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Sankara Nethralaya shares its knowledge at CME organized by a like-minded institution

The Comtrust eye hospital is a pioneering eye care institution in the Malabar region of Kerala started by the Commonwealth Trust India Ltd, run by German Missionaries. A non-profit organization recognized by the ‘National Program for Control of Blindness’ the nation’s premier eye care initiative and accredited as a ‘Sight First’ hospital by Lions International, the institution is governed by the principles of ‘quality, affordable eye care to paying patients’ and ‘totally cost free eye care to the poor and needy’ and ‘dissemination of knowledge for the common good’ through quality academic initiatives, the same lofty principles which govern Sankara Nethralaya.

The institution held a ‘Continuing Medical Education’ session (CME) on ‘Dioptrics’ the branch of optics that deals with the impact of refraction of light on visual acuity and evolving corrective solutions, titled ‘Dioptricom’ at Kozhikode on the 12th of February 2017. The event witnessed talks on a wide array of topics and debates like refreshers on refraction, binocular vision, commonly debated eye care practice issues and updates on cataract surgery, by eminent eye care professionals from across the country. We take great pleasure in sharing that Ms Jameel Rizwana Husaindeen, In-Charge-Binocular Vision Clinic, Sankara Nethralaya and Lecturer of General Anatomy at the Elite School of Optometry was invited to participate as a keynote speaker in this high level topical meet. Ms Rizwana gave an in-depth talk on the critical area of Dioptrics namely ‘Solving Convergence Excess’ and also delivered an interesting keynote address on the topic ‘Binocular Single Vision Decoded’ covering the critical need for binocular vision care, the disturbingly increasing prevalence of binocular vision issues among school children and ways to combat the same with quick and innovative screening tools which was extremely well received by more than 100 Ophthalmologists attending the CME.

We take this opportunity to compliment and congratulate her on keeping up the institution’s avowed philosophy of disseminating knowledge for the common good and to enable better eye care for all.

Sankara Nethralaya’s Genetics department conducts an in-depth symposium on testing and diagnosis

The ONGC Genetics department at the Kamalnayan Bajaj Institute for Research in Ophthalmology, the research arm of Sankara Nethralaya conducted the 4th Genetics Symposium at the Sri V D Swami Auditorium on February 10, 2017 on the critical and highly relevant area ‘Genetic Testing and diagnosis of diseases’. The meeting was addressed by leading academicians, scientists, geneticists from all over India. The growing significance of molecular genetics and cyto-genetics in diagnosis as well as management of various cancers were discussed in detail at the meet.

Welcoming the gathering Dr N Soumitra, Associate Professor at the Sankara Nethralaya  ONGC Department of Genetics observed that the symposia being held is the fourth in a row of such meets, the first one being held in commemoration of the 20th year of  the department. She underlined that the purpose of these meets is to help in better diagnosis, counselling and alleviation of suffering through a better understanding of genetics.

Dr Ronnie George, Director – Research, Kamalnayan Bajaj Institute for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology gave an interesting account on the research activities in the areas of basic and clinical sciences being carried out at Sankara Nethralaya and their impact, he underlined, that the genetics department had grown from research on karyotyping, molecular methods to next gen sequencing. He proudly announced that the department had several firsts to its credit, including path breaking research on Leber’s congenital amaurosis that included tests on RPE65 gene modules to identify therapy for Retinitis Pigmentosa.  The first gene for angle closure glaucoma a very important discovery in the treatment of the disease was made by a large consortium of which Sankara Nethralaya was a part he added.

Dr S Krishnakumar, Deputy Director – Research, introduced the Chief Guest Dr Nallasivam Palanisamy, Associate Scientist, Department of Urology, Venkutti Urology Institute, Henry Ford Health System, Associate Professor (Adjunct), Michigan Centre for Translational Pathology, with a Ph.D in Genetics from University of Madras. He added that the distinguished Chief Guest had won many honours including the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Grant awards, by National Cancer Institute; He highlighted that the distinguished Chief Guest is a member of several prestigious bodies like the American Society of Human Genetics and Cancer Genetics and had over 100 publications to his credit and three Patents granted with a H index of 47.

Delivering the plenary lecture, the Chief Guest started on a cautious note that technology currently available to understand genome complexities was limited and thus any study on genomes will raise more questions than it can answer. Dr Nallasivam Palanisamy gave an interesting account on genetic testing for health care including predictive and pre-symptomatic, pharmaco genetic testing, prenatal and carrier testing and its application status. He spoke in detail on advancing precision medicine for prostate cancer through genomics, the current status of cancer therapy, mutations, melanoma, mitochondrial disorders, progress in cytogenetics that were special fields of interest in his study.

