Professor John Marshall (Member of Fight for Sight Speaker Network)

Professor John Marshall will begin the session with a historical overview of laser treatment and the advances that have occurred to bring us to the present day. An emphasis of the presentation will be to explore techniques at the cutting edge of contemporary surgery including trans-epithelial topographically guided corneal crosslinking and will cast a speculative glance at the role for optometrists in managing patients as these treatment approaches develop.

"Fight for Sight has done a wonderful job over the last 50 years supporting British eye research and enabling an ever-increasing number of breakthroughs in the battle to prevent people from losing their sight. They have done an excellent job and I'm very proud to support them as they have supported me and my colleagues in our attempts to fight blindness." Professor John Marshall


MBE, BSc (Hons), PhD, FMedSci, FRCPath, FRSB, DSc2(Hon) FRCOphth (Hon), FCOptom (Hon), FARVO, FLIA, FRSA. Professor John Marshall is the Frost Professor of Ophthalmology at the Institute of Ophthalmology in association with Moorfield's Eye Hospital, University College London. He is Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology at Kings College London, Honorary Distinguished Professor University of Cardiff, Honorary Professor the City University and Honorary Professor Glasgow Calendonian University. His research over the past forty years has ranged over a number of ocular problems but has concentrated on the inter-relationships between light and ageing, the environmental mechanisms underlying age-related, diabetic and inherited retinal disease, and the development of lasers for use in ophthalmic diagnosis and surgery. This work has resulted in over four hundred research papers and 41 book chapters and 7 books. He invented and patented the revolutionary Excimer laser for the correction of refractive disorders with in excess of 50 million procedures now having been undertaken worldwide. He also created the world’s first Diode laser for treating eye problems of diabetes, glaucoma and ageing. He is editor and co-editor of numerous international journals. He has successfully trained 60 students for higher doctorates. He has been awarded the Nettleship Medal of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, the Mackenzie Medal, the Raynor Medal, the Ridley Medal, the Ashton Medal, the Ida Mann Medal and the Lord Crook Gold Medal of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, the Doyne Medal of the Oxford Congress, the Barraquer Medal of the International Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the Kelman Innovator Award of the American Society for Refractive and Cataract surgery, the Lim Medal of the Singapore National Eye Centre and the Junius-Kuhnt award and Medal for his work on AMD. In 2014 he was awarded the Zivojnovic award by the European Vitreo Retinal Society, a lifetime achievement award by the UK & Irish Society for Cataract & Refractive Surgery and delivered the Bowman Lecture and received the Bowman Medal. He was also voted 17th in The Ophthalmologist Power List 2014 of the most influential people in world ophthalmology. He has been visiting professor at numerous universities on every continent.

He has more than thirty patents and has held posts chairing the medical advisory boards of many international companies and was a director of Diomed for some years, this being the leading supplier of diode laser systems for surgery. He has sat on and chaired many national and international committees* concerned with protecting the public against the possible damaging effects of lasers and other artificial light sources and played the leading role with the ICRC and addressed the United Nations to obtain a Geneva Convention banning the use of anti-personnel laser weapons. He was the Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board and Trustee of the British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society 1973-2011, and until 1995 he was Co-Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the International Retinitis Pigmentosa Association. He is the scientific adviser and Vice President of the National Eye Research Centre. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, a Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, an Honorary Fellow of The College of Optometrists, a Fellow and Director of the Laser Institute of America, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University. He has a Senior Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Euretina Award of the European Society of Retinal Surgeons. In 2009 he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the American Academy of Ophthalmologists. He is a Fellow of several national ophthalmological societies, as well as being elected to the European Academy of Ophthalmology. During 2011-2012 he was the Master of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. In 2013 he was awarded the MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours List for services to Ophthalmology and an honorary DSc from Glasgow Caledonian University. In 2015 he was awarded an honorary DSc by the London Metropolitan University.