The Institute of Ophthalmology Established at NKU


The Institute of  Ophthalmology at NKU co-established by NKU and Tianjin Eye Hospital was  inaugurated on October 19. By making full use of NKU’s advantages in basic  research, including discipline construction, talent training and platform  building, and the fruitful achievements that Tianjin Eye Hospital has made in  terms of medicine, medical teaching, medical research, and preventive medicine  for many years, the Institute will set up a high-level research platform for  ophthalmology and visual science to gather top-class experts at home and abroad.  By doing so, it will aim to improve the disciplinary development in combining  medicine with principles of medical science, and medicine with engineering  technology and make substantial contributions to the high-quality development of  ophthalmology and related interdisciplinary fields in the country.

Quite a number of  famous scholars, experts and dignitaries attended the inauguration. They include  Wang Jianguo, Vice Chairman of Tianjin Municipal Committee of CPPCC and  Secretary of CPC Committee of Tianjin Municipal Health Commission, Cao Xuetao,  Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and President of NKU, Xie Liexin,  Honorary Director of Shandong Eye Institute and academician of Chinese Academy  of Engineering, Yang Xiongli, Honorary Director of the Institute of Neurobiology  at Fudan University (FDU) and Academician of Chinse Academy of Sciences, Chen  Xiangmei, Director of the Institute of Kidney Diseases and Director of the State  Key Laboratory of Kidney Diseases under Chinese PLA General Hospital, Xu  Jianguo, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Double-employed  Academician of NKU and dean of the Research Institute of Public Health, NKU,  Zhang Yingze, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, Double-employed  Academician of NKU and Honorary Director of the No.3 Hospital Affiliated to  Hebei Medical University, Yan Hua, Secretary of CPC Committee of Tianjin Medical  University and Director of NKU Medical School, Zhao Kanxing, Honorary Director  of Tianjin Eye Hospital, Wang Chunge, Secretary of CPC Committee of the Eye  Hospital Affiliated to Nankai University (or Tianjin Eye Hospital), and Wang  Yan, Director of the Eye Hospital Affiliated to Nankai University (or Tianjin  Eye Hospital).

At the  inauguration, Wang Lei, Vice President of NKU, announced the decision to approve  the establishment of the Institute of Ophthalmology at NKU. Chen Jun,  Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences and vice president of NKU, chaired  the opening ceremony.

Cao Xuetao, Xie  Lixin, Wang Chunge and Wang Yan jointly unveiled the nameplate for the Institute  of Ophthalmology.

Xie Lixin and Wang  Yan were respectively appointed as the Chairman of the Academic Committee of the  Institute of Ophthalmology and President of the newly-established Institute. Cao  Xuetao presented them with the appointment letters. Afterwards, Cao and Wang  jointly presented the appointment letter to Zhao Kanxing, the honorary director  of Tianjin Eye Hospital, who will serve as a special advisor for the Institute  of Ophthalmology.

Wang Jianguo said  in his speech, the joint efforts made by NKU and Tianjin Eye Hospital to  construct the Institute of Ophthalmology bring about a new opportunity not only  for the development of Tianjin Eye Hospital, but also for the development of  ophthalmology in Tianjin. He hoped that both sides can make full use of the  discipline advantages of a top-class comprehensive university and the advantages  of a medical institution in clinical technology and resources. Also, harder work  should be done to cultivate a number of world-class young and innovative talents  in science and technology; ramp up scientific research cooperation and carry out  in-depth interdisciplinary research in ophthalmology and visual science for more  excellent scientific research and innovation results; continuously explore new  ways to transform scientific research results and apply the latest and better  scientific research fruits to clinical practice as soon as possible for the sake  of patients with eye diseases so as to better propel the development of  ophthalmology in Tianjin and even the whole country.

Cao Xuetao pointed  out in his speech that NKU and Tianjin Eye Hospital have established a close  cooperative relationship in teaching and scientific research in recent years.  This time, focusing on the national strategy of “eye health”, in particular the  vision health of youth, two sides carried out in-depth cooperation in  establishing the Institute of Ophthalmology. This move is an important strategic  deployment that NKU made, on the basis of the national demand, to accelerate its  “4211 NKU Action Plan for Excellence” in its second century and promote the  development of biomedicine. Based in Tianjin, the Institute of