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Lions Eye Institute founder receives new honour

24/10/2018By Myles Hume
The founder of the Lions Eye Institute (LEI) has been appointed patron of the Australian-based medical research centre.

The new role for internationally renowned ophthalmologist Professor Ian Constable was revealed by LEI board chairman Mr Peter Forbes at an appreciation dinner in Perth on October 15.

Constable founded LEI 35 years ago and this year celebrates 50 years in Ophthalmology. Under his leadership as managing director from 1983–2009, LEI contributed significantly to the international understanding and treatment of eye disorders.

He still works as one of LEI’s leading ophthalmologists and continues to have active involvement in research, including a groundbreaking gene therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

A hallmark of Constable’s tenure as managing director was his commitment to tackling blindness through a wide range of initiatives, including training new generations of ophthalmologists in Australia and overseas, along with outreach work in Indigenous communities.

Significant research breakthroughs during his stewardship include polymer tubes for glaucoma and the artificial cornea; laser shunts for vein blockage; new insights into oxygen consumption in the retina; and the immune basis for complex inflammatory diseases of the eye.

“Through this role, Ian will continue to promote the achievements and ongoing need for support of the institute among our stakeholders in the community, government, business, university and medical research sectors,” Forbes said.

Constable said he was honoured to now to promote the achievements and ongoing need for support of LEI.

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