Cornea & Refractive Surgery Faculty:
Moorfields consultant and former deputy director of research, Professor John Dart, looks back over more than 30 years at the hospital and reflects on why it is a world-leading centre for ophthalmic research
I didn’t start out as an ophthalmologist. In fact, my first degree was in Zoology, but as I progressed I realised that my main interests were in the medical aspects of the work. So after completing my first degree, I started my pre-clinical training at Trinity College Cambridge.
I qualified in 1976, and began my residency at Moorfields in 1980 after 2 years at the Oxford Eye Hospital and a stint in Melbourne. At that time, a resident was able to do a huge amount of surgical training. I think I carried out over 90 retinal detachment operations as a junior: these are not done until Fellowship training today.
I then spent some time working with Dr Dan B Jones at the Cullen Eye Institute, in Texas, and Prof Doug Coster in Adelaide, on a fellowship in ocular infection. When I returned to Moorfields in 1984, I took up a job in the contact lens department under Professor Roger Buckley as a clinical lecturer in ophthalmology at the Institute of Ophthalmology, which at that time was not part of UCL.
The department was a great place to do get clinical experience and start some research, and this nourished my interest in corneal disease, disorders of the lids and their lining tissue (conjunctiva), and severe infections and inflammation at the front of the eye.
As soon as I was in post Professor Buckley went away for an operation for nearly a year and I was given the job of running the department. Looking back, it was pretty crazy. I was newly qualified and I had responsibility for 25 staff. I was promoted to honorary consultant in 1987.
It was incredibly difficult to get a permanent consultant position then because you had to wait for someone to leave or retire. After two failed applications for jobs in provincial teaching hospitals I considered leaving Moorfields and emigrating to Australia, but decided to hold on. Eventually, a consultant retinal surgeon left to take up a chair in Manchester, and I was appointed (as a corneal specialist!) to his job.
This gave me an opportunity to start to build up my own corneal service, almost from scratch. Working with Peter Wright, I was able to explore my interest in chronic external diseases including those causing scarring, such as pemphigoid.
Many of the diseases we saw in clinic were obscure and not recognised in other hospitals, so patients with rare diseases were often referred to Moorfields. However, until the late 1980s we could only ameliorate the effects of these illnesses, as the use of systemic immunosuppressive therapy for these diseases had not been introduced. This happened in the late 1980’s and we pioneered the use of these treatments for these conditions in the UK, which further grew our patient base.
In the early 1990’s we had an outbreak of very severe Acanthamoeba corneal infection. My colleague, Mr Frank Larkin, also at Moorfields and the Institute of Ophthalmology, had conducted a ground-breaking study on the use of polyhexanide to treat this disease which is a chronic protozoal corneal infection, often associated with wearing contact lenses and exposure to contaminated water. It was very resistant to treatment with known antimicrobial drugs and the majority of patients used to go blind or lose useful vision, sometimes in spite of multiple corneal transplants.
Recognising the potential of polyhexanide, we applied to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) to start using it in ophthalmology. Initially the company refused, but after Moorfields agreed to accept any indemnity for problems, polyhexanide was rapidly introduced and has since been used world-wide, off label, in the treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis. We currently have an EU funded grant to carry out the studies needed to licence polyhexanide as a treatment for this disease.
Throughout my clinical career, I juggled my research interests around my commitments to my patients. At that time, there were no joint research/clinical posts, and so I fitted in what I was doing wherever I could until some research funding became available for a day per week in about 2000. It’s only since I discontinued private work in 2012, and part-retired from the NHS in 2014, that I’ve been able to devote more time to my research, which is mainly focussed on understanding the pathology of, and treatment for, amoebic keratitis and the scarring eye diseases.
The gift of additional time has really helped me to progress, and we have made some significant breakthroughs. We have made great progress towards developing a new drug for scarring eye disease. We are about to start the randomised controlled treatment trial, in several centres in Europe and the UK, of a new formulation of polyhexanide for Acanthamoeba keratitis and are nearing the completion of studies identifying behavioural and genetic risk factors for this disease.
Throughout my career, Moorfields has been a wonderful place to work. It’s so special to work in a hospital where everyone understands how integral research is to providing a good clinical service, and where everyone is invested in research as the primary means by which we can offer new and better treatments to our patients.
Because Moorfields is a specialist hospital, we see the really difficult problems here, and this spurs us on to find better and more effective ways to treat those patients. It has been fascinating and incredibly rewarding.