The expert on Genetics observed that while leveraging on techniques on genome analysis like next gen sequencing technology, Gene regulation, transcriptome sequencing were aimed at yielding results for translational therapy, deeper study and research were necessary in the field of genetic engineering.

The symposium saw several eminent speakers from all over India making in-depth lectures on a wide range of topics including non-invasive Cell free DNA testing in Fetal Medicine & Clinical Oncology, Genetic testing in clinic: The Indian Milieu, Whole genome sequence of bacteria – experiences with human clinical isolates of pseudomonas aeruginosa and genetics in pediatric neurology and solid tumour diagnostics going molecular.

It was a day of in-depth learning and knowledge acquisition and left a deep impact on the attendees.

Sankara Nethralaya employee exhibits wide knowledge and extraordinary literary skills with absorbing works on national leaders

It was a proud moment for an institution ingrained with a deep sense of patriotism, national pride and reverence for its national leaders when biographical works on two most respected leaders of the nation by its employee Shri A.Selvamani, serving in the house keeping department at the main campus received rave reviews from both general readers and literary critics. A book on Sardar Vallabhai Patel described as the ‘Iron man of India’ is the 3rd in the author’s series on the founding fathers of the nation titled ‘Architects of Modern India’. The first book in the series was on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru followed by one on Dr.Rajendra Prasad, the first Prime Minister and President of free India.

The second book is on ‘India’s Missile man’ and Visionary and most adored President Dr.APJ. Abdul Kalam, titled ‘The Genius of Dr Abdul Kalam’. Shri Selvamani ‘s works bring out many less known and unknown facts about these great personalities and the eventful times they lived in and are most absorbing and fast paced. The book on Sardar Vallabhai Patel has been hailed as a ‘Must read for today’s youth’ by the ‘Daily Thanthi’, the Thuglak review describes the book as ‘thought provoking and full of facts’ and ‘The Hindu’ has praised the ‘Architects of Modern India’ series by the author as well strung beads of knowledge.

The Sankara Nethralaya family expresses its pleasant surprise at its member’s judicious time management in compiling these voluminous and informative works alongside his official responsibilities at a time when most people do not find time for a glance at the day’s paper and expresses its hearty Congrats for capturing the glory of the great leaders and their times in simple, breezy language with great felicity.

The books have been published by Shri Hindu Publications and are available in all major book stores. Employees can also borrow the books from the Shri V.Parthasarathy Memorial Staff library at the Sankara Nethralaya main campus.

Congratulations Shri Selvamani!! We are most proud of you indeed!

The Divinity and compassion of Maha Periyava are remembered on his 23rd Aradhana

The institution that owes its existence to his blessings and Will paid homage to the Maha Periyava on the occasion of his 23rd Aradhana, on 26th December 2016, at its main premises. The evening started on a mellifluous note with the rendering of ‘Pallandu Divya Prabhandam’ by Ms Sahana Narayan, daughter of Dr Nividetha Narayan.

Chief Guest of the Day Dr Kala Tawker, Retd  professor and HOD Tamil Dept and scholar from the World Tamil Research Foundation regaled the audience with golden moments of the living god, she observed that his detachment was so total that he even considered food as an earthly temptation, often refraining from it, The learned professor recalled how the Jagadguru cured a paralytic and dementia patient with his divine grace and concluded her talks with an example of the  astounding memory of the guru who enquired about her father referring to him by his surname ‘Bhatta’.

The highly charged event left a deep impact on the audience and filled them with memories of the God who lived during our times amongst our midst.

Senior Cornea Consultants from Sankara Nethralaya shine in major topical meet

Keracon the high power annual meet of Cornea specialists was held  on the 15th, 16th and 17th of December 2016. The event titled Keracon-2016 opened to a packed hall at the Lavasa International Convention Centre at picturesque Lavasa City, Pune. The three day session witnessed intense deliberations, debates and exchange of latest developments in the field of Cornea including recent diagnostic and treatment modalities, by experts in the field.

We take great pleasure in sharing that senior Cornea consultants and Cornea Fellows from Sankara Nethralaya made their and their institution’s presence felt at the meet with their highly interesting and informative presentations.

Dr. Geetha Krishnan Iyer, Senior Cornea Consultant and expert in Modified Osteo odonto Keratoprosthesis (MOOKP) presented a paper titled ‘100 ookp’s – The long and the short of it’ in the first free paper session which was very well received, her video presentation titled ‘Melt Medley’ won the first prize in its category. The second prize in this category was bagged by researcher and Cornea fellow Dr. Arusha Anil Kumar Goyal for her presentation titled ‘Boston type 2kpro surgical technique’. Dr. N. Radhika, Senior Cornea Consultant presented an absorbing and informative video on subconjuctival parasite titled ‘Catch me if you can’ which had a good impact on the audience. She was also a part of the winning 5 member team ‘Microbial terminators’ which won the Keracon film challenge, contested by four teams consisting of Cornea specialists from all over India. Cornea Fellow Dr. Anuja Ketan Desai presented a well researched paper titled ‘Oomycete Keratitis – Pythium insidiosum case series’ which provided a lot of food for thought to the audience.

