Bringing eye health to the global scale

Monday, October 18, 2021

Waterloo partners with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to launch the first international research hub for eye and vision research.

Vision is one of our most dominant senses, and our world is often built around our ability to see. Despite this, the World Health Organization reports that more than one third of people around the world suffer from some form of vision impairment or blindness. Of these estimated 2.2 billion people, at least one billion of these cases could have been prevented or have not been addressed yet. In these statistics, Asia is disproportionally represented, with the largest portions of the populations not receiving the preventative vision care they need.

With the goal of improving the eye health in the region, the University of Waterloo and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) have been jointly collaborating to launch the world’s first international research hub for vision science, The Centre for Eye and Vision Research (CEVR) in Hong Kong.

“This groundbreaking partnership showcases the University’s globally recognized excellence in vision health research,” says Charmaine Dean, vice-president, Research and Innovation at the University of Waterloo. “A critical theme especially through the last 18 months of the pandemic is the importance of our global community coming together to drive forward health research.  This partnership links tightly to our mission in health and expands our impact beyond our own borders. Fostering international partnerships with accomplished institutions like Hong Kong Polytechnic University accelerates our work in solving complex problems in health care.”

Bob Lemieux, dean of Waterloo’s Faculty of Science, has been closely involved in the development and solidification of this partnership. As a Faculty known to be a global leader in both fundamental and translational research, this partnership will catalyze new discoveries to shape the future of global vision care.

“The launch of CEVR is the result of three years of engagement and development with PolyU and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government via the Health@InnoHK program,” says Lemieux. “Both Waterloo and PolyU have strong reputations for innovative research, and I am confident that advances in eye and vision research that will be made through this partnership will be nothing short of extraordinary."

The CEVR research will address five key areas of eye health: myopia and eye growth, ocular drug discovery and delivery, vision enhancement, tear film and ocular surface, and advanced optometric technology.

Read the full story on the Waterloo News page.

CEVR research team

The CEVR research team

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