CORE News

PRESS RELEASE – OcuBlink, Inc. Wins Seed Funding from Two Prominent Business Accelerators

CORE-Affiliated Start-Up Developing Sophisticated In Vitro Eye Models for Accelerated Ophthalmic R&D

WATERLOO, Ontario, August 9, 2018—OcuBlink, Inc., which is developing sophisticated in vitro eye models for ophthalmic testing, has received funding from two prominent business accelerators. The company will use the funds and associated entrepreneurial coaching to scale its business, focused on assisting research centers, pharmaceutical and medical device companies validate ocular products more rapidly and cost-effectively.

AC JumpStart, funded by FedDev Ontario, awarded OcuBlink CAD$30,000 in seed capital and CAD$10,000 of in-kind mentorship. The accelerator helps technology start-ups establish and grow their business in Southern Ontario. OcuBlink was also named one of four winners in the annual Velocity Fund $5K competition, an entrepreneurship program at the University of Waterloo and the most productive start-up incubator in Canada.

OcuBlink began as an initiative of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) and now operates as an affiliate, utilizing CORE’s staffing, counsel and laboratories.

“We’ve been developing our novel in vitro platforms since 2014, working with industry partners and researchers to validate our technology. Now it’s time to bring our innovations to market, with the invaluable assistance of AC Jumpstart and the Velocity Fund,” said OcuBlink Chief Executive Officer Hendrik Walther, PhD, MSc, BSc Optom.

Traditional testing uses a vial or a test tube for early stage research, with later pre-clinical studies performed using an animal model. However, vials and test tubes do not remotely resemble the complex structure of the eye, leading to variable outcomes, and increasing regulation and public opinion is limiting animal experimentation. Incorporating OcuBlink to test concepts and prototypes at an earlier stage will minimize costs, reduce animal experimentation, and create deeper understanding of the underlying science of how new and existing products interact with the eye.

For more information, visit OcuBlink.com.

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About OcuBlink Inc.

OcuBlink develops sophisticated in vitro eye models for ophthalmic companies to accelerate research and development of products for the eye. These include devices for studying anterior and posterior eye disease and contact lens offerings, and its platforms have already been the subject of six conference abstracts and seven papers highlighting the technology. Ocublink is affiliated with the Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE), based at the School of Optometry & Vision Science, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit OcuBlink.com.

 

About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

Download the press release (.pdf)

PRESS RELEASE – CORE Enhances ContactLensManagement.com Guide; Site Helps Practitioners Better Identify and Manage Contact Lens-Related Issues

Searchable database features conditions, management, photos and videos

WATERLOO, Ontario, June 13, 2018—Eye care professionals can now access a free, fully-searchable database which includes descriptions, images and videos to help identify and manage contact lens related issues. Now under the direction of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE), with significant enhancements and new content, the Clinical Contact Lens Management Guide (ContactLensManagement.com) will serve as an indispensable resource for established and new practitioners, as well as students.

The site lists conditions in four sections: cornea, limbus, conjunctiva and lid. Each entry is also cross-referenced by contact lens, signs, symptoms and biomicroscope categories. Clicking through, each item presents a detailed description of the condition, its signs, symptoms, prevalence, differential diagnosis, and management, along with photos and videos to aid in diagnosis and resolution.

“ContactLensManagement.com is intended to be an easy-to-use, compact summary and searchable reference for contact lens practitioners, covering both common and low-grade conditions as well as more rare and serious issues,” said Lyndon Jones, director of CORE. “Early response to its redesign and substantial new content indicates the site will likely see rapid adoption and widespread use worldwide in clinical and academic settings.”

First conceived in 1993, the Clinical Contact Lens Management Guide has been edited in its many forms by renowned professionals. Now, as a fully-independent resource hosted by CORE, and supported by an independent medical education grant from Alcon®, the site includes enhancements such as a rich search feature to help practitioners easily filter conditions by their presenting signs and symptoms. New content includes instructional information on biomicroscope techniques, including unique CORE-produced, high-resolution videos designed to help optometry students, newly qualified optometrists and practitioners in developing markets.