The Sankara Nethralaya family conveys its hearty congratulations and good wishes to the participants.

Sankara Nethralaya Academy’s session on a niche topic receives enthusiastic response

Sankara Nethralaya Academy’s much awaited session on Neuro-Optometry was held on 27th November, 2016 at the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium, the event witnessed a large attendance of 185 participants comprising of Optometry Interns, candidates pursuing fellowship, PG students and experienced practitioners assembled to explore a new field. The session started with an introduction to the topic by Sr. Optometrist, In-charge of the BV clinic and Chief Resource Person for the daylong event Ms. Rizwana. This was followed by a very engaging session on Neuro Optometry titled, ‘The need – A Neuro ophthalmologist’s perspective’ by Dr. Smita Praveen. Ms. Revathy, Ph.D Scholar and ex-Optometrist from Sankara Nethralaya who is currently based in Australia conducted a Skype session on components of Neuro-Optometric assessment which was well received by the participants.

The well attended event with a record numbers of registrations saw the students lapping up the presentations and hands-on training sessions ably coordinated by Ms. Rizwana and her team. “I have a good idea about the field of Neuro-Optometry, but I want such discussions to go on for at least 2-3 days. Overall very good interactive and enjoyed” said D. Meenakshi a participant from Chennai.

“It was a wonderful experience, lots of knowledge about neuro-optometry and will be remarkable for the rest of my life. Everything was perfect in my view but just one suggestion that it would be good to conduct the session for more than one day”, gushed Susan Joseph – Optometrist from LF Eye Hospital, Angamaly, Kerala.

The session ended with a concluding talk by Anuja R Singh on the selection process for Neuro Optometry fellowships.

Sankara Nethralaya Academy’s much awaited session on Neuro-Optometry was held on 27th November, 2016 at the Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium, the event witnessed a large attendance of 185 participants
comprising of Optometry Interns, candidates pursuing fellowship, PG students and experienced practitioners assembled to explore a new field. The session started with an introduction to the topic by
Sr. Optometrist, In-charge of the BV clinic and Chief Resource Person for the daylong event Ms. Rizwana. This was followed by a very engaging session on Neuro Optometry titled, ‘The need – A Neuro
ophthalmologist’s perspective’ by Dr. Smita Praveen. Ms. Revathy, Ph.D Scholar and ex-Optometrist from Sankara Nethralaya who is currently based in Australia conducted a Skype session on components
of Neuro-Optometric assessment which was well received by the participants.

Senior Sankara Nethralaya consultant wins prestigious award and rich accolades for lifelong and exemplary contributions to his field of specialization

It gives us immense pleasure and pride to share that Dr. Jyotirmay Biswas one of our senior most Consultants and Head of the Uveitis Department has been conferred with the highly prestigious ‘Dr.G.Venkatsamy Endowment Award’ for the year 2016. The award was conferred on him at a glittering ceremony organized at the annual meet of the Uveitis Society of India, on the 26th and 27th of November at Colombo, Sri Lanka. The awarding committee has cited Dr J.Biswas’ outstanding contribution in the field of Uveitis and Ophthalmology for being chosen for this high distinction.

The felicitation plaque accompanying the award lauds the pioneering and passionate Uvea expert from Sankara Nethralaya as an exemplary teacher, mentor, leader, role model and one who has made his mark in the field of Ocular inflammation and Uveitis not only in India but the entire world. The award and tribute are something that every member of Sankara Nethralaya can be proud of, let us express our collective congratulations and good wishes by putting our hands together for a standing ovation!

Hats off to you Sir!

The American Academy of Optometry confers its Fellowship on Sankara Nethralaya’s Contact Lens Head

We take great pleasure and pride in sharing that Dr. Rajeswari Mahadevan,  Head of Contact Lens Department, Sankara Nethralaya and Assistant Professor, Elite School of Optometry has been conferred with a Fellowship by one of the world’s most prestigious seats of optometry training namely the American Academy of Optometry. Dr. Rajeswari participated in the 95th Annual meeting of the glorious institution held at Annaheim, California between the 9th and 12th of November 2016. The meeting witnessed 250 hours of Continuing Education (CE) Courses, Scientific presentations and 150 exhibits and recorded an attendance of more than 7,700 Optometrists, Vision care professionals and Vision Scientists from across the world. The Fellowship which signifies the highest professional standards in optometry was awarded to Dr. Rajeswari on the basis of her extensive written work and oral examination reviewed by leading Vision Scientists and Optometrists, a process cleared by a meagre 10% of aspirants.

