Hon Colin Barnett MEc MLA

Hon Colin Barnett MEc MLA

Former Premier; Minister for Tourism; Science

    New academic positions a nod to eye specialist

    27/10/2016 6:15 PM
    • Roles expected to attract leading international scientists to WA 

    Pioneering West Australian ophthalmologist Professor Ian Constable AO's contribution to saving sight will be recognised with the creation of new senior academic roles at The University of Western Australia.


    The Ian Constable Chair in Discovery and Translational Ophthalmic Science will focus on new treatments for major blinding diseases such as cataract and macular degeneration.  A new postdoctoral fellowship and continuous PhD program will attract leading international research scientists to WA.


    Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett said over the past 40 years, Professor Constable had made a significant contribution to the prevention of blindness and eye disease.


    "With his focus on specialisation, many patients are now able to receive high-quality treatment locally rather than having to travel interstate for treatment of more complex eye disease," Mr Barnett said.


    Professor Constable was appointed as the Lions Eye Institute's first managing director in 1983. The Institute is now recognised internationally as both a centre for clinical excellence and a leader in scientific research.


    Lions Eye Institute managing director, Professor David Mackey said the creation of a science-based Chair and support team would boost research in Western Australia.


    "The Institute has a long history of translating scientific research into improved treatments for people with blinding eye disease," Prof Mackey said.


    "There have been some major advances, such as the world's first artificial cornea, gene therapy for macular degeneration and dissolving tubes for the treatment of glaucoma."


    Professor Ian Constable said achievements by the Institute had attracted major internationally funded programs.


    "These translational achievements inspire us to broaden our scientific capabilities through this Chair, so that we can pursue other challenging blinding eye diseases," Prof Constable said.


    The new Chair in research will boost the scientific capabilities of the State, support translation of research into community outcomes and promote new scientific developments of national and international importance to eye care.


    Fact File

    • Each year the Lions Eye Institute clinical team provides care to more than 50,000 patients and performs in excess of 4,000 surgical procedures 

    Premier and Science Minister's office - 6552 5000


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