The content will continue to be updated by CORE, with new information added over time. Later this year expect to see updated sections on Demodex along with incorporation of information from the recent DEWS II dry eye report.

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About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Contact Lens Research – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next three decades, the organization evolved from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, collaborating with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. Its uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit core.uwaterloo.ca.

Download the press release (.pdf)

McDougall & CORE Receive PR Industry’s Highest Award

NEW YORK, June 8, 2018—The Public Relations Society of America recognized the launch of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) brand with its highest honor—the 2018 Silver Anvil—last evening during a gala at Manhattan’s Edison Ballroom. Developed by McDougall Communications, the campaign introduced CORE to ophthalmic researchers, executives, eye care practitioners and students worldwide.

Of 116 finalists, only 51 Silver Anvils were awarded at the ceremony, which was hosted by CBS Sunday Morning contributor Nancy Giles. Other top honorees included P&G, DuPont, HP, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Frito Lay, Heineken, Johnson & Johnson, REI, and Universal Pictures. Members of the McDougall Communications team have now received 12 Silver Anvils and Awards of Excellence, often referred to as the Oscars® of the public relations industry.

One high-visibility aspect of the CORE launch encouraged attendees at last October’s American Academy of Optometry Annual Meeting to co-create a large-format mural that celebrated vision. The resulting work, titled Collected Insight by Los Angeles-based artist John Park, is now installed at CORE’s headquarters within the School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

“It’s an honor to share the Silver Anvil with everyone at CORE, who worked with us for months to conceive its new brand, then agreed to an unconventional launch that matched their extraordinary energy and collaborative values,” said Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA, president of McDougall Communications, who accepted the award.

Since its launch at Academy ‘17, CORE has continued to reach out to ophthalmology and optometry communities in unexpected ways. This includes the introduction of CORE Knowledge (COREKnowledgeGame.org), the ultimate eye science game, which debuted in late April. Produced by McDougall Communications, it has already attracted players from every corner of the globe.

The CORE brand reflects its evolution over the past three decades to become a preeminent center for advanced biosciences, clinical research and education relating to the eye. Originally named the Centre for Contact Lens Research, CORE’s uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality have been at the heart of many of the most prominent advances in eye health. Today, its approximately 50-person team serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment.

McDougall Communications, founded in 2011, is focused on helping clients across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific meet their business objectives through a range of communications services, including strategic planning, media and influencer relations, reputation and crisis counsel, and social media management. Its work in optometry and ophthalmology is widespread, having represented organizations such as CooperVision, Optometry Giving Sight, the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE), Labtician Opthalmics, the Contact Lens Institute, as well as other medical device and biotechnology entities.

For more than 60 years, Silver Anvils have been awarded to the world’s most comprehensive, creative and effective public relations programs. Candidates are evaluated by senior professionals drawn from corporate, non-profit, military and agency communications teams, as well as from academia.

Feed your addiction! Play the ultimate eye science game—Now free online

It was thrilling to unveil CORE Knowledge, the ultimate eye science game at ARVO 2018. Hundreds stopped by our booth to play and they were hooked in seconds to the rapid-fire, two-minute trivia game.

But the fun doesn’t have to stop just because ARVO has ended. CORE Knowledge is available for free online for you to continue to challenge your colleagues and friends from around the world. And newbies are welcome—if you haven’t played, this is one game you don’t want to miss! Go now to COREKnowledgeGame.org  

Top scores will be displayed online for you to challenge and beat—will you make the cut?

Clinicians, researchers, journalists, students and industry professionals answered more than 14,000 questions during ARVO 2018. High scorer Rajini Peguda from the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW Sydney, emerged the grand champion, and Will Ngo, University of Alabama School of Optometry, and Eric Carlson, Aerie Pharmaceuticals, came in second and third, respectively. Match wits with ARVO winners and challenge others to see your name reign on the board!

