In 2005, the University celebrated the inauguration of the first 8 Endowed Professorships,
a milestone in the University's history.
To date, a total of 116 Endowed Professorships have been established.
Back
Mr George and Mrs Paulette Ho

George and Paulette Ho Professorship in Visual Science

"It is our great hope that this Endowed Professorship in Visual Science will contribute to advances in retinal research, diagnosis and treatment in our community. Through medical empowerment, we can ensure and preserve for all the eye’s task of showing life’s beauty."

Mr George and Mrs Paulette Ho
Jimmy S M Lai

Jimmy S M Lai

Appointed in 2017
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises glaucoma as a leading cause of blindness, but only recently has the body appreciated the scale of the problem and the health implications linked to the disease.

WHO estimates that 6.7 million people have lost their sight due to glaucoma, second only to cataracts as a cause of blindness. And with Asia’s population projected to rise to 5.268 billion by 2050, glaucoma will have an increasing impact on the socioeconomics of the world’s most populous region.

Professor Jimmy S M Lai is the Acting Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). Professor Lai is also the Chief of Service of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Hong Kong University-Shenzhen Hospital and Queen Mary Hospital. He graduated from HKU in 1983 and received his pre-fellowship training at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Edinburgh, and his post-fellowship training at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, and Aichi University, Nagoya. He was a Consultant Ophthalmologist at the United Christian Hospital before taking up the position of Clinical Professor at HKU in 2008.

Professor Lai is a pioneer in glaucoma research in Hong Kong and, in particular, in the use of argon laser peripheral iridoplasty in the initial treatment of acute angle closure glaucoma and acute phacomorphic glaucoma. He obtained his doctoral degree in 2004 with a thesis on “Argon laser peripheral iridoplasty in the treatment of acute primary angle-closure attack”. He was first to use the selective laser trabeculoplasty, goniosynechialysis and ExPress glaucoma shunt in Hong Kong.

He is also researching normal tension glaucoma, and is conducting studies on “renal haemodialysis and normal tension glaucoma” and “Wolfberry neuroprotection in normal tension glaucoma”. Some of his on-going and planned research projects include development of a glaucoma animal model, electrical stimulation of the optic nerve, traditional Chinese medicine, aqueous proteomics, collagen cross-linking, corneal biomechanics, and far-infrared treatment of glaucoma.

He has published nearly 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. His multi-centre research studies on “Clear lens extraction in the management of angle closure glaucoma” and “Genome study of primary angle closure glaucoma” were published in The Lancet and Nature Genetics last year. He has been invited to speak at many international and Chinese eye conferences during his career.

In addition to his work at HKU, Professor Lai is an Honorary Director of the Glaucoma Department, Tianjin Eye Hospital, and Visiting Professor at the Nankai University Eye Hospital. He is also an Honorary Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and a Visiting Lecturer of the School of Optometry at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Professor Lai was the Editor-in-Chief of the Hong Kong Journal of Ophthalmology in 2003-2005 and 2013 2015. He is currently an Editorial Board member of the Asian Journal of Ophthalmology, Graefe’s Archives for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, the Journal of Ophthalmology and Research Ophthalmology, and is the Vice-President of the College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong.

As a result of his work, he is an Executive Member of the Asian Foundation for the Prevention of Blindness, a member of the Lifeline Express and an Honorary Consultant of the Hong Kong Glaucoma Patient Association. Professor Lai also serves on many international review boards, including the National Medical Research Council International Expert Panel, the Ministry of Health, Singapore, and the Health and Medical Research Grant, Hong Kong. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award and the De Ocampo Award by the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology in 2005 and 2016 respectively. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Asia-Pacific Professors of Ophthalmology this year.