fellow_david

Dr David Dudok completed residency at the Ivey Eye Institute in London, Canada prior to arrival in Sydney.

He plans to return to Windsor, Canada after completing his Glaucoma Fellowship to practice as well as teach at the medical school.

His interests include medical education and comprehensive glaucoma management.

He believes the fellowship will give him a strong foundation in academic research and clinical and surgical glaucoma.

He is excited to spend a year learning in Sydney with his family and to avoid at least one Canadian winter.

fellow_yochai

Dr Yochai Shoshani started his Oculoplastic Fellowship at Sydney Eye Hospital in July 2014.

He is from Israel and did his ophthalmology training in Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.

During his residency, he stayed 2 years in the United States, Indianapolis to complete several research projects as well as a one year observership with Drs William Nunery and Harold Lee.

His goal in this fellowship program is to improve his clinical and surgical skills in Oculoplastics as well as continue research.

Dr Shoshani looks forward to exploring Sydney and Australia in the upcoming year.

fellow_noam

Dr Yanculovich joined the Vitreoretinal team in July 2014. He completed his residency in Israel in 2012, and two years of Vitreoretinal and Medical Retina at Soroka University Medical Center in Israel.

He hopes to enhance his clinical and surgical skills and hopes to conduct research into retinal surgery. At the end of his Fellowship he will go back to his country to work as Vitreoretinal Surgeon.

fellow_guillermo

Dr Guillermo Fernandez Sanz started his Vitreoretinal Fellowship at Sydney Eye Hospital in July 2014.

He completed his ophthalmology training at Fundacion Jimenez Diaz University Hospital in Madrid (Spain). In 2012, he relocated to the UK to undertake a Medical Retina & Uveitis Fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital (London) and then a Vitreoretinal Fellowship at the Western Eye Hospital (London).

He is keen to further his clinical and surgical skills and to gain experience in the management of complex vitreoretinal diseases. On completion of his fellowship, he will return to Spain to resume his job at Fundacion Jimenez Diaz University Hospital.

stephaniewatson

Professor Stephanie Watson has dedicated her life’s work to preserving one of life’s most precious gifts: the
gift of sight.

She saves and restores sight for many, and one extremely grateful patient is giving something back in her own way,
nominating her for the Care and Compassion Medal in the Pride of Australia Awards 2014.

Professor Watson is an ophthalmic surgeon specialising in cataract, corneal and laser surgery at Sydney Eye Hospital’s new Bicentennial Eye Clinic. She has developed a new stem cell therapy technique.

“The cornea has a very unique architecture to ensure that it remains transparent,” Professor Watson explains.

“When that architecture is disrupted, such as in stem cell failure, it becomes hazy.”

The cornea is the transparent film that covers the front part of the eye, including the iris and pupil. When it gets
hazy, it reduces vision, eventually causing blindness.

Professor Watson developed a technique to transfer healthy stem cells onto the cornea. The new stem cells re-populate the damaged area of the cornea so that abnormal tissue won’t grow back.

Sandy O’Brien, one of Professor Watson’s patients, is just one of many who are benefiting from this pioneering work, and to show her gratitude Sandy has nominated her for the prestigious award.

“Stephanie has saved my sight many times – without payment,” Sandy explains.

She has a condition called aniridia, which means that she has no irises in her eyes to control the size of her pupils,
which in turn control the amount of light that reaches the retina. The condition requires corneal transplants and is
complicated by stem cell failure, which causes abnormal tissue to re-grow.

“Stephanie has performed two corneal transplants on my right eye and one on my left in the past five years,” Sandy explains. “This brought me back from blindness.

It has been a battle to keep the sight but Stephanie has worked hard with stem cell therapy.

In April she gave me a new cornea in my left eye, as it was failing fast. I was using a white stick and had no hope of
ever seeing again. But she worked her magic and gave me my sight back.

I now feel normal and able to walk around, get the bus and train and go shopping by myself, without a carer or stick.

No one knows I’m vision impaired as I’m so confident and can now see stairs and go up and down them.”

Professor Watson was invited to appear on the ABC’s New Inventors program in 2009 to share the new stem cell technique. She developed a method of growing corneal stem cells on a contact lens.

