On Tuesday 22 May, Rea and Annie were privileged to be invited to the launch of the Human Ocular Immunology Consortium. This Consortium is a partnership between the National Eye Institute (NEI) in the United States and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in the UK. Researchers from London, Bristol and Washington will be developing joint research programmes in the field of Ocular Immunology. This is really exciting, as it gives us a much wider group of experts who can look into the causes of, and better medication for Birdshot. It also opens up the possibility of having an international biobank for Birdshot and other posterior, auto-immune forms of uveitis.
The launch was introduced by Professor Peng Khaw (Director of Research and Development, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Director of NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre and President of ARVO – the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology). For those of you who attended the Birdshot Day in March of this year, you may remember that one of our US members, Doris Lapporte, asked why there could not be an agreement for Birdshot research across the UK and the US, as US Birdshotters were missing out. Peng Khaw referred to this in his opening remarks – he then went on to say that we had been listened to! Well done Doris!! Peng has always been a strong supporter of the Birdshot Uveitis Society and the Birdshot Days and he kindly provided the narrative on our 2010 Birdshot Day short film.
We are so excited by this development, especially as it demonstrates how influential we can be when we Birdshotters work together.