Got a Question for CORE Knowledge 2.0?

CORE Knowledge was born out of 30 years of working with partners to make great contributions to advancing vision science and research. With the first edition now played by members of the optometry and ophthalmology communities around the world, we invite you to submit questions to future editions of CORE Knowledge. Questions may be submitted, along with four multiple choice options (including the correct answer indicated) via email to COREgame@uwaterloo.ca.

Play, Play, Play!

CORE Knowledge is free and can be played online without downloading any software or applications. And there’s no limit to how often or how long you play. Go to COREKnowledgeGame.org

Learn more about CORE’s advanced biosciences, clinical research and education expertise at core.uwaterloo.ca

PRESS RELEASE – CORE Donates Digital Displays to ‘Iolani School as ARVO 2018 Comes to a Close

HONOLULU, May 4, 2018—At the conclusion of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting, the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) donated 4K flat screen displays, mounts and other supplies to the ‘Iolani School, a K-12 independent school located in Honolulu. The equipment was used at the annual ARVO meeting as CORE debuted the ultimate eye science game, CORE Knowledge, a digital, multiple choice trivia competition.

“We are grateful to CORE for thinking of us and making this donation to ‘Iolani,” said Tim Cottrell, Ph.D., head of school. “It’s likely that some of our students may some day attend ARVO themselves, as many make their way into medicine and research, helping bring positive change to the world.”

“If this donation helps spark the imagination and curiosity of even one student, it will be worth it,” said Lyndon Jones, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, director. “Continued advances in ocular science require savvy people who can think independently, collaborate with peers, and ask questions that may never before have been posited. Perhaps we will have the pleasure of working alongside an ‘Iolani alumnus in the not too distant future.”

After being experienced by thousands of ARVO attendees, CORE Knowledge is now available for online play, using tablets, laptops and other mobile devices. Researchers, students, clinicians and others in the ophthalmology and optometry fields can simply visit COREKnowledgeGame.org, register with a few keystrokes, and take on peers around the globe.

CORE is the former Centre for Contact Lens Research (CCLR), having adopted the new brand in January 2018 to reflect its evolved and broadened scope of work. The Waterloo, Ontario, Canada-headquartered organization collaborates with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and professional education, providing uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality. It serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment.

Founded in 1863, ‘Iolani School is situated on a 25-acre campus and serves 1,900 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. A culturally diverse, co-educational, college preparatory school with approximately 317 full-time faculty and staff, ‘Iolani is rated among the best independent schools in the country for its academic, arts and athletics programs. www.iolani.org

ARVO is the largest and most respected eye and vision research organization in the world. Its members include nearly 12,000 researchers from more than 75 countries, comprising clinical and basic researchers, many of whom are MDs and PhDs, as well as optometrists, osteopaths and veterinarians.

Download the press release (.pdf)

IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year

Thanks to the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) for recognizing CORE Director Dr. Lyndon Jones as America’s Contact Lens Educator of the Year!

The awards were introduced in 2014 to recognize and reward achievements in contact lens education worldwide.

Other 2018 winners include Runa Mazumder, Assistant Professor at the Vidyasagar College of Optometry & Vision Science in Kolkata, India (IACLE Asia Pacific) and Wim Borst and Henri Eek from the Deltion College at Zwolle, the Netherlands (IACLE Europe/Africa-Middle East)

Jones accepted the award, noting that, “The vast majority of contact lens clinicians globally have been trained in some way by an IACLE-affiliated educator and without IACLE, and the resources it provides to educators, there is no doubt in my mind that contact lens practice would be behind where it is today. I am absolutely delighted to be given this award and I thank IACLE for its continued dedication to training the contact lens clinicians of tomorrow.”

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators was established in 1979 and is a non-profit, non-political association. IACLE has 782 active members (as of December 2017) in 71 countries and welcomes contact lens educators from all eye care professions and related disciplines. IACLE is dedicated to raising the standard of contact lens education and promoting the safe use of contact lenses worldwide. It is the leading provider of educational and information resources essential to contact lens educators.