When the lens is fitted over the patient’s eye, the stem cells transfer to the cornea. The innovation won the episode and the People’s Choice Award.

Professor Watson was attracted to ophthalmology because of the real impact she could have on people’s lives.

“It struck me you could make a difference. You can change people’s lives, you can restore vision in people who can’t see,” she said.

She has a remarkable body of work behind her, establishing her exceptional talents early in her career.

She was awarded her PhD for developing a new dry eye therapy and wound healing model, and went on to complete clinical trials and publish dozens of articles in peer-reviewed journals. She also holds an international
patent for Therapeutic Ocular Surface Medium, a novel therapy for dry eye and corneal ulcer.

But it’s her direct work restoring sight for people of all ages that wins Professor Watson so many hearts. From the little boy whose eye was pecked by a magpie, to the woman with a detached retina caused by an accidental blow to the head, to the man whose sight was destroyed by acid in a workplace accident.

These are the real people and the real lives at the heart of Professor Watson’s brilliant career.

We look forward to updating you on her ground-breaking work in the future.

Zeiss Visucam 500 Fundus Camera:

Retinal imaging system for photography and angiography (study of the blood vessels and other structures) of the back of the eye (retina and choroid). This imaging provides valuable information about the retina, especially the macula, in a range of conditions – especially macular degeneration and
diabetic retinal disease.

Heidelberg HRA Fundus Imaging:

Retinal imaging system for specialised photography, in particular autofluorescence imaging and ICG angiography. This gives additional information about the structures at the back of the eye in a wide range of conditions.

Zeiss Cirrus and Heidelberg Spectralis OCT:

These are the latest model optical coherence tomography scanners for assessment of macular conditions and glaucoma. In addition, the Heidelberg Spectralis has an anterior segment module that permits imaging of the front part of the eye, enabling surgeons to visualise parts of the eye that could not otherwise be seen.

Oculus Pentacam:

This is an optical scanner of the corneal surface, enabling surgeons to diagnose keratoconus and other corneal disorders. It is extremely useful to provide care after a patient has undergone corneal transplantation.

Nidek Confoscan:

This is a high-magnification microscope for the live cornea, enabling surgeons to see individual infection-causing
microorganisms, and also to assess the health of the deeper layers of the cornea.

Nidek OPD3 Aberrometer:

This instrument measures the finer optical abnormalities of the eye, helping surgeons determine why some patients do not have adequate vision. Leica Operating Microscope: This instrument is used for in-clinic minor corneal procedures, which may avoid sending the patient to the operating theatre.

An interview with Associate Professor Alex Hunyor, Vitreoretinal Surgeon, Sydney Eye Hospital.

What is the Bicentennial Eye Clinic all about?

The idea of the clinic came at the time of the Bicentennial of Sydney Hospital in 2011. It was an opportunity for us to create a new space within the Hospital for a couple of highly specialised areas of ophthalmology – the corneal and retinal units.

The Eye Hospital deals with a range of different areas of ophthalmology which have become increasingly specialised in the last 10-20 years. In terms of the number of patients seen, the two busiest subspecialties are cornea and retina. These are also two highly technology-dependent areas of ophthalmology.

The Bicentennial Eye Clinic is a purpose-built facility specifically for those specialties, with brand new ‘state
of the art’ equipment. It gives us the ability to do all the consultations, diagnostics and a lot of treatments in that one area. Obviously there are still things we need to do in the operating theatre but there is a range of treatments which are able to be done in the Clinic.

What will this mean to patients, say compared with the outpatients clinic?

It’s part of an overall plan to upgrade the facilities of the Hospital. One of the reasons this is important is
that it will allow us to relocate some services from our existing outpatient clinics, and eventually, we’ll be
able to progressively refurbish and improve the older outpatients department to the same standard.

For our patients, what it offers is a newer, more comfortable environment for them and one where they can have everything done in the one place. Whereas, for example, some of the corneal treatments required that the patient have the procedure done in the operating theatre, now we have the facilities to do them in one of the rooms at the
Bicentennial Eye Clinic. The same goes for retinal treatments, particularly the injection clinics.

So with both the Bicentennial Eye Clinic and the main outpatients clinic, we are striving to streamline and improve the experience for patients.

