At the Lions Eye Institute, our quest for knowledge and its life-changing applications for patients is what drives our work.

Our research vision

Research is the beating heart of medical advances. It is a powerful force, always pushing forward, asking questions, seeking answers, and delivering solutions that translate into improved treatments and positive patient outcomes.

The Lions Eye Institute straddles the dual complementary pathways of research and clinical care, bringing together a globally recognised team of researchers and clinicians who continually build on each other’s discoveries, knowledge and expertise, to deliver sight-saving treatment and care around the world.

Our key research strengths

From its inception almost 40 years ago, the Lions Eye Institute has gained a stellar track record for world-class research. Our key strengths include:

  • A team of award-winning researchers and clinicians who are internationally recognised for their commitment to preventing and curing blindness and eye disease.
  • A unique ‘can do’ ability to translate basic science to clinical outcomes through a structure which enables direct interface between our research laboratories, ophthalmology clinics and clinical trials unit.
  • A community commitment that undertakes research and eye care in metropolitan locations, as well as in regional, remote and Indigenous Australian communities and developing countries.
  • Collaborations with expert and committed researchers and clinicians in Australia and globally.
  • World-class laboratories that are attract the ongoing support of government and private sources.

Our governance framework

The Lions Eye Institute’s Governance Framework underpins our strategic approach to research and is aligned with state and federal government health and medical research framework priorities.
The framework deepens our culture of promoting research as a valued activity; ensures transparency and accountability; promotes self-regulation in research participants; monitors and evaluates research activities; respects the rights and reputations of researcher and research participants; ensures conflicts of interest are declared and that research outcomes are clearly communicated.

It ensures the inclusion of external experts and scientific knowledge; recognises and encourages the importance of external research partnership-building; seeks to grow our clinical trial capacity; provides clear decision-making on support and infrastructure funding for our researchers; monitors adherence to our research policy and procedures and engenders confidence that our research meets scientific, safety and ethical standards.

The Governance Framework drives diversification and expansion of our income sources, including public, private and philanthropic funding.

Four committees govern our research work:

Research Committee. A sub-committee of the Lions Eye Institute Board, the Research Committee has the broadest oversight of research capacity, governance and strategy. The Research Committee is chaired by a Board member, Professor Grant Waterer, and members include Board members and executive.

Scientific Advisory Panel. This panel drives our research strategy and the processes to support implementation of it. It engages with a range of external expertise to develop and renew strategic directions and inform the Lions Eye Institute’s research strategy, as well as providing oversight and guidance to increase research governance capability and research outputs. The panel is chaired by Managing Director Professor Bill Morgan and includes members of the Board as well as senior internal and external scientists.

Research Implementation Group. This group aims to build research capability and allocate small grants to Lions Eye Institute researchers. It helps to enhance our strong research culture and build alliances for clinical trials. The group is chaired by senior Lions Eye Institute scientist Dr Sam McLenachan, and members includes senior researchers.

Clinical Trials and Research Committee. This committee builds research capability, culture and alliances for clinical trials. It supports the research governance framework, ensuring research is high quality, of scientific merit and ethical. The committee is chaired by clinician scientist Dr Antony Clark and members include the Manager Clinical Trials Tammy Corica and key executives.

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