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Nutrition and the Eye Symposium X: Another Outstanding Program


The College of Optometry has numerous centers for excellence, areas in which they excel and help educate the profession.  One of these centers for excellence is most certainly the annual “Nutrition and the Eye Symposium” which has become a very popular and well-regarded program by those in the profession.  In fact, it has literally become the “must attend” program for those optometrists and vision researchers who have an interest in this important and growing area in the vision care field.  This program is the brainchild of a renowned expert in the field Stuart Richer OD, Ph.D., FAAO – Director, Ocular Preventative Medicine at Lovell Federal Health Care Center - in collaboration with Director of Research, Carl Bassi Ph.D.  They celebrated their 10th year and this year’s program, held April 1 and 2 on the UMSL campus, was attended by no less than 115 eye care practitioners.  The faculty always includes the foremost national and international leaders in the field and included the following (in addition to Drs. Richer and Bassi):

1)     Derek Desilva, Jr., MD (Keynote Speaker):  President, American Association of Anti-Aging Medicine.
2)    Lisa Renzi, Ph.D.: Assistant Professor, Public Health Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia
3)    Christopher Putnam, OD, Ph.D.: Chief, Optical Radiation Bioeffects Branch, United States Air Force.  It should be added that Dr. Bassi was Dr. Putnam’s doctoral thesis advisor.
4)    Kerry Gelb, OD: President, Alldocs.


Dr. Bassi was especially pleased with the 2017 symposium as he relates: “This year’s keynote speaker, Derek DeSilva, MD gave a sweeping overview of the Human Microbiome and Health.  The afternoon speakers featured the return of Christopher Putnam, OD, and Ph.D. to UMSL where he and I gave an update of some of the recent studies with macular pigment from their studies and others.  Lisa Renzi, PhD reviewed recent and past work on Cognition and Macular Pigments. Dr. Richer capped off the program with a talk on insulin resistance and the OD.  Dr. Richer was presented with a special Dean’s Award by Dean Davis for his leadership to this program over the years.  Another special recognition award was given by the Ocular Nutrition Society to Lis Ellerbusch for her many years of service of helping to organize the program.”  

(left to right):  Dr. Chris Putnam, Dr. Stuart Richer, and Dr. Carl Bassi

Dr. Richer receiving the “Dean’s Award for Meritorious Service” from Dean Larry Davis

Lis Ellerbusch being recognized by Dr. Richer and the Ocular Nutrition Society




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