Bio Major Had a ‘GREAT Day’ at International Conference

Jakob Pericak '24 (Photo provided)

Jakob Pericak ‘24, a senior biology major from Buffalo, NY, credits the experience of presenting at GREAT Day with his success presenting at an international conference, the World Congress on Controversies in Ophthalmology (COPHy), which was held in Athens, Greece, in March. 

Pericak, who works part-time at Erie Retina Research (ERR)—a company that studies diseases of the eye and alternative treatments—submitted an abstract and poster to COPHy 2024 for a case study he is involved with at ERR. The case study Pericak presented is of a port delivery system known as SUSVIMO, which administers medication to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration, a common eye disease in older adults. Pericak explains that the port, which is implanted in the eye and slightly bigger than a pencil tip, will reduce injection treatments for the disease from monthly to once every six months.

Pericak was excited, though also a bit nervous, to submit an abstract to COPHy, but he said that his participation in GREAT Day 2023 gave him valuable experience in preparing and presenting his research. He learned how to explain materials, methods, and results to an audience that didn’t necessarily have prior knowledge of his research topic.

Under the guidance of assistant professor of biology Josephine Reinhardt, Pericak honed his science writing skills and mastered the art of presenting research at academic conferences. The poster presentation style at GREAT Day mirrored that of COPHy 2024 Congress, a similarity that Pericak found immensely helpful. “I thought GREAT Day was really helpful, and it definitely lessened the stress of it all,” Pericak said.

Pericak, armed with the skills he acquired at SUNY Geneseo and ERR, has already begun making significant contributions to the field. He has developed case studies and written scientific literature and is a co-author of two pending articles in the Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases. His future plans include taking the MCATs and specializing in ophthalmology in medical school. He also intends to continue his work at ERR, writing case studies and eagerly anticipates more publications in the near future.


Betsy Harris
Social Media Manager