A leading seat of knowledge and education recognizes its achievers

The 28th Annual graduation ceremony of the Elite School of Optometry, the CU Shah institute of ophthalmic sciences and the Vidyasagar institute of bio medical science was held on 25th November at the Sri VD Swamy Auditorium. Speaking on the occasion Shanthi Swaroop Bhatnagar awardee, Institute Chair Professsor and Professor of Chemistry at the IIT Dr T.Pradeep gave a simple and absorbing account of various filtering processes that has resulted in the availability of a huge amount of potable water, benefiting 7.5 million people. His talk a mixture of chemistry and poetry enthused the students to learn and practice what they learn. He encouraged the students to create opportunities through innovation as technology can change the world.

The philanthropy of Padmasri Iravatham Mahadevan, founder of VIBS who was chosen for a doctorate by the Tamil University was recalled. The graduating students were cheered with gusto by the audience making it a most memorable day in their life.

‘Technology’ can be the ‘human element’ in Medicare reiterates high power symposium at Sankara Nethralaya!

As an institution with a firm belief that Information Technology and its various manifestations are as vital to dispensing of quality healthcare as clinical expertise and best practices, a fact underlined by the institution being selected twice as  the ‘ Best IT user in Healthcare’ by NASSCOM with KPMG and CNBC TV, Sankara Nethralaya took a major initiative in exploring new vistas in the field of IT in healthcare by organizing a symposium titled ‘Transforming Eye Care through Information Technology’ (TIET-2016) at the  Sri V.D. Swami Auditorium at its main campus on the 19th of November 2016. The event was in keeping with the institution’s avowed and founding principle of disseminating knowledge for the common good and gave a deep insight and perspective on the role of IT and its scope for the future to healthcare professionals, administrators and IT personnel in healthcare and was well received by a packed hall of attendees. The seminar was addressed by an array of luminaries and high profile professionals from diverse backgrounds like Dr.Sumanth Raman, Domain Consultant Healthcare TCS, Dr.S.B. Bhatacharya, Head Health Informatics and Member National EHR Standardization Committee, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Dr. Ramamurthy, President AIOS, Mr. Ravi Viswanathan, President TCS, Dr. John Picconi from IBM Watson, Dr. Rahul Ali, Country Head, ORBIS, Dr. Vijay Narayanan, Head of Data Science and Director Algorithm, Microsoft Corporation, Dr SS. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya and Dr. Sathya Venkatraman, Consulting Partner, Asia Pacific IBM to name a few.

Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer,  Sankara Nethralaya Shri Chandramouli welcomed the gathering and gave an interesting genesis of his institution’s tryst with technology dating back to two decades and its pioneering role in storage and retrieval of data. Addressing by remote Dr.John Piccone took the audience on an enchanting trip on how his company IBM Watson Health deployed advanced Cognitive computing to enhance human experience and decode unstructured data, interpret natural language and interpret a worldwide database for better diagnosis and understanding of ailments. Dr. Sumanth Raman from TCS reiterated the same with his observation that the role of IT is not any more confined to storage and retrieval of data but as a dynamic, proactive and predicting mechanism taking healthcare from its role of illness management to wellness management. Speaking on the occasion Dr. Sudhir, Senior Consultant and Head of Sankara Nethralaya’s Electronic Medical Records (EMR) gave a detailed account of his institution’s real time experience with EMR and how the training, implementation cost and challenges were made worthwhile by the benefits that accrued from the same.

Shi Ravi Viswanthan President, TCS congratulated Dr.Sudhir and his team for their role as pioneers in implementing EMR and hailed TCS and Sankara Nethralaya as partners in progress, he underlined the role of Information Technology in dispensing healthcare in a highly populous nation like India and hailed Dr.SS.Badrinath as a true visionary and EMR as his long term vision. Dr. Vijay Narayanan Head of Algorithm and Data Science at Microsoft gave an interesting account on a rather esoteric and surreal topic titled ‘Unreasonable effects of Algorithm’ and his organization’s interesting engagement in preventive healthcare with L.V.Prasad Eye institute deploying the same.

The first hand experience shared by senior doctors like Dr. Rajiv Raman, Senior Consultant Sankara Nethralaya and several Medico-IT professionals in terms of accurate interpretation of images to helping in case studies drove home the point that Information Technology was not alien or inimical to dispensing healthcare as it is being construed but indispensable to the same and helped in underlining that technology far from replacing the human touch was actively enhancing personalization and the one to one engagement in healthcare delivery. The symposium on IT in healthcare also dwelt on more mundane topics like online payments, cyber safety and the leveraging of the web to engage and reach out the services of a hospital to its users.