Founding Members

David BenEzra and Jorge Alio.

David BenEzra and the creation of the International Ocular Inflammation Society (IOIS)

The idea of starting the international symposium on ocular inflammation occurred in a meeting that took place between Jorge Alio and David BenEzra in 1989, during the initial launch of the use of cyclosporine in ophthalmology. Jorge and David met there for the first time and this marked the beginning of a longstanding friendship. At that time, the launch of cyclosporine A in Spain and the new topical anti-inflammatory non-steroidal medications created a space, in the opinion of Jorge, for an international meeting in which the use of new pharmacological agents and a comprehensive review of the issues related to immunology, inflammation, and ophthalmology could take place.

With these ideas, the first international symposium on ocular inflammation was organized in Alicante in 1990 (Fig. 1 shows the cover page of that meeting). The meeting was a great success with over 250 participants and important interactions with the pharmacological industry. A decision was made to organize a second symposium 2 years later in Jerusalem. The meeting in Jerusalem was an even greater success with over 400 participants, a very fruitful scientific program and the creation of a scientific committee. (Fig. 2 shows the cover page of the meeting in Jerusalem). The idea of creating a society was on the minds of everybody at the meeting and a decision was made to go ahead with it. The leaders of the society were as follows: David BenEzra, President; Jorge Alio, Chairman; Manabu Mochizuki, General Secretary; Christian de Courten, Treasurer. The society was named IOIS and was created as a charity institution in Spain, with a global projection, bylaws, and with a journal, the Ocular Immunology and Inflammation (OII).

Since then, IOIS meetings have been organized every 2 years.

Eventually, the partnership with the publisher of the OII journal was discontinued due to certain disagreements. The idea to create a new journal for the Society was on the minds of David and the other leaders of the Society and the decision to do it was made during the Prague symposium, with the new journal being named the Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection.

Left: Fig1 - Right: Fig2

Left: Fig1 - Right: Fig2