2019 Speakers




Professor Lawrence Yannuzzi



Dr. Yannuzzi is founder of VRMNY as well as vice-chairman and director of the LuEsther T. Mertz Retinal Research Center of the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital. He is also founder and president of The Macula Foundation, Inc., which has distributed several million dollars to eye research across the USA. 


Dr. Yannuzzi has made numerous innovative and lasting contributions in imaging, drug development, and therapeutic modalities. He was the first to use oral non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication for the treatment of cystoid macular edema and developed an eye drop to treat this condition. He has described new diseases as well as new associations and manifestations of established entities and photosensitization. 


He has published over 400 scientific papers and 13 books, which have earned him respect and admiration in the ophthalmic-retinal community. He is well recognized as a devoted and excellent educator, a superb clinical diagnostician, and a prolific organizer of retinal meetings worldwide. 


Dr. Yannuzzi is the recipient of numerous awards, including an honorary doctorate by the University of Ancona, the Michelson Award for Retinal Vascular Disease, a Distinguished Alumnus Award by Boston University, the Henkind, Gass, and Patz Medals by The Macula Society, the Alcon Research Award, the Herman Wacker Award of the Club Jules Gonin, the Arthur J. Bedelle Award, the Retinal Research Award and the Gass Medal of the Retina Society, the Bietti Medal, the Pisart Award from the Lighthouse International, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.




Proffesor IAN MORGAN



Professor Morgan graduated from the University of Melbourne in biochemistry, then completed a PhD in neuroscience at Monash University. He then worked at the CNRS Neurochemistry Centre in Strasbourg France, before moving to a full-time research position in neuroscience at the Australian National University. Around 1995, he became interested in myopia, despite having no clinical training, because of the link between retinal dopamine (his current research topic) and experimental myopia. The rapid increases in prevalence of myopia being observed did not fit with the then dominant view that myopia was under tight genetic control, and in 2005, he argued that myopia had to be strongly affected by environmental influences. Subsequent major papers reported on the protective effects of time outdoors based on light-driven release of dopamine, and the successful slowing of the onset of myopia with increased time outdoors in a school-based RCT in Guangzhou, China. Most recently, he argued for the causal role of educational pressures in the epidemic of myopia. Formally retired since 2010, he is currently interested in trialing myopia prevention strategies in schools, based on increased time outdoors, changes in curriculum, and reduction in competitive aspects of school systems.






Professor Peter McCluskey



Peter McCluskey is currently Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology and Eye Health at Faculty of Medicine and Health The University of Sydney and is the Director of the Save Sight Institute at Sydney Eye Hospital. He graduated with first class honours from the University of NSW and completed his ophthalmology training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney and the Sydney Eye Hospital. During his Doctor of Medicine post-graduate research training in ocular immunology at UNSW, he completed a fellowship in uveitis at Moorfields Eye Hospital London in 1993-94.


Peter McCluskey is an internationally recognised inflammatory eye disease specialist with more than 30 years experience treating patients with vision threatening inflammatory eye disease. He runs the largest tertiary referral, public sector uveitis service in Australia, at Sydney Eye Hospital and is involved in clinical research, laboratory research and clinical trials. He has ongoing research collaborations in the United Kingdom, Vietnam and the United States. He and his collaborators have obtained over $4,250,000 in competitive research grant funding. He is an author of more than 250 peer reviewed papers, 24 book chapters, 2 apps and 4 books. His H-index is currently 40.


As Director of the Save Sight Institute at Sydney Eye Hospital, he has oversight of eight Research groups involved in both clinical and basic eye research that encompasses the common causes of blindness such as ARMD, diabetic retinopathy, cataract, corneal disease and genetically determined eye disease. The Save Sight Institute gained over $4,000,000 in research grant funding in 2018. The Save Sight Institute prioritises training the next generation and in 2018 had over 100 postgraduate students enrolled in its various Masters courses and 26 higher degree research students. Peter McCluskey has been instrumental in establishing a distance learning Masters of International Ophthalmology in Vietnam.


