A graduate from the National Veterinary College of Alfort (Paris, France) William Beltran is Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of the Division of Experimental Retinal Therapies (ExpeRTs) at the School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania (USA). After completing in 2000 an ECVO residency at the National Veterinary College of Alfort, he earned a PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences from Cornell University (USA) in 2006. He then joined the faculty of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where he practices ophthalmology at the School’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital and heads a research laboratory in the field of inherited retinal degenerative diseases. Dr. Beltran’s research is focused on examining the cellular and molecular mechanisms of photoreceptor death in canine models of retinal degeneration, and developing novel therapeutic approaches aimed at curing or slowing the progression of this group of diseases. Research currently conducted in his laboratory has led to development of gene therapies for the most common forms of X-linked and autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa in man, a condition that is similar to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in animals. Dr. Beltran’s interests also includes development and evaluation of novel therapeutic approaches such as neuroprotection, optogenetics, and stem cell therapies that could be used to treat dogs and human patients with inherited retinal blindness. Dr. Beltran is a member of the ECVO’s scientific committee and past member and Chair of the ECVO's Education and Residency Committee.