We are delighted to announce that three members of our team – Dr Emma Anran RAN, our postdoctoral fellow, Mr DU Lin, our PhD student, and Dr Timothy PH LIN, our MBChB (GPS) graduate of CUHK – have received the ARVO Travel Grant at the Association for Research and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting this year.
During the meeting, Dr Emma Ran presented a paper, entitled “Federated Deep Learning for Classifying Glaucomatous Optic Neuropathy from Optical Coherence Tomography Volumetric Scans: A Privacy-preserving Multi-national Study”, under the supervision of Dr Carol Cheung and Prof Clement Tham. Dr Ran discussed with the participants about the key findings of her paper, which showed that it is feasible to develop privacy-preserving deep-learning (DL) models with federated learning (FL), a technique utilizing datasets across multiple “clients” (i.e., different end-users or centers) without centralizing or sharing data, to classify glaucomatous optic neuropathy (GON) from 3D optical coherence tomography (OCT) volumetric scans. These findings support the FL technique can ensure data security to identify GON from 3D OCT volumetric scans in real-world clinics.
Mr DU Lin presented a paper, entitled “Growth Hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) promotes autoimmune uveitis by enhancing Th17 cell differentiation”, under the supervision of Dr CHU Wai Kit. Mr Du presented the role of the growth hormone releasing hormone receptor (GHRH-R), which was reported to play a critical role in the experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) by regulating Th17 cells and associated pro-inflammatory cytokines. Inhibition of this key protein can alleviate the clinical symptoms of EAU and reduce the eye-infiltrating Th17 cells. These findings provide new insights into the pathogenesis of uveitis and the development of novel treatments for uveitis targeting this protein.
Dr Timothy Lin presented a paper, entitled “Early Rate of Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCTA) Changes is Associated with Normal Tension Glaucoma Progression Risk”, under the supervision of Dr Carol Cheung and Prof Clement Tham. Dr Lin presented key findings of his paper, which showed that the early rate of decay of OCTA metrics at the optic nerve head (ONH) was associated with future glaucoma progression. This is the first study conducted to propose the novel strategy of utilizing the early trend of OCTA decay around the ONH to identify glaucoma patients at risk of progression. These findings provided evidence to support the pathogenic role of vascular factors in glaucoma development and offered new directions for further studies to investigate the clinical application of OCTA in glaucoma risk assessment.
The awards indeed are a great encouragement and recognition of our research from the international community of ophthalmologists and vision scientists. Congratulations to Dr Ran, Mr Du, and Dr Lin!