Your donations to VisionSave help fund critical research efforts towards treating eye diseases, especially those unique to Singapore and the region.
Our researchers share about their work and how your contributions help them to go the distance.
ADJUNCT ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR RAHAT HUSAINHead, SNEC Ophthalmology Service, Changi General HospitalSenior Consultant, Glaucoma Department, Singapore National Eye Centre
"The partnership between SNEC and SERI has produced some of the best research in the world, and among the most qualified doctors and scientists in the field. We aim to build on this foundation so that current and future generations can be confident that the eye care they receive is of the highest quality. Your contribution through VisionSave will have an enormous impact on this."
Adj Assoc Prof Rahat Husain is an experienced specialist in glaucoma, which is an eye condition that accounts for more than 40% of blindness cases in Singapore.
One of Adj Assoc Prof Husain’s notable research projects is the Singapore 5-Fluorouracil Trabeculectomy Study, which examines the natural history of glaucoma surgery and the effects of anti-scarring agents on surgical outcomes.
He was also involved in research projects involving patients with Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma, such as the Angle Closure Natural History Study and the ACLIPS study.
Adj Assoc Prof Husain has published numerous articles and given many presentations on glaucoma, with his most recent focus being on the interaction between glaucoma surgery and cataract surgery.
PROFESSOR ECOSSE LAMOUREUX Director, Population Health, Singapore Eye Research Institute
"SERI and SNEC are truly committed to the prevention and treatment of vision impairment and blindness in the community, with special focus on individuals of low economic status. The generosity of our donors and the VisionSave initiative allow us to sustain our eye screening programs and implement our models of eye care to improve vision-specific daily functioning and the quality of life of thousands of community-living Singaporeans."
Prof Ecosse Lamoureux is an Associate Professor with the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Melbourne where he heads the Health Services and Ocular Epidemiology Research Unit.
His research focuses on the prevention, treatment and improving the quality of life of people with diabetic retinopathy. He has developed four research platforms which determines the effectiveness of DR interventions, improves compliance to the management of DR and glaucoma, evaluates new therapies and biomarkers of DR, as well as assessing and evaluating patient-centered, clinical and economic effectiveness outcomes of eye treatments.
Prof Lamoureux is also the Director of Population Health in SERI, where he conceptualised the Mobile Eye Clinic initiative to reach out to elderly and underprivileged Singaporeans in need of eye screening and referral services. He will also utilise patient experiences from the Mobile Eye Bus to develop more targeted community efforts.
Click here for more information about the Mobile Eye Clinic.
DR DANIEL TING Associate Consultant, General Cataract & Comprehensive Ophthalmology Department
Singapore National Eye Centre
"VisionSave supported my four-month stay at the Johns Hopkins University as a Visiting Fulbright Scholar. In conjunction with this prestigious scholarship programme, I will be working very closely with the Ophthalmology and Machine Learning Units to further my understanding on the utilisation and optimisation of the artificial intelligence in various eye diseases, which is in line with Singapore’s vision of becoming a Smart Nation."
Dr Daniel Ting is the first ophthalmologist from SNEC to receive the Fulbright U.S. - ASEAN Visiting Scholar Award 2017, one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world.
As part of this award, he represented Singapore to visit Johns Hopkins University's School of Medicine and Machine Learning Unit in the United States, where he got to share and exchange ideas about use of artificial intelligence (AI) for patients with diabetic eye diseases. Funds from VisionSave covered his accommodation while he was there.
When Dr Ting returned from the U.S, he utilised the knowledge he gleaned to lead a breakthrough study on the use of AI-powered Deep Learning Systems on retinal scans, where an AI module was used on 500,000 retinal scans to detect diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
The system that Dr Ting developed, which is the first of its kind in the world, will increase the accuracy and efficiency of eye scanning. It will also aid in the early detection of diabetic eye conditions for those who cannot physically make it to eye care facilities for screening.
DR GAVIN TAN Consultant, Surgical Retina Department, Singapore National Eye Centre
"Philanthropy is a very important and unrecognised part of improving the lives of our patients. VisionSave has provided the funding to develop new and cutting-edge ideas to improve the care of eye diseases. It enables us to provide support for rare disease and novel treatments which may otherwise be overlooked by the mainstream healthcare system."
Dr Gavin Tan is a surgical and medical vitreo-retinal specialist and consultant cataract surgeon with the Retina Centre of the Singapore National Eye Centre(SNEC). He is actively involved with academic research on diabetic retinopathy (DR), where he played a key figure in developing and implementing the Singapore Integrated Diabetic Retinopathy Programme (SIDRP), which allowed DR screenings to be analysed from a centralised screening centre and sped up eye screening diagnosis time to just under an hour.
Dr Tan is also studying the use of novel approaches such as optical coherence tomography, automated detection of retinopathy and personalised screening intervals to further improve the cost effectiveness and efficacy of diabetic retinopathy screening.
Dr Tan’s exemplary work has won him the SingHealth Outstanding Clinician Researcher Award. He was also conferred the Ministry of Health (MOH) Transition Award to study new imaging techniques that can improve understanding of diabetic eye diseases and their management, as well as to reduce diabetes-led blindness.
DR SHWETA SINGHAL Associate Consultant, General Cataract & Comprehensive Ophthalmology Department Singapore National Eye Centre
"Philanthropic donations established to promote scientific training of clinicians helped fund me through my PhD. Now, as a qualified clinician scientist doing basic science research, my focus is on applying scientific advances towards improvement of patient care. Donations through VisionSave allow us to safely develop and translate these scientific advances into novel diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for blinding ocular conditions."
A growing number of patients young and old are affected by a condition known as retinal degeneration, which leads to irreversible blindness. Stem cell therapy has come into prominence in the last few years as a potential therapeutic option in these patients, but remains fraught with issues of safety and efficacy.
To validate the effectiveness of stem cell therapy in treating retinal degeneration, Dr Shweta Singhal pursued a PhD and post-doctoral fellowship in retinal stem cell biology. She worked at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, where she successfully proved that stem cells from adult mammalian retinas have the potential to restore the function of the retina.
Dr Singhal is currently training to be an ophthalmic surgeon at SNEC while pursuing her career as a clinician scientist alongside. Her lab at the Singapore Eye Research Institute is currently involved in identifying novel retinal stem cell markers and retinal regenerative check points, which can be used to develop novel therapeutic strategies for retinal regeneration.
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