Message from the PAOF Chair

Apr 25, 2022From the PAOF Chair

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

Dear Friends,

I would like to welcome, Dr. Paulo Dantas, our 32nd PAAO President. I am sure he will be able to follow on the footsteps of the many giants that preceded him, including Dr. Miguel Burnier to whom we are immensely grateful. Paulo with his determination, lion’s heart, proven loyalty to PAAO, and tireless efforts will be the president during our congress in Buenos Aires and next PAAO term, 2022-2025, and will count with an amazing team that will lead him and PAAO to success. Dr. Burnier and Dr. Pablo Daponte with be co-presidents of the congress in Buenos Aires that promises to be a resounding success where we (ophthalmology and The Americas) will be reunited again in-person. We will all work together to secure a successful social and scientific reunion in Argentina. We miss seeing all our friends in person and it is time to get together!

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), with the support of the PAOF, 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 and now AbbVie Latin America for the past 19 years, 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 now VIRTUAL after 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, May 21, 2022. Registration is open:

PARD will feature two virtual sessions for presentations: anterior (in the morning) and posterior segment (In the afternoon). 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.

In addition, the program has two wonderful world-renown Keynote Speakers.  Dr. Jose Pulido from Wills Eye Hospital will speak on “The Who: see me, feel me, touch me, heal me” and Dr. José de la Cruz from University of Illinois in Chicago will speak on “From the Known Known to the Known Unknown and Beyond: Anterior Segment Imaging and its Impact on Cornea and Refractive Surgery”. Very exciting icing to our program!

The Pan-American is offering three prizes for the best presentations in each program. The prize is a registration to the 35th Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology to take place March 17-20, 2023, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a USD $250 cash prize. 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. Remember, one award per person. If you have already received a travel award from ARVO or PAAO to attend this meeting, you do not qualify to apply for a PAAO award. You must present to receive the travel award. More information is available at: 

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. The more gifts donated, the more support the Foundation can provide to PAAO programs.

The goal is to meet again at our XXVI Pan-American Regional Course in conjunction with Bascom Palmer’s XLIV Inter-American Course (CURSO) October 16-19, 2022, in Miami, FL, and of course our XXXV Pan-American Congress of Ophthalmology, March 17-20, 2023, in Buenos Aires Argentina! It’s at these two meetings where ophthalmology from all the Americas come together to meet and you cannot miss that!

J. Fernando Arevalo MD PhD FACS FASRS

Pan-American Ophthalmological Foundation (PAOF)

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