He is a dedicated teacher who has lectured and is a principal invited speaker at conferences around the world. He and his colleagues have run post-graduate courses on inflammatory eye disease in many parts of the world over the last 20 years. He was a major contributor to the Eye Emergency Manual and co-authored the ICO medical students ophthalmology handbook. He is a co-author of the Sydney Eye Hospital ocular pharmacopeia app and of the Eye Emergency app.


Peter McCluskey has received distinguished service awards from APAO, RANZCO and AAO for his teaching contributions. In 2012, he received the Mark Tso Golden Apple award from the International Council of Ophthalmology and Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology as the outstanding teacher in the Asia Pacific region. In 2015, he was the RANZCO Sir Norman McAllister Gregg lecturer which recognises outstanding contributions to clinical ophthalmology and research. In 2017, he was the Francesco Orzalesi lecturer at the University of Milan which recognises outstanding clinical research in Ophthalmology.





Professor frank martin



Dr Frank Martin specialises in paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus.


Dr Martin was head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead for 22 years and is currently a Visiting Medical Officer in Ophthalmology at the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, Sydney Eye Hospital and Royal Darwin Hospital. 


Dr Martin is Clinical Professor in the Departments of Paediatrics and in Ophthalmology at the University of Sydney. 


He is President of the Board of the Children's Medical Research Institute and President of the Asia Pacific Society of Paediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.  Dr Martin is on the Council of APAO and Chairman of the Asia Pacific Society of Myopia. He also chairs the Orthoptic Industry Advisory Committee at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and is on the Council of the International Strabismological Association. He is on the Board of the Lowy Medical Research Institute.


He was President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists from 1997-1998 and of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology from 2009-2013.  


Dr Martin has received a number of awards including the Distinguished Service Award, the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, RANZCO College Medal, Jose Rizal Medal, Michelle Beets Memorial Award, ICO Mark Tso Golden Apple Award for teaching and the Arthur Linksz Medal and Award.


Dr Martin had published over 40 articles, has written several text book chapters, is a reviewer for the British Journal of Ophthalmology and the AIOS Journal of Ophthalmology.  He is actively involved in clinical teaching of undergraduates and graduates.  Dr Martin has given a number of named lectures including the Mrs Nagamani Dharmapuri Endowment Lecture, the Billson Lecture and the Keshmahinder Singh Oration.


Dr Martin consults privately in paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus at Sydney Ophthalmic Specialists.







Dr James Muecke AM is an ophthalmologist based at the South Australian Institute of Ophthalmology in Adelaide. He graduated with Honours from Adelaide University Medical School in 1988. Following ophthalmology training in Adelaide, James undertook Fellowships in Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery at Salisbury District Hospital in the UK and in Ocular Oncology at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London. He returned to Adelaide in 1998 where he has been a Visiting Consultant and Senior Lecturer at Royal Adelaide Hospital and Women’s & Children’s Hospital (WCH) (retired from the latter in Dec 2016). James established the Ophthalmic Oncology Units at these two centres immediately upon his return. In 1999, in conjunction with the Familial Cancer Unit at WCH, James established a national service for genetic testing for retinoblastoma and von Hippel Lindau Syndrome. James also has a keen interest in the field of medical retina, in particular vascular tumours and conditions that masquerade as intraocular cancers. He is the author of numerous publications in the field of ophthalmic oncology - https://www.researchgate.net/profile/James_Muecke/contributions.James has taught ocular oncology in ten countries in Asia and is the founding Chairman of Sight For All, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting blindness in Australian mainstream and Aboriginal communities and in the low income countries of the world (www.sightforall.org).


