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ISCN 2019 Speaker Highlight: Dr. Cynthia Qian

Bionic vision and neurology.. at this year’s ISCN! Dr. Cynthia Qian will be discussing retinal implants and prosthesis and the future of bionic vision. Cynthia X. Qian is an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and the head of the electrophysiology laboratory and the pediatric retina service at the University of Montreal. She is the current Vice President of the Canadian Retina Society. She is an expert on retinal dystrophy, particularly on the surgical implantation of retinal chips and prostheses. Her areas of focus include adult and pediatric surgical retina as well as inherited retinal diseases. For more information about the event, visit
Transcription: – Hello, this is Doctor Jessica Lofgren. Today we are joined by Doctor Qian. Doctor Qian, how are you doing today? – I’m doing well, thank you Doctor Lofgren. – Alright, so we brought you on today because you are speaking at this year’s International Symposium On Clinical Neuroscience happening May 24th to the 26th in Orlando, Florida and we’re exited to have you there. – Yeah, thank you, I’m really much looking forward to the meeting and thank you for the invitation. – Great, so, for some of our scholars you might be new to them, so if you could please just introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you do. – Of course, my name is Cynthia Qian, I’m currently an assistant professor in ophthalmology at The University of Montreal, based in Montreal, Canada. I specialize in the surgical and medical management of adult and pediatric retinal diseases. In particular pertaining to inherited retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and particular implantation, the surgical implantation of retinal prosthesis, a new device that’s to regain visual function in these patients. – So what topic did you choose to talk about at this year’s ISCN, and why did you pick this topic? – So this year’s meeting I decided to talk about the ongoing research and the upcoming technology that are being studied and pursued in the field of inherited retinal diseases As you may know that these are conditions that often affect several member in the same family and often there’s gradual visual loss that starts very early in childhood that can progress towards complete blindness by adulthood, and currently there’s only one approved retinal prothesis on the American market for this, which is the Argus retinal prothesis, and there also ongoing research in Europe as well as in Asia. And there’s one gene therapy that’s also approved so far for only one form of retinitis pigmentosa. So I just thought this was a very exciting field it’s really a field that’s just expanding at a very rapid pace in the domain and there many venues that are being explored right now, including some that involve newer retinal prothesis in your prothesis that go on to stimulate the visual cortex directly, so I think, you know, it’s a really nice way to bridge my work in my field opthomology with the neurological pathways that are stimulated in order to help a person regain vision, and I think it really explores the intricate connection between the retina, which is more the physical anatomical components of the eye and the pathways that will lead to sight again. So really I think it’s something that’s exciting for me to talk about and also to share ideas with our colleagues in urology and neuroscience. – This sounds great, so we always say like this little saying that the eyes are the window into the brain function. So this is gonna be a great topic where we’re combining what you do and also what we have on the neurology side, and seeing how we can bridge that gap and see that connection. So I’m really excited to hear more about what you had to say at this year’s event. – Absolutely, and I look forward to comments and input from my colleagues from across the different specialties as well. – If you want to hear more from Doctor Qian, make sure you attend our international symposium happening May 24th to the 26th in Orlando, Florida. Doctor Qian, I’m so excited to see you and I can’t wait to hear more about what you have to talk about. Thank you. – Thank you so much, take care.
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