See the press release

CORE Knowledge: The Ultimate Eye Science Game

Beginning Sunday, April 29, join the Centre for Ocular Research & Education at ARVO 2018 as we unveil CORE Knowledge. Match wits against your colleagues in Honolulu and around the world, putting your ocular knowledge to the test in a rapid-fire, fun-for-all quiz game.

Make sure to stop by CORE booth #1316 for your chance to play and win!

PRESS RELEASE – First of Its Kind Study Illustrates Prevalence of Myopia in Canadian Children

WATERLOO, Ontario, February 22, 2018A study published in the journal Eye sheds light on the prevalence of myopia in Canadian children, validating findings and implications for healthcare policy makers, academic researchers and educators. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, has been on the rise globally over the past several decades, with more severe forms being associated with high economic burden and increased risk for other vision-robbing conditions.

Findings in Myopia Prevalence in Canadian School Children: a Pilot Study indicated that while the rate of myopia was 6% in children aged 6-8, it soars to 28.9% in children aged 11-13. For one additional hour spent outdoors each week, the odds of being myopic were lowered by 14.3%. Genetics also play a role: children with at least one myopic parent were 2.52 times more likely to be myopic as well.

This study, the first of its kind in Canada, was conducted by the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE), the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.  Eye is the official journal of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and is part of the esteemed Nature Research publishing group.

“Myopia is receiving significant attention from the eye health community worldwide, as incidence rates continue to climb among children at a startling pace,” said Mike Yang, OD, the paper’s lead investigator and a clinical associate at CORE. “Our research—the first non-clinical-practice-based epidemiological survey of myopia prevalence in Canada—paints a troubling picture, yet also shows the beneficial impact of outdoor time. We believe it adds meaningful, objective, and actionable knowledge to the research and clinical communities, as more efforts are placed against overcoming this critical and ever-growing problem.”

“The prevalence of myopia and the shift toward onset at an earlier age highlights the growing need for strategies to slow down its progression,” said Debbie Jones, FCOptom, FAAO, clinical professor at the School of Optometry & Vision Science and clinical scientist at the Centre for Ocular Research & Education. “CORE has played a significant role in clinical studies that have demonstrated the ability to control myopic progression. Patients may benefit from lower levels of myopia than if left unaddressed, likely lowering levels of sight threatening myopic complications.”

The paper notes that larger national studies would be able to provide even more evidence-based recommendations to the general public and healthcare stakeholders.

Download the press release (.pdf)

CORE Installs ‘Collected Insight’ Mural at University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science

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Faculty, Staff, Students and Community Celebrate Rebranding of CORE; Mural Collaboratively Created in Chicago Receives Permanent Home

WATERLOO, Ont., December 5, 2017—In mid-October, hundreds of the world’s foremost eye care professionals, researchers, students and industry leaders created a mural at the American Academy of Optometry’s annual meeting in Chicago, celebrating the launch of the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE). During a packed celebration yesterday, the work was unveiled and permanently installed at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science.

Formerly known as the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE), the new CORE name reflects the organization’s evolved focus on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education.

Titled Collected Insight, the 12-foot x 8-foot acrylic mural depicts the complexity and wonder of the eye and vision. Over the course of three days, Academy 2017 attendees donned protective lab coats and added their own artistic strokes to the massive canvas. Los Angeles-based artist John Park then transformed the cacophony of colors and shapes into the finished piece.

“Reaction to the CORE brand has been universally positive, as it better illustrates how we have broadened and deepened our offerings over the past 30 years, while at the same time advancing contact lens technologies and clinical knowledge,” said Lyndon Jones, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, CORE’s director.

Download High Resolution Images from the Installation Using the Following Links:

CORE partners with contact lens innovators on programs that include materials formulation, care products, comfort initiatives, myopia control, dry eye, drug delivery, and education for both practitioners and patients. In more recent years, it has established a reputation for working with major and emerging pharmaceutical companies, digital technology giants, and academic institutions that value uncompromising independence and adherence to the highest quality standards.

