Prof. Padmaja Sankaridurg was awarded her BOptom degree from the Elite School of Optometry, Chennai, India in 1989 before working for a number of years at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, India, as the Chief of Contact Lens Services. She then moved to Australia, completing her Ph.D. in 1999 at the University of New South Wales, Australia (UNSW), then took up a position at the Brien Holden Vision Institute (formerly the Institute for Eye Research) and the Vision Cooperative Research Centre.
In 2012, Dr. Sankaridurg completed a Masters in Intellectual Property at the University of Technology, Australia. In 2016, she was appointed a Conjoint Professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW. (University of New South Wales) She is a postgraduate supervisor, has over 70 articles in peer reviewed journals, is a co-inventor on 14 patents/applications, has authored several book chapters, has delivered many podium presentations including key note lectures and also been involved in media presentations in the area of myopia. In 2015 she received the Garland W Clay award from the American Academy of Optometry as the lead author on the most significant paper published in the journal Optometry & Vision Science, over the preceding five years.
Eric Ritchey, OD, PhD, FAAO, is a 2001 graduate of The Ohio State University College of Optometry. After graduation, he completed a two-year Advanced Practice Fellowship in Cornea and Contact Lenses at Ohio State, where his research focused on overnight orthokeratology and extended wear contact lenses. Following fellowship, Dr. Ritchey served as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri-Saint Louis College of Optometry before beginning his PhD training at Ohio State. During his PhD training, Dr. Ritchey’s research in the laboratory of Dr. Andy Fischer focused on the mechanisms behind refractive error development. After completing the PhD, Eric joined Johnson and Johnson Vision Care as a Principal Research Optometrist in the Emerging Technologies Group, where he worked on contact lens technologies to control myopia progression. After four years in industry, he decided to return to academia and will teach Ophthalmic Optics to 2nd year optometry students. Dr. Ritchey’s clinical interests are in specialty contact lens fitting, anterior segment disease and ocular prosthetics. His research activities will focus on myopia development and contact lenses.
Maria Liu, OD, PhD, FAAO, is an associate professor at UC Berkeley School of Optometry and the founder of UC Berkeley Myopia Control Clinic. She received her bachelors degree of clinical medicine from Peking University, her OD from Pacific University, her PhD and MPH from UC Berkeley. She is a world-renowned clinical researcher in the field of myopia and her expertise focus on the impact of complex multifocal environment on emmetropization and myopia development, as well as novel optical and pharmaceutical treatments in myopia retardation.
Kate Gifford, BOptom, PhD, FAAO, is a clinician-scientist, peer educator and professional leader in private practice in Brisbane, Australia, and a co-founder of the Myopia Profile website and international peer discussion Facebook group. Dr. Gifford graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2003 with First Class Honours and a University Medal, and was awarded her PhD in contact lens optics in myopia from QUT in 2018. She holds four professional fellowships, over 50 peer reviewed and professional publications, and has presented over 100 conference lectures around the world, primarily on clinical myopia management. Dr. Gifford was the youngest ever National President of Optometry Australia from 2014-16, was awarded the inaugural BCLA President’s Award and named the QUT Young Alumnus of the Year in 2017, and is now a Visiting Research Fellow at QUT. Kate is the Committee Chair and lead author of the International Myopia Institute’s Clinical Management Guidelines Report.
Shalu Pal, OD, FAAO, graduated from the Southern California College of Optometry, completed her Contact Lens, Cornea and Disease Residency at Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry followed by her Fellowship in the American Academy of Optometry. She is a Fellow in the Scleral Lens Society. Dr. Pal is the current Chair of the American Optometric Association, Contact Lens and Cornea Section. She is currently the owner of a group practice in Toronto, specializes in advanced specialty contact lens fitting, dry eye management and treatment, concussion rehabilitation and vision therapy. Dr. Pal is a member of the Dry Eye faculty for Allergan and Alcon’s Dry Eye Speakers group. Dr. Pal is a guest lecturer at all Optometry Schools across North American as a founder of the Staple Program. Dr. Pal volunteers her time with the Ontario Association of Optometrist, local community groups and VOSH. Dr. Pal’s work in the area of specialty lenses, communication and practice management continues to be published. She also lectures and consults with many industry partners for the betterment of the profession through education.
Brian Berliner, OD, received his B.S. from City College of New York in 1978 and his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago in 1983.
Dr. Berliner subsequently completed a post-Doctoral Residency affiliated with the SUNY College of Optometry and the Northport VA Medical Center on Long Island. During his residency he gained extensive experience and expertise in primary eyecare, vision therapy, and low vision rehabilitation.
Dr. Berliner’s special interests are in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases including strabismus (misaligned or crossed eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye), acquired brain injury (TBI), low vision, vision therapy, accommodative and convergence dysfunctions and visually related learning/ perceptual disabilities.
Dr. Berliner is certified to provide eye exams for low vision patients and is classified as a specialist through the NYS Commission for the Blind. He has certifications in corneal refractive therapy and has earned the American Optometric Recognition Award for Continued Education.
Dr. Berliner’s professional affiliations include being a long standing member of the American Optometric Association, NYS Optometric Association, The American Academy of Orthokeratology, and the College of Optometrists in Visual Development.
Daniel J. Press, OD, FCOVD, is a 2007 honors graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and is Board-Certified in vision development and therapy by the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD).
Dr. Press has been recognized by his colleagues, including being named a rising star in the profession in 2017 by CollaborativeEYE. He is active in his academic pursuits, holding faculty positions at Indiana University School of Optometry, Illinois College of Optometry and Southern College of Optometry. Dr. Press has been an invited lecturer at 15 colleges of optometry between 2014 and 2019. He has served as an elected official of the COVD since 2012 and was elected president of the international organization in April 2019. In addition, Dr. Press has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in professional journals and publications and has volunteered many hours of service to the profession and his community including serving at the Special Olympics.
Dr. Press is an active member of COVD, Illinois Optometric Association, American Optometric Association, International Sports Vision Association and the Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association. He serves on the speaker bureau for multiple contact lens companies. Dr. Press provides full scope optometric care with a special emphasis in vision therapy, pediatric vision and myopia control at Park Ridge Vision in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Clarke Newman, OD, FAAO, is a 1986 graduate of the University Of Houston College Of Optometry, and he has been in private practice in Dallas, Texas since. His practice specializes in the visual rehabilitation of patients who have had corneal diseases, failed refractive surgeries, or corneal trauma.
Dr. Newman is a Past President of the Texas Optometric Association, and is, currently, the Chair of the AOA Federal Relations Committee and a long-time member of the AOA’s Cornea and Contact Lens Section (CCLS).
Dr. Newman is a Diplomate in the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies of the AAO, and currently serves as the Chair of the Section.
He is a Distinguished Practitioner in the National Academies of Practice and is a Fellow in the British Contact Lens Association and a Fellow in the Scleral Lens Educational Society. He has been appointed to the FDA Medical Devices Advisory Committee—Ophthalmic Devices Panel.
He has won numerous awards, including the AOA CCLS Luminary Award for Distinguished Practice and Legends Award, and the CLMA GPLI Practitioner of the Year. He writes and lectures frequently on a wide range of anterior segment and contact lens related topics.
Gary Gerber, OD, is the co-founder of Treehouse Eyes, the country’s first centers dedicated exclusively to providing myopia management services to children. Using innovative and proven practice-building strategies learned from helping hundreds of practices in his role as the Chief Dream Officer for The Power Practice®, a practice-building and consulting company, Treehouse Eyes has grown to be the country’s most successful myopia management practice and is currently expanding across the United States and several other countries.