Council Lecture

Synergy and Serendipity: Essential Ingredients in Innovative Corneal Therapy

In 1905 Eduard Zirm performed the first human corneal transplant. A century later in 2005, most corneal transplants were performed in a way that he would have readily recognised as a variation of his pioneering technique. In contrast to this prolonged surgical somnolence, the last decade has seen a rapid evolution in the way we address corneal surgical problems. In the 2016 RANZCO Council Lecture, I will outline where I believe these corneal surgical therapies are heading and my belief that the Eye Bank and Biobank will increasingly play a greater role in their delivery. The “corneal surgeon” may well become a threatened species in the back half of the 21st century but it is the synergy between Scientist, Surgeon and Eye Banker that will determine how successful these new therapies become.