Dr. Bellucci obtained his Medical Degree and Residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Padua, Italy. Then he worked in the Hospital and University of Verona, and became Chief of the Hospital Ophthalmic Unit and Professor of Ophthalmic Surgery (2001-2015). His surgical activity comprises both anterior and posterior segment surgery, being mainly dedicated to cataract, cornea, and refractive surgery. He performed live surgery in several European countries and in India. His main research interests are Cataract Surgery, Intraocular Lenses, and Refractive surgery. He published more than 200 papers in English and Italian, with some original contribution in the fields of anaesthesia, and intraocular lens optics. His teaching activity spread worldwide with several lectures at meetings in 27 countries of 5 continents, and including the ESASO courses. A member of several scientific societies, Dr Bellucci has been the president of ESCRS for the years 2014-2015, and is the current president of the Italian Cataract and Refractive Society for the years 2015-2018.
Jose Guell, Founding partner and doctor specialising in cornea and refractive surgery at the Ocular Microsurgery Institute (IMO), spokesperson for IMO Foundation and professor on the Master’s Course in the Anterior Segment and the Master’s Course on Cornea and Refractive Surgery run by IMO. Coordinator and professor for the ESASO’s Cornea and Refractive Surgery Department.
His areas of interest are lamellar and endothelial keratoplasty, complex cataracts surgery, reconstructive procedures for the anterior segment, including keratoprosthesis, refractive surgery, particularlyexcimer and femtosecond laser, as well as the implant of intraocular phakic lenses (Artisan-Artiflex) and intrastromal corneal rings.
He took a Fellowship in the Cornea Unit of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Department at Emory University, Atlanta, USA. In 1999, he presented his doctoral thesis with honours entitled In situ laser-assisted keratomileusis. Development of the technique for the correction of myopia and astigmatism at Valld’Hebrón University Hospital.
Salah Mahjoub, M.D. a graduate from the Faculty of Medicine of Tunis completed his ophthalmology specialty at the Faculty of Medicine of Tunis & Toulouse University – France. He was cornea fellowship trained at Louisiana State University -USA (1986-1989). He is one of the pioneers of refractive & modern cataract surgery in Africa. He was founder & president of the African Society of Refractive Surgery in 2000. He serves actually as cornea & refractive surgery Director at the Clinique Ophtalmologique of Tunis a leading and first ISO 9001/2000 certified medical Centre in Africa.
He is an active member of Nadi Al Bassar and board member of Tunisia national eye bank. Dr Mahjoub has been very active in the past 20 years as organizer, moderator & invited speaker of major national & international ophthalmology meetings. He is the recipient of many national & international awards. He is currently the General Secretary of the Middle East African Cataract & Refractive Surgery Society (MEACRS).
Maan Al Barry,
- Consultant ophthalmologist, Cornea, cataract & refractive surgery & uveitis.
- Saudi board of ophthalmology 2004
- Fellowship in cornea, cataract & refractive surgery & uveitis at KKESH 2005
- Fellowship of the Royal college of physician & surgeons 2008
- Medical staff at KKESH in Anterior Segment & uveitis division from 2006-2009
- Chairman of the department of ophthalmology at college of medicine Taibah university from 2010-till present.
- Member of the scientific ophthalmology board from 2011-2014
- Representative of the Saudi Society of ophthalmology – Madina area from 2010-till present
- Member of the Red Sea scientific board from its establishment in 2014-till pr esent.
- Saudi board examiner from 2014-till present.
- Executive Medical Director at Magrabi Eye centre – Madina & Northern regions from 2015-till present.
Cataract & IOL Faculty:
Dr. Paul Harasymowycz heads the glaucoma research unit at the University of Montreal and has served as clinician and researcher at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and the Guy-Bernier Research Centre since 2011. He is medical director of the Bellevue Ophthalmology Clinics and the Montreal Glaucoma Institute. He is also medical director of the Quebec Glaucoma Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting glaucoma research in Quebec, increasing public awareness of the disease and educating people who suffer from the illness.
Dr. Harasymowycz’s research focuses on glaucoma screening, new diagnostic technologies and new surgical treatments for glaucoma and cataracts. He has a passion for teaching students, residents and glaucoma fellows and is often invited to present and teach surgical techniques at national and international conferences. He is a member of the Glaucoma Committee of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and sits on the board of directors of the Association des Médecins Ophtalmologistes du Québec (Quebec’s association of ophthalmologists). He has published over fifty articles in peer-reviewed medical journals as well as book chapters on glaucoma.
