Professor Mark Daniell

Head of Corneal Research

Professor Mark Daniell is an ophthalmic surgeon and leads CERA’s corneal research. He is working to develop a tissue-engineered cornea.

Professor Mark Daniell

Head of Corneal Research


Professor Mark Daniell is a senior consultant at Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, serving as Head of the Corneal Service since 2011, and overseeing a team of surgeons performing corneal transplantation for Victoria.

He has a significant research interest in a bioengineered cornea, developing the concepts for this project and being the driving force gathering together the collaboration partners.

He has had successful collaborations with numerous groups both nationally and internationally, including an ongoing project with Professor Greg Qiao at Melbourne University and Professor Damien Harkin at QUT on tissue engineering for the eye. He has supervised several postgraduate students in the field of tissue engineering.

Professor Daniell is the founding Chair of the ANZ Corneal Society and Medical Director of the Lions Eye Bank. Previously he was Head of Ophthalmology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (2003-2011).

He is the immediate past President of RANZCO (2017-2018) and served on the RANZCO board for 12 years, with roles including Vice President and Treasurer. He was a director and member of the executive of the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges for four years, and is currently a trustee on the International Council of Ophthalmology. He was Chair of the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia from 2005 to 2011. He is President of the World Ophthalmology Congress in 2022.

He is an honorary Professor at Harbin University in China and visits LV Prasad in Hyderabad.

He is the founder of the Keratoconus International Consortium.

Professor Daniell has achieved over $6M in competitive grant funding, from AISRF, ORIA, NHMRC and University of Melbourne interdisciplinary grants as well Victorian Medical Research Accelerator Fund

Key research questions
  • Can we develop a tissue-engineered cornea?
  • Can we use stem cells to grow a cornea?
  • How can you diagnose early keratoconus and predict who is likely to progress without intervention?
  • What is the cellular basis of corneal graft rejection?
  • What are the ethical Issues in transnational eye banking?

Current projects

Selected publications

My team

Key collaborators

Funding and support

Current projects

Development of a tissue engineered cornea

  • Produce a novel hydrogel as a scaffold for cell growth and transfer into the eye
  • Search for alternate cell sources for corneal transplants including use of iPSC transformed to corneal endothelial cells
  • Identify novel markers for corneal stem cells using single cell RNA techniques
  • Produce a novel material to assist in DMEK surgery (Hygelix)
  • Investigate the role of Descemets stripping without transplantation in Fuchs Endothelial dystrophy


Leading the Keratoconus International Consortium

  • Use AI to assist diagnosis and disease progression in keratoconus
  • Understand the fundamental causes and risk factors for keratoconus


Investigating the cellular basis of corneal graft rejection


Analysis of ethical Issues in Transnational Eye Banking

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