Sydney invests in eye bank project
Dr Zhu Meidong and colleagues in China
9 February 2007
In the foggy city of Chongqing, the largest city of South-western China, one of China's most successful eye banks has been established with the help of expertise imported from Sydney.
The Southwest Eye Bank at the Third Military Medical University collects more than 200 corneas each year, mostly as a result of donations from the deceased in the hospitals, enabling surgeons to perform between 150 and 200 corneal transplants.
Dr Zhu Meidong, a Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Ophthalmology and Eye Health at Sydney University, helped establish the eye bank in 1998 with Professor Frank Billson, Head of the department and Director of the University's Save Sight Institute.
Professor Billson was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Lions NSW eye bank 20 years earlier.
Since then Dr Zhu has continued to act as a medical adviser for the Southwest Eye Bank and a guest professor at the Third Military Medical University. There are regular visits and research links between Sydney and Chongqing, and each year the Department of Clinical Ophthalmology accepts a clinical fellow from the Southwest Eye Hospital.
Originally from Nanjing, Dr Zhu graduated from Nanjing Medical University in 1982 and worked as an ophthalmologist before moving to Australia as a visiting doctor in 1990. She won a scholarship to study for a PhD at Sydney University in 1993. Now she is a Senior Hospital Scientist in Lions NSW Eye Bank and a Senior Research Fellow in the Save Sight Institute. She has also helped to set up other eye banks in China.
Contact: Richard North
Phone: 02 9351 3720