David Allen is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Sunderland Eye Infirmary, England and was responsible for developing their high volume Cataract Treatment Centre which was recently doubled in size. This is now regarded as one of the most efficient cataract units in the UK. His main interest is in cataract surgery, and he was president of UKISCRS 2002-2004.
He has published 6 chapters in books relating to cataract surgery and phaco-emulsification equipment and techniques. He has published around 40 articles on cataract surgery outcomes, techniques and phaco equipment. One of his passions is teaching about phaco techniques from the standpoint of understanding exactly what the surgeon requires, and how this can be provided by the phaco machine.
From 1996 he has organised teaching courses at the Annual meetings of both the European and the American Societies of Cataract & Refractive Surgery dealing with both the basic principles of phaco, as well as early recognition of situations potentially leading to complications if not recognised.
Bobby S. Korn, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S. is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Plastic Surgery at the Shiley Eye Institute at UC San Diego. Dr. Korn completed his undergraduate degree at MIT and M.D./Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Southwestern where he studied under 2 Nobel Laureates. He directs the Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery Service at the San Diego Veteran Hospital and is the primary fellowship director for the ASOPRS International Fellowship at UC San Diego.
In addition to his busy clinical practice, Dr. Korn is an active researcher and has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He is the Chief Editor of the best-selling book, Video Atlas of Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, now in its 2nd Edition. He is also prolific speaker and has given over 170 lectures around the world. Dr. Korn is also the Chair of the AAO Basic and Clinical Sciences Series for Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and on the Editorial Boards of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal, AAO EyeNet and AAO One Network.
He was the recipient of multiple Outstanding Teaching Awards, the ASOPRS Research award and the Marvin H. Quickert award. Dr. Korn has been named as a Physician of Exceptional Excellence by the San Diego County Medical Society, Top Physician by US News and World Report and Castle Connelly,
Ltd. and has been selected in Best Doctors of America.
In his free time, he is a volunteer surgeon both at the local, national and international levels. He has lectured and taught live surgery in multiple countries in Asia including the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Indonesia and Korea.
Professor Miles Stanford is currently Chair of Clinical Ophthalmology, at GSTT NHS Foundation Trust and holds posts mainly at St Thomas’ Hospital. He trained at St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospitals as well as undertaking original research into the mechanisms underlying uveitis for his post-doctoral thesis. He has published over 180 peer reviewed articles and contributed to more than 30 book chapters. He is founder and chairman of the British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit, a unique unit that studies that epidemiology of rare ophthalmic diseases in the UK.
Retina & Vitreous Faculty:
Dr Manish Nagpal, completed his Ophthalmology training at M & J institute of Ophthalmology, Ahmedabad in 1996 and further went on to accomplish the FRCS (Ed) at UK in 1997. He is practicing as a Vitreo Retinal Consultant at Retina Foundation, Ahmedabad, since 1999. He has been awarded the prestigious Distinguished Services Award by the APAO in 2007 and the Achievement award of APAO in 2012 .He is also a recipient of the prestigious Achievement award of American Academy of Ophthalmology for the year 2009 followed by the AAO International Ophthalmologist Education Award in 2011.
He is a recipient of the prestigious ASRS Honor award for the year 2013 and the ASRS Senior Honor award in 2015. He has a keen interest in making surgical videos and has received the prestigious Rhett Buckler award for the best surgical video 5 years in a row, at the annual ASRS meetings. He has also received the Best video award at the film festival held at the 25th APAO meet held at Beijing, China, Sept 2010. He has also won the C S Reshmi award for the best video presentation at the annual AIOS meeting held at Cochin, Feb 2012 . He has been awarded the Best paper of the retina sessions at All India Ophthalmological society 4 times including the S Natarajan award. He has been a Principle investigator for various global multicentric trials (Macugen 1013, VIEW 2, DEGAS and MONET).
Gaurav K. Shah, MD, is a retina specialist at The Retina Institute and Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Co-Director of Vitreoretinal Fellowship Program. He received his medical degree from the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine in Chicago. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis followed by a retina fellowship at Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dr Shah’s clinical and research interests include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, age-related macular degeneration, and retinal detachments as well as the economics of retinal healthcare. He has a specific interest on Macular Surgery and Retinal Detachment repair with specific instrumentation design. He has been involved in several pivotal clinical trials including those investigating pegaptanib, ranibizumab, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and combination regimens consisting of PDT and bevacizumab. He is also an investigator for several phase II and phase III clinical trials for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, retinal vein occlusion, dry macular degeneration, and new drug delivery devices and is currently the Principal Investigator for the CRAVE study.