There has been a lot of new equipment installed in the new clinic, more than 1 million dollars’ worth…

Yes. The original space was being used for another, non eye-related purpose and so we redesigned and completely rebuilt the clinic for this purpose. Everything is brand new, including, as you say, over 1 million dollars’ worth of equipment which was generously provided by the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation.

Are there any ‘stand out’ pieces of equipment that ‘make’ the clinic?

The main features were the purchase of the corneal and retinal diagnostic equipment. They’re the latest technology for diagnosing corneal and retinal problems. We also have an operating microscope and retinal laser machine.

How many doctors work in the clinic?

This clinic initially will have three cornea clinics and four retinal clinics per week, and will also have some
other clinics such as injection clinics for macular degeneration. In total there will be at least a dozen
doctors working in the clinic. This includes corneal and retinal specialists, as well as trainee fellows and
registrars. The corneal and retinal fellows, along with fellows in other subspecialties, are also funded by the
Foundation.

How has the Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation made a difference?

The Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation has continued in its tradition of funding major equipment purchases over the past 2 decades. What has happened historically, particularly in the last 10 years, is that the Foundation
has allowed the Hospital to remain at the cutting edge of ophthalmology by funding some ‘big ticket’ items of equipment, which have been difficult for the Hospital to afford because they are large single purchases.

There were three contributors in terms of funding of the Bicentennial Eye Clinic. The Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation donated the largest amount of money, $1.2 million, for the clinic’s fit out and all the equipment.
Then there was also the Sight for Life Foundation which contributed $200,000 _ and the remainder of the money came from the Hospital.

Do these new machines have data saving abilities? Will this in turn improve admin processes?

All the new equipment inside the Bicentennial Eye Clinic is networked with the area server so all the information we gather from the diagnostic equipment in the clinic is available in the main outpatients clinic, and vice versa.

Ultimately the hospital will move to paperless (electronic) medical records, and the data from all the diagnostic equipment will be able to be incorporated into the electronic medical records.

Over the years, the Foundation has managed to provide more than $12,417,000 for the benefit of Sydney Eye Hospital, which in turn benefits many thousands of public patients attending the Hospital every year. With the help of our loyal supporters, we have assisted with the building of the new Eye Hospital in Macquarie Street, purchased state-of-the-art equipment and funded numerous research projects into the prevention of blindness.

Today, more than ever, with demand increasing and government funding always under pressure, your generous support is vital to ensuring that the Sydney Eye Hospital can continue to provide the excellent eye care that it has done for some 130 years.

Clinical Fellowships

  • Graham Lovett Vitreoretinal Fellowship $49,504
  • Dr Eddie Donaldson Vitreoretinal Fellowship $50,233
  • Corneal Fellowship $48,313
  • Glaucoma Fellowship $45,903
  • Oculoplastic Fellowship $47,214
  • Professorial / Medical Retina Fellowship $90,824

Research

  • Keratoconus Research Project $95,000
  • MRI Linking Eyes to MS $37,248

Equipment

  • iPhone Pharmacopeia App $610
  • Corneal Unit – Collagen Cross Linking Device $23,625
  • Goldman Perimeter $2,000
  • Bicentennial Eye Clinic $1,194,086
  • Sydney Eye Hospital Outreach Clinic – OCT $66,554

Grants

  • Nurses Grant including Orthoptists $6,818
  • Eye Operations DVD Grant $864

Total

  • Total $1,758,796


Dr. Steven Schendel completed his ophthalmology residency training in Vancouver, Canada in June of 2013.

He relocated to Sydney in late July to begin his glaucoma fellowship training. He hopes to conduct research into minimally invasive glaucoma surgery while at the Sydney Eye Hospital, and gain further experience in the management of clinical and surgical glaucoma.

He looks forward to exploring Sydney and Australia in the coming year.

Dr Abhishek Kumar joined the vitreoretinal team in July 2013.

He completed his residency in India and did 2 years vitreoretinal fellowship at Aravind Eye Hospital & PG Institute, Coimbatore.

His goal is to become a proficient vitreoretinal surgeon and he believes that Sydney Eye Hospital will provide him with excellent oppourtinities to learn the most advanced management protocols for different eye conditions.

After this fellowship he aspires to provide vitreoretinal services to the rural population of India.