About ISER

The Mission of ISER is to provide a unique international platform for discussion and exchange of ideas on contemporary topics in eye and vision research among its members and the broader eye/vision research community.

ISER supports this mission by holding scientific meetings at venues throughout the world, through its journal, Experimental Eye Research, and by focusing resources on the development and support of young investigators, especially those working in the research programs of ISER members.

On the 18th of December 1968, fourteen scientists from the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland met in Oxford, England to discuss the merits of establishing an international organization to support eye research. It was agreed that there was a need for such an organization, because those scientists interested in studying the eye were scattered over many scientific disciplines in many countries, and such a Society would bring them together periodically from all over the world. It was emphasized that the future generation of scientists should be invited to the meetings organized by the Society, and helped financially to participate. The Society would strive to offer opportunities to young scientists to see and hear, and to be seen and heard. Among the objectives were: coordination of various channels of research communication; establishment of an international information center and clearing house for financial, organizational and operational aspects of eye research; stimulation and promotion of international research cooperation; assistance and cooperation with local, national and regional eye research organizations when needed.

Probably the most interesting proposition was the idea that such a new international organization should help scientists worldwide in the planning and coordination of research activities. Participants also expressed the opinion that the journal, "Experimental Eye Research", should become the official publication of the new Society.

The 14 scientists who started this organization many years ago are:

France:J. Nordmann
Great Britain:Antoinette Pirie, Hugh Davson, E.S. Perkins, Gloster, Ruth Van Heyningen
The Netherlands:Hans Bloemendal, S. Bonting
Italy:M. Testa
Sweden: Erik Linner
Switzerland:Rudolf Witmer
United States:Endre Balazs, W.J. Manski, Jin H. Kinoshita

Antoinette Pirie was elected by the group as Pro Tem Chairperson, Endre Balazs as Pro Tem General Secretary, and Hugh Davson as Pro Tem Treasurer. The Committee then adjourned to meet again the following Spring in New York.

At the New York meeting, our international organization was officially established with a 50-member Board of Directors. This Board, in addition to the 14 founding members, included scientists from Australia, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United States.

Over three decades ago, we created a new vehicle for international communication by organizing symposia and congresses and by supporting Experimental Eye Research, the official journal of the Society. Today the organization is comprised of vision research scientists from more than 34 countries. It holds a biennial International Congress of Eye Research, has chapters in China, Japan, Israel, and Russia, and provides opportunities for young scientists and supports eye and vision research.

Historical Timeline

December 1968
Fourteen scientists from seven countries met in Oxford, England, and formed a committee to explore the possibility of establishing an international organization to support eye and vision research.

March 1969
At a meeting held in New York, the International Committee for Eye Research was established with a membership of 50.

September 1972
The International Committee for Eye Research met in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

October 1973
The Japanese Chapter of the International Committee for Eye Research was organized.

May 1974
The International Society for Eye Research was incorporated in the State of Delaware, USA.

June 1974
The first International Congress of Eye Research was held in Capri, Italy. The International Committee for Eye Research was dissolved and its former members became the Board of Directors of the International Society. Subcommittees for drafting the Bylaws and designing rules for membership were established.

September 1976
The Bylaws of the International Society were discussed and finalized.

1978
Bylaws were adopted at the meeting of the Board of Directors and new officers were elected. The Society was opened to receive membership applications. An annual fee for membership was collected for the first time in 1980.

1984
Experimental Eye Research was adopted at the Congress in Alicante as the Journal of the Society. Established the Endre A. Balazs Prize and the Ludwig von Sallmann Prize.

1986
The Paul A. Kayser International Award in Retina Research was established.

1988
The Office of the ISER Secretariat was established

1990
New Membership categories were established; Family and Student

2002
The Ernst H. Bárány Prize was established and the China Chapter of ISER was approved.

Meeting Dates and Locations

The International Committee for Eye Research and the International Society for Eye Research have sponsored the following meetings:

1971Symposium on Lens, Utrecht, The Netherlands
1972Symposia on Lens and Aging and Transport Processes in the Eye, Charleston, SC, USA
1974First International Congress of Eye Research Capri, Italy
Organizers: Mario deVincentis, G. Auricchio, M. Testa
1975Symposium on the Pigment Epithelium, (Proceedings of the National Eye Institute) Bethesda, MD, USA
1976Seminar on Selected Topics of Eye Research, (Italo-American Cooperative Program), Capri, Italy
1976Second International Congress of Eye Research, Jerusalem, Israel
Organizer: Shabtay Dikstein
1978Third International Congress of Eye Research, Osaka, Japan
Organizer: T. Mizukawa
1980Fourth International Congress of Eye Research, New York, NY, USA
Organizer: Endre Balazs
1982Fifth International Congress of Eye Research, Veldhoven, The Netherlands
Organizer: S. Bonting
1984Sixth International Congress of Eye Research, Alicante, Spain
Organizer: Carlos Belmonte
1986Seventh International Congress of Eye Research, Nagoya, Japan
Organizer: Shuzo Iwata
1988Eighth International Congress of Eye Research, San Francisco, CA, USA
Organizer: David Maurice
1990Ninth International Congress of Eye Research, Helsinki, Finland
Organizer: Arto Palkama
1992Tenth International Congress of Eye Research, Stresa, Italy
Organizer: Antonio Secchi
1994Eleventh International Congress of Eye Research, New Delhi, India
Organizer: P.K. Khosla
1996Twelfth International Congress of Eye Research, Yokohama, Japan
Organizer: Kanjiro Masuda
1998Thirteenth International Congress of Eye Research Paris, France
Organizer: Yves Pouliquen
2000Fourteenth International Congress of Eye Research, Santa Fe, NM, USA
Organizers: Nicholas Delamere, Michael Riley
2002Fifteenth International Congress of Eye Research, Geneva, Switzerland
Organizer: Saul Merin
2004Sixteenth International Congress of Eye Research, Sydney, Australia
Organizer: John McAvoy
2006Seventeenth International Congress of Eye Research, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Organizer: Oscar Candia
2008Eighteenth International Congress of Eye Research, Beijing, China
Organizers: Marjorie Lou and Junwen Zeng
2010Nineteenth Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research, Montreal, Canada
Organizers: John Penn and Martin Steinbach
2012Twentieth Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research, Berlin, Germany
Organizers: Olaf Strauss, Ernst Tamm
2014Twenty-First Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Eye Research, San Francisco, CA, USA
Organizers: Organizers: Suraj P. Bhat, David Williams