Dr Shah is a frequent presenter at national and international meetings and has authored 12 book chapters and more than 139 peer-reviewed articles. In addition, he is an elected member of the Retina Society, the Macula Society, American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) International Affairs Chair, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, OMIC and part of the ORBIS retina team. He is on the editorial board for Eye Net, OSLI and Review of Ophthalmology. In addition, he is a board examiner for ABO. He also serves as Head of International Affairs for the ASRS.
A native of Baltimore, Dr. Pollack developed an interest and passion for ophthalmology early on, inspired by his father, who was a glaucoma specialist. He received his undergraduate degree in biology at Washington University in St. Louis and completed his medical training at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Dr. Pollack returned to St. Louis for his ophthalmology residency at Washington University’s Barnes Hospital, followed by a retina-vitreous fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He has been with Illinois Retina Associates since 1997.
Dr. Pollack is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of retinal disease and is a frequent speaker at national and international retina conferences. He has served as Director or invited faculty at over 100 scientific meetings and he has delivered over 150 scientific presentations at national and international scientific meetings.
His interest in bringing cutting edge research to his patients has led to his involvement in multiple major national research studies. He has served as Study Chairman, Principle Investigator, or Co-Investigator in over 15 clinical studies including LADDER, NT503-3, DRCR, READ-2, READ-3, CATT, SCORE, CRAVE and ISIS. He has published over 45 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and is a scientific reviewer for 5 ophthalmology journals. His interests cover a variety of topics including suture-less surgery techniques, new treatments for macular degeneration, new surgical options for macular holes, injection therapy for macular edema, macular OCT, repair of complex retinal detachment, and new advances in the development of artificial vision.
Dr. Pollack has held a number of national leadership positions and received many honors. He is currently President-Elect and Scientific Program Chair of American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) – the largest organization of retina specialists in the world. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Foundation of the ASRS and the Board of Directors for the Illinois Society for Prevention of Blindness. Dr. Pollack is the recipient of the Sr. Honor Award from the ASRS for his scientific and educational contributions and is the recipient of the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has been listed in “Best Doctors in America” and “Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists” for many years and he has been selected as one of the Ocular Surgery News Retina 150 Innovators in Medical and Surgical Retina. Dr. Pollack is co-founder of the annual ASRS Preferences and Trends Survey, an international survey of medical and surgical trends in retina. He is also co-founder of The Winning Pitch Challenge, the retina version of Shark Tank®. The Winning Pitch Challenge provides retina specialists with educational resources designed to accelerate transformation of novel ideas for improved retina care to actual solutions.
Dr. Pollack also has an interest in developing entrepreneurial ventures that fill unmet needs in healthcare. He has co-founded three medical companies, Vestrum Health, Covalent Medical, and Clarus Acuity Group, with the goal of helping physicians maximize the value of their expertise to benefit their patients and their practices.
Asheesh Tewari, MD is a specialist in the diseases and surgery of the retina, vitreous, and macula. Dr Tewari graduated with honors from Wayne State University School of Medicine. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Kresge Eye Institute where he also served as Chief Resident. He completed a vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at the Barnes Retina Institute at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has been voted as a “Top Doctor” by Styleline magazine.
Dr. Tewari currently treats patients at the Michigan Retina Center offices in Dearborn and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to founding the Michigan Retina Center, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Kresge Eye Institute. In addition, he served as director of the Vitreoretinal Surgery Fellowship and the Ophthalmic Tele-Imaging Center. He continues to play an active role in the teaching of ophthalmology residents and retinal surgery fellows.
Dr Tewari has written numerous articles and chapters for national and international publications. In addition, he is a dedicated researcher and has participated in numerous national multi-center clinical trials. His recent research work has focused on new surgical instrumentation and techniques, including ultra-high speed vitrectomy. He is involved in leadership committees for the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS). His clinical interests include surgical treatment of diabetic retinopathy and complex retinal detachment.
Tarek M. Shaarawy is the Head of the Glaucoma unit, and the Glaucoma surgery research group at the University of Geneva Hospitals. He is also a Privat-Docent of the University of Geneva. He obtained both his medical bachelor and Masters Degree in ophthalmology at the University of Cairo, and his Doctorate in Medicine degree from the University of Lausanne. He trained in ophthalmology at the Cairo Research Institute of Ophthalmology and completed two glaucoma fellowships at the Universities of Lausanne and Basel. He is currently the President of the International Society of Glaucoma surgery as well as the associate vice president of the World Glaucoma Association.
