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The Lions support research to revolutionise corneal disease therapy

The inaugural Lions Eye Corneal Fellowship has been awarded to corneal researcher, Karl Brown.

The Lions support research to revolutionise corneal disease therapy

Karl Brown accepting the fellowship from LEDS Committee member, Graham Heads

The fellowship will enable Karl to continue his work on new tissue engineering and cell-based therapies for corneal disease to restore vision.

When the cornea is damaged less light enters the eye and vision is lost. Worldwide there is a shortage of corneas for transplantation so an alternate method is required.

The aim of Karl’s work is to grow commonly damaged layers of the cornea in the laboratory from the patient’s own cells and transplant them back into the patient to reverse the effects of disease.

“I am grateful the Lions have chosen to support corneal research. Corneal tissue engineering is a field where real progress into clinical use is both possible and needed,” Karl said.

“I look forward to keeping Lions up to date on the progress of our research, and thank them for all their support and interest in the project”.

Principal investigator of the Surgical Research Unit, Associate Professor Mark Daniell, welcomed the support of the Lions.

“We’re honoured Karl was selected for the very first fellowship and we thank the Lions for their generous support,” Professor Daniell said.

Chair of the Lions Eye Donation Service (LEDS) Management Committee, Alf Hawken, said the Committee was impressed with Karl’s work.

“We were looking to support research with that will make the biggest impact restoring sight to people with corneal disease,” Mr Hawken said.

“Karl’s research has the potential to overhaul the way the disease is treated and on behalf of the Lions I wish him the best of luck as a worthy recipient of the fellowship.”

The fellowship is an initiative of the Lions Eye Donation Service (LEDS), a joint venture between the Lions Clubs of Victoria and Southern New South Wales, CERA, the University of Melbourne and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.

LEDS routinely provides corneas and sclera for transplantation and research across Victoria and Tasmania.

For more information visit The Lions Eye Donation Service.