“The Collected Insight mural and tonight’s celebration, attended by so many supporters and friends, shine a light on how success hinges on close partnerships. We have been fortunate to match the insights of our 50-person team with many of the world’s most brilliant scientists and clinicians, together achieving what would have once been deemed impossible,” noted Dr. Jones.

The mural is hung in the newest wing of the School of Optometry & Vision Science, immediately outside its main lecture theatre on the ground floor. The installation event was attended by a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, friends of CORE and members of the local community, many who have worked alongside CORE team members and/or have participated in CORE-led clinical trials.

CORE will begin using the brand on a widespread basis beginning in January 2018. For more information, please visit CORE.uwaterloo.ca.

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About the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) – formerly known as the Centre for Ocular Research & Education – was established in 1988 at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science. Over the next two decades, founding director Desmond Fonn developed the organization from a three-person operation into a thriving hub of basic and applied research, playing a significant role in the early development and testing of silicone hydrogel lenses and the role of oxygen in corneal health, along with many other initiatives related to the performance of contact lenses and solutions.

In 2011, Lyndon Jones was appointed director, and has continued to inspire the organization’s evolution. Today, its approximately 50-person team collaborates with sponsors, agencies and academia on advanced biosciences, clinical research and education, providing uncompromising independence and results of the highest quality. It serves a range of ophthalmic sectors, including medical devices, ocular pharmaceuticals, digital technology and others, with a focus on the anterior segment. For more information, please visit cclr.uwaterloo.ca.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Mike McDougall, APR, Fellow PRSA
McDougall Communications for CORE
mike@mcdougallpr.com or +1.585.545.1815 (mobile)

Aimee J. Lewis
McDougall Communications for CORE
aimee@mcdougallpr.com or +1.585.414.9838 (mobile)

Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) Renamed Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE)

COREFor nearly three decades, the world’s optometry and ophthalmology communities have partnered with the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science on pioneering studies. Beginning in January 2018, the organization will adopt a new name: the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE).

“We have been fortunate to work with a broad range of sponsors and collaborators on many of the most dynamic developments in the field,” said Lyndon Jones, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA, CORE’s director. “Every day, our team dedicates itself to improving global eye health and vision through advanced biosciences, clinical research and education. CORE reflects our capacity to do so with uncompromising independence, by adopting the highest quality standards, and collaborating with world leaders in diverse research areas. It speaks to who we have become without forgetting where we began.”

A new logo echoes CORE’s primary focus on the eye. Interlocking elements in distinct blue, green, and orange colours represent biosciences, clinical research and education expertise, coming together in support of its mission.

“We continue to partner with innovators in contact lens technologies on myriad programs, including materials formulation, care products, comfort initiatives, myopia control, dry eye, drug delivery and education. Yet we are also working with major and emerging pharmaceuticals companies, digital technology giants, and academic institutions around the world on complex and fascinating initiatives that hold incredible potential for vision correction and enhancement,” continued Jones.

The CORE brand was premiered at the American Academy of Optometry’s 96th annual meeting, which began today in Chicago. In conjunction, CORE commissioned Los Angeles-based artist John Park to co-create a massive 12-foot x 8-foot acrylic mural during the meeting, depicting the complexity and potential of the eye and sight.

On Wednesday, October 11 (4 – 7 p.m.) and Thursday, October 12 (11 a.m. – 6 p.m.), all badged attendees are encouraged to visit CORE booth #001 (turn right upon entering Hall D) in McCormick Place, slip on a protective lab coat, and add their own distinctive brush strokes to the one-of-a-kind portrait. The mural will be completed on the show floor on Friday, October 13, then formally unveiled at an evening reception. It will be permanently installed at CORE headquarters at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry & Vision Science in Waterloo, Ontario.

The official CORE name change will occur following final ratification by the University of Waterloo Board of Governors.

Click here for the Press Release