His main research interests are surgical techniques of Glaucoma surgery, normal pressure glaucoma, and glaucoma patterns of practice in developed and developing countries. He is the author and editor of five textbooks on Glaucoma, and more than 100 book chapters and publications in peer reviewed journals. He serves on the editorial board of many ophthalmology journals, including the International Journal of Ophthalmology, the Journal of Glaucoma, the Canadian Journal of ophthalmology, and the Middle East African Journal of ophthalmology, The Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology, among others.
In addition to his glaucoma practice Tarek Shaarawy is active in a number of NGOs dealing with global prevention of blindness.
Born in 1961, Christophe Baudouin, MD, PhD, FARVO is professor of Ophthalmology in Paris since 1995, after achieving is MD in Nice in 1989 and a PhD in Paris in 1992. Since 1995, he is chairman of the department of Ophthalmology, Ambroise Paré Hospital, APHP, University of Versailles, and became in 2000 also the chairman of a large department of Ophthalmology in Quinze-Vingts National Ophthalmology Hospital, Paris. Since 2008 he is the Director of an INSERM-labelled research group, located in Vision Institute, University of Paris 6, a research center dedicated to ophthalmology and labelled as Laboratory of Excellence.
He has been president of the Ophthalmological Society of Paris for 7 years. He is currently the Editor-in-chief of the French Journal of Ophthalmology, past General Secretary of the French Society of Ophthalmology, vice-president of the French Glaucoma Society, and active member of eight international societies, including the prestigious American Ophthalmological Society. He was awarded in 2011 silver fellow of ARVO, became member of Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis in 2013 and received in 2015 the title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, the most prestigious decoration in France. He has published more than 300 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, coordinated or participated to many books and book chapters, and has developed an extensive research in ocular surface inflammation, dry eye biomarkers, or side-effects of anti-glaucoma medications and preservatives, as well as a large range of in vivo or in vitro models useful for toxicological or pathophysiological investigations.
Paediatric Ophthalmology Faculty:
Dr. Kraft is staff ophthalmologist in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the Hospital for Sick Children, practicing paediatric ophthalmology with a specialty interest in strabismus, and at the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada, specializing in adult strabismus and botulinum treatment of dystonia and strabismus. He is Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto, promoted in 2001. His research involves clinical and surgical advances in strabismus and children’s vision development.
He has published 104 peer-reviewed papers and 42 book chapters, and he has given over 350 presentations all over the world. During his tenure in Toronto he has trained 155 fellows in strabismus and paediatric ophthalmology from over 40 countries, and he has been a visiting professor in 45 institutions all over the world. He is the only active Canadian member of the Association for Research in Strabismus (“Squint Club”) of North America.
Michael Graef, Born on 8. Sept. 1958 in Bavaria
1964 – Elementary school, then college
1977 – Army
1978 – Studium of medicine, University of Wuerzburg
1984 – Approbation
1985 – Internal medicine
1986 – Promotion (M.D.), University of Wuerzburg
1986 – Department of Ophthalmology, University of Giessen (Head: Prof. Dr. K.W. Jacobi)
1990 – Appointment as ophthalmologist
1991 – Department of Strabismology and Neuro-ophthalmology, University of Giessen (Head: Prof. Dr. H. Kaufmann)
1992 – First studies on strabismologic topics, dosimetry of extraocular muscle surgery, objective assessment of visual functions, various neuro-ophthalmologic topics
1997 – State doctorate: Ophthalmology. Appointment as private docent. Professorial dissertation: Methods of objective assessment of visual acuity
2004 – Deputy Director of the Department of Strabismology and Neuro-ophthalmology
2004 – Extraordinary professor, University of Giessen
Dr. Dahrab is a Pediatric Ophthalmology Consultant from Kuwait. He works in both the Kuwaiti Public Al Bahar Eye Center and the Private Kuwait Specialized Eye Center. He has extensive expertise in complex intraocular pediatric and adult strabismus conditions as well as surgical procedures. Dr. Dahrab acquired his medical degree from Kuwait, after which he went on to acquire his ophthalmic training in Canada.
Dr. Dahrab completed his Ophthalmology residency training at McGill University in 2009 which was followed by a 2 year Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus Fellowship from Dalhousie University. He has recently been appointed as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology in Dalhousie University and attending staff physician at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.