Awards, honors and keynote lectures

  • Nominee, Australian of the Year, 2017.
  • Hollows Lecture, RANZCO Annual Congress, 2016
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year(Australia, Social Category), 2015
  • Finalist,Pride of Australia Medal, 2014
  • President’s Leadership Awardfor blindness prevention in developing countries - Australian Medical Association, 2013.
  • Rural Health and Wellbeing Awardfor service to Aboriginal eye health in South Australia, 2012.
  • Member of the Order of Australiafor the provision of eye health services to Asian and Australian Aboriginal communities, 2012.
  • Outstanding Service to the Prevention of Blindness Award- Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011.
  • Finalist,South Australian of the Year, 2010.






Dr Brett O’Donnell studied Oculoplastics in Moorfields, London, completing Fellowships in Eyelid Lacrimal and Orbital Disease. He has appointments at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney Eye Hospital, St Vincents and Mater Private Hospitals, has published over 60 journal articles and editorials, co-authored multiple books and regularly presents at Australian and international Meetings. An ex-president of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Ophthalmic Plastic Surgeons, a member of ASOPRS, ESOPRS, the Australasian College of Surgeons, RANZCO, and the UK College of Ophthalmologists.

















ASSOCIATE professor rohan essex



A/Prof Rohan Essex is a consultant vitreoretinal surgeon. He completed his ophthalmology training at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne (RVEEH). After completing a paediatric ophthalmology fellowship at the Royal Childrens Hospital in Melbourne, he went on to complete 3 1/2 years of retinal fellowship, first at Flinders Medical Centre, then 2 years at Moorfields Eye hospital where he trained in Medical and Surgical Retina. His primary interest is vitreoretinal surgery, and he is a full time senior staff specialist at Canberra Hospital where he is also clinical director of ophthalmology and supervisor of registrar training and is an associate professor at the Australian National University. He is also a visiting vitreoretinal surgeon at the RVEEH. A/Prof Essex has completed a Masters in Biostatistics through the University of Melbourne in 2015. His research interests include registries, and he setup the ANZSRS retinal surgery registry. When not at work, he would prefer to be in the mountains with his wife and three children, riding a bike, skiing or simply enjoying nature.






dr rick wolfe



Dr Rick Wolfe is one of Australia’s most accomplished and experienced eye surgeons. He is internationally recognised and is regularly invited to speak and present his own statistics as well as conduct live surgery at world eye surgery conferences.

Following his medical education at Monash University, and medical and surgical residency in Melbourne hospitals, Dr Wolfe discovered a passion for surgery in ophthalmology. He undertook his specialty training at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH). Dr Wolfe became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (FRANZCO) in 1984.

As an Australian Defence Force Reservist of over 30 years and Lieutenant Commander (Ret.) of the Royal Australian Naval Reserve, Dr Wolfe understands the visual needs and concerns of our service men and women. In his role on the ADF Consultative Committee of Ophthalmology, he is a principal adviser to the ADF’s policy on laser eye surgery.  Dr Wolfe provides laser eye surgery to ADF members in accordance with Health Services Bulletin 11/2002.

Dr Wolfe has been an ophthalmic surgeon for over 30 years, awarding him invaluable experience and achievements throughout his career:

  • One of the first surgeons in Australia to perform laser eye surgery in 1991.  Since then, he has personally performed over 21,000 laser eye procedures.
  • In 1996, Dr Wolfe was the first surgeon in Victoria to perform the LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) procedure.
  • Commenced phacoemulsification (the modern technique of cataract surgery) when it was almost unknown in Australia. He has taught many ophthalmologists this procedure in Australia and overseas. Today it is the procedure of choice in Australia.
  • Performed the first corneal incisions and foldable intraocular implants in Australia.  Today this is the most common method amongst advanced cataract surgeons. He has also lectured widely on this technique.
  • Pioneered a technique called micro-incision cataract surgery which is today the standard of care.
  • Founding member and director of the Melbourne Excimer Laser and Research Group.

Appointments and Memberships:

  • Founder and Medical Director of Peninsula Eye Centre (Mornington) since 1986 and VISTAeyes (Elsternwick) since 1996
  • Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (FRANZCO)
  • RANZCO – Chairman of the Visual Standards Committee
  • RANZCO – Chairman of the Clinical Standards Committee
  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)
  • Co-founder of the Australasian Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (AUSCRS)
  • AUSCRS – Secretary and treasurer
  • International Society of Refractive Surgeons (ISRS) – Member and former Councillor
  • Australian Society of Ophthalmologists (ASO) – Member
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) – Member
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) – Member
  • European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) – Member
  • Ophthalmic Advisor to the Australian Defence Force.  He has over 30 years of service in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve and holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander (Ret.).




Associate Professor Clare Fraser




Dr Clare Fraser specialises in neuro-ophthalmology, strabismus and visual electrodiagnostics.   She is a consultant Visiting Medical Officer at both Sydney Eye Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital, and is also in private practice in Sydney.  At the University of Sydney, she holds the title of Associate Professor of Neuro-ophthalmology.


She completed ophthalmic training at Sydney Eye Hospital in 2006-2009 and went on to further Neuro-ophthalmic training at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology, London, England with Dr Gordon Plant for 18 months.  In 2011 she completed a research fellowship at Emory Eye Centre, Atlanta, USA, with Drs Nancy Newman and Valerie Biousse.


Dr Fraser is a committee member for the The Neuro-Ophthalmology Society of Australia.  She is also on the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society International Committee and the committee for the Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library.





Associate professor paul healey



After completing a Bachelor of Medical Science in Cell Biology as the first medical student accepted to the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Prof. Healey went on to graduate with Honours from the Medical School of the University of New South Wales and St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. His postgraduate qualifications include Master of Medicine in Clinical Epidemiology and PhD in Medicine from the University of Sydney.

Prof. Healey completed a glaucoma fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital (London) from 2000 to 2001 before returning to Australia where he is now Director of Glaucoma Services at Western Sydney Eye Hospital, Director of Glaucoma Research at the Westmead Millennium Institute (Department of Ophthalmology, University of Sydney) and the chief glaucoma investigator for the Blue Mountains Eye Study. He is also Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and Honorary Medical Officer at Sydney Eye Hospital.

Prof. Healey holds many regional and worldwide positions including founder Board member and treasurer of the Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Society, Pacific Coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, Steering Committee member and Chair of the Associate Advisory Board, Bylaws and the World Glaucoma Day Committees of the World Glaucoma Association. He also has interests in postgraduate education most recently as Director of Training for the Sydney Eye Hospital and medical ethics as a member of the ethics Committee of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.

Prof. Healey has many research interests including: Glaucoma, Ophthalmic Epidemiology & Public Health, Cell Biology, Diagnostic Test & Screening Evaluation and Genetic Epidemiology. In 2005 he was honoured with the International Young Clinician-Scientist Award from the Association of International Glaucoma Societies. He has made over 200 scientific presentations at meetings throughout the world. He is an editorial board member of number of journals and has published over 110 articles based on original research.




Medical Retina- great debate

professor paul mitchell



Paul Mitchell is the Director of the Centre For Vision Research at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research. He has a full-time academic appointment as Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Sydney (Westmead Hospital). He works clinically as a medical retina specialist and is immediate past Ophthalmology Director for the Sydney West Local Health Network covering 1 million residents. His clinical focus is on management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and other vascular retinopathies and on systemic diseases effects on the eye. 


Paul has made significant contributions in the fields of public health and ophthalmic epidemiology via the landmark Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES), with papers in all major eye journals, as well as leading medical journals, including NEJM and Lancet. He has also conducted considerable research into childhood eye conditions via the Sydney Childhood Eye Study (SCES).


He has co-authored over 1000 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 75 books, chapters or letters. To date he has supervised 24 completed PhD students as supervisor and a further 11 as associate supervisor. For the first 9 months of this year, he has been the most cited ophthalmologist for 3 of these months. He currently has 39,000 citations to his work. Total career research funding exceeds $27 million. He is involved in many Australian and International collaborative studies, including large-scale genetic and population pooling projects.


Awards and Recognition

  • 2013: Achievement Award,  Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (ARVO) 
  • 2010: Norman Gregg medal, Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO)
  • 2009: Achievement Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 
  • 2007:  Medal of the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO)
  • 2004: Association of International Glaucoma Societies (AIGS) award for research in glaucoma epidemiology



medical retina- great debate

professor mark gillies



Professor Mark Gillies is a clinician scientist who is Director of Research, Save Sight Institute, and of the Macula Research Group of the University of Sydney. The Macula Research Group’s clinical research unit has conducted several major investigator- initiated randomized clinical trials, two of which are regarded as seminal, including the first to demonstrate the efficacy of intraocular steroid injections for any ophthalmic disease. The group has also developed an internet-based software tool to track the outcomes of treatment of macular disease in routine clinical practice (the “Fight Retinal Blindness! Project).









Associate Professor CHAMEEN samarawickrama



Chameen Samarawickrama is a clinical academic with public posts at both Westmead Hospital and Liverpool Hospital. He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales.


He completed two corneal fellowships in cornea and external eye diseases, first at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, before moving to Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. He continued on at Moorfields as a consultant prior to returning back to Sydney.


Chameen has over 50 publications in the international literature and been awarded over $350,000 in grant funding. His current research interests are in microbial keratitis, and the development of a novel collagen based corneal glue for the treatment of acute corneal perforations.




iol opacification




Dr Matthew Spargo is a paediatric ophthalmology and strabismus specialist. He graduated medicine from the University of Sydney with Honours and went on to complete a Master of Public Health degree. His general ophthalmology training was at Prince of Wales Hospital, completing his final year as the professorial senior registrar. His fellowship training in paediatrics and strabismus was at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Cheltenham General Hospital and Oxford University Hospitals in the United Kingdom. He is currently appointed at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, providing teaching and supervision to ophthalmology trainees in delivering high-quality paediatric ophthalmic care. His professional areas of interest include paediatric and adult cataract, complex adult strabismus, retinopathy of prematurity and ophthalmological service delivery to remote Australia.






Conference convenor

ASSOCIATE Professor Adrian Fung

MBBS, MMed (Clin Epi), MMEd (Ophthal sci), FRANZCO



Adrian Fung is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and specialist in vitreoretinal surgery, medical retina diseases and posterior segment tumours of the eye. He is Co-Director of the Westmead Hospital Vitreoretinal Fellowship, where he teaches training surgeons and supervises post-doctoral research fellows. He also works at Macquarie University Hospital, Retina & Macula Specialists and Retina Associates. He is a chief investigator of the Bionic Eye Project and has been awarded two Masters degrees in Ophthalmic Science and Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Sydney. He has completed clinical and research fellowships at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital, New York; Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami and Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia.


Associate Professor Fung has published over 70 international peer-reviewed journal articles and 7 book or book chapters, including “Ophthalmic Clinical Examination” and “Vitreoretinal Surgery for Trainees” (http://www.ophthalmologytextbooks.com). He is a reviewer for major ophthalmic journals including Ophthalmology, JAMA Ophthalmology and Retina. He has been invited to speak and teach at over 100 national and international meetings in the USA, Canada, Austria, Budapest, Estonia, China, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand and has won awards for his contribution.


Associate Professor Fung sits on the Sydney Eye Hospital Alumni, Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia, RANZCO Clinical Standards, ANZSRS Surgical Registry and APVRS Young Ophthalmologists committees. He is a member of RANZCO, ANZSRS, ORA, AAO, ASRS, ARVO, Macular Society, Vit-Buckle Society, Lifeline Express International Academy, ISOO, IRGIII, IntRIS, APAO and APVRS. He is an Asia Pacific Vitreoretinal Society Leadership Development Program Mentor. www.dradrianfung.com.au