The Lions Eye Institute (LEI) has appointed internationally renowned ophthalmologist Professor Ian Constable to serve as its Patron. Prof. Constable founded the LEI 35 years ago and this year, celebrates 50 years in ophthalmology.
Board Chairman Peter Forbes made the announcement at a clinicians’ appreciation dinner in Perth on 15 October. “Ian joins an outstanding list of previous LEI Patrons: Sir James McCusker, Mr. Bill Wyllie and Sir James Cruthers,” he said.
“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.”
Under Professor Constable’s leadership as Managing Director from 1983 to 2009, the LEI contributed significantly to international understanding and treatment of eye disorders. He still works as one of the LEI’s leading ophthalmologists and continues active involvement in research, including a ground breaking gene therapy for wet age-related macular degeneration.
A hallmark of Professor Constable’s time as Managing Director was his commitment to tackling blindness through a wide range of initiatives, including the training of new generations of ophthalmologists both in Australia and overseas and 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.
Professor Constable said he was honoured to assume the role of Patron.