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Lions Eye Institute managing director resigns

07/11/2018By Myles Hume
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Professor David Mackey is stepping down as managing director of the Lions Eye Institute (LEI) to focus on five funded research projects into the genetics of eye disease.

Mackey will leave the role at the end of February, but will continue working with LEI leading its Genetics and Epidemiology group, while also mentoring students and early–mid career researchers.

“I am delighted that my association with the LEI will continue through my research. It’s been a privilege to guide the institute through a period of growth and lead an organisation that makes a positive difference to people’s lives,” Mackey said.

LEI chairman Mr Peter Forbes said during his decade-long service, Mackey had progressed the LEI’s standing and reputation as a world-renowned medical research institute.


“It’s been a privilege to guide the institute through a period of growth and lead an organisation that makes a positive difference to people’s lives.”
David Mackey, LEI

Mackey was recently awarded a Practitioner Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to discover new genes responsible for glaucoma and myopia. He is the leading research with a $9.4 million NHMRC program grant – among the largest ever for eye research in Australia.

According to the LEI, since arriving in WA in 2009, Mackey has co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, many with his students as first author. His contribution to research has also received national and international recognition.

Mackey was appointed to several organisations, including the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (Western Australia branch chair), Academy of Asia-Pacific Professors of Ophthalmology, NHMRC Human Genetics Advisory Committee, International Society for Genetic Eye Disease and Retinoblastoma (president), and the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia (Scientific Advisory Committee chair).

He also received the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award, Churchill Fellowship Award, and Harvard Club of Australia Non-profit Fellowship Award.

Away from laboratory, Mackey presided over projects including; the relocation of research groups to a new state-of-the-art building, major renovation of the LEI clinic, growth of clinical trials to become the largest ophthalmological trials centre in Australia, a second satellite clinic in Midland, three new research groups, Lions Outback Vision and a Volunteer Concierge Program for patients.

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