Noted Australian philanthropist Frank Lowy has made a significant donation to support important new eye research through the creation of Lowy Family Fellowships at the Lions Eye Institute (LEI).
The fellowships will use income from the donation to fund PhD students and other researchers in direct support of the new Ian Constable Chair in Discovery and Translational Ophthalmic Science at The University of Western Australia and based at the LEI. Mr Lowy, one of Australia’s most successful businessmen and the Chairman of Westfield Corporation, has been aware of Professor Ian Constable’s ground-breaking work for several years and greatly respects his contribution to medical research.
It is anticipated that Mr Lowy’s donation will encourage others to contribute to supporting the Ian Constable Chair so it can attract the highest calibre researchers and provide them with the best possible resources.
LEI’s Managing Director Professor David Mackey thanked the Lowy family for their generous contribution.
“The Chair has been created in recognition of Professor Constable’s extraordinary contribution to ophthalmology in Australia over 40 years,” Professor Mackey said. “The research will focus on new treatments for major eye diseases that cause blindness and is expected to attract leading international scientists.”
The LEI has a long history of translating scientific research into improved treatments for people with eye diseases that cause blindness. Major advances have included the world’s first artificial cornea, gene therapy for macular degeneration and dissolving tubes for the treatment of glaucoma.
Professor Constable created Western Australia’s first ophthalmic training program and was instrumental in founding the LEI in 1983.
Today, the LEI employs more than 200 researchers, clinicians and support staff. Its research activities are supported via donations as well as the proceeds of one of Australia’s largest ophthalmology clinics.
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