excellence, LSU Health, New Orleans. and the deadline to register and present as a speaker is March 15, 2023:

If you have had a presentation accepted by ARVO, we would like to offer you the possibility to present your work at our PARD meeting. The PAAO will feature two rooms for presentations: anterior and posterior segments. Due to the popularity of this event, we always receive more requests to present than there are time slots available, so there is a review and competitive selection process. If you are selected to be a program participant, you will be presenting your work in a speed presentation format: three minutes for presentation and two minutes for discussion. The language for presentation is English. This is an excellent place to practice your presentation skills in English in front of a friendly audience. Again, submission deadline to participate in the program is March 15. In addition, we will have two amazing keynote speakers, Dr. Nicolas Bazan, MD PhD, from LSU Health, New Orleans, Louisiana USA, and Dr. Rubens Belfort Jr., MD PhD, from Clinica Belfort, Sao Paulo, Brazil. In addition, two Chancellor Award Lectures by our President Paulo Dantas, MD, from Hospital Oftalmológico de Sorocaba, São Paulo, and J. Fernando Arevalo, MD PhD, from Wilmer Eye Institute & Chairman at Bayview Medical Center, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore, MD, USA. Let me know if you can afford to miss this program! 

The Pan-American offers several travel awards and scholarships each year. The best three papers by researchers under 40 in each group will receive a prize. We are offering six $500 dollar prizes. The prizes are sponsored by the Arno Habicht Award for Research Sciences and the David & Molly Pyott Foundation. To be considered for a prize, you must be 40 years old or less and from the Americas, Spain, or Portugal. Remember, one award per person. If you have already received an award from ARVO, you do not qualify for a PAAO prize. You must present your paper to win. No speaker substitutions will be allowed. We thank our Co-Chairs, Organizing Committee Lihteh Wu (Costa Rica) and Arturo Ramirez Miranda (Mexico) for their tireless efforts!

The PAOF continues to work tirelessly and supports the PAAO membership, particularly our junior/early-career members via various grants/awards, and opportunities through our Travel Awards, and scholarships. We are in the process of creating more opportunities for you as we speak. We hope that PAAO members will generously support the Foundation ( throughout the year. No gift is small, donate what you can. The more gifts donated, the more support the Foundation can provide to PAAO programs.

The future is great if we stick together as a Pan-American community! We are better, stronger and the goal is to meet again at our XXXV Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology, March 17-20, 2023 in Buenos Aires Argentina! It’s at these superb meeting where ophthalmology from all the Americas come together to meet and you cannot miss that!


Fernando Arevalo MD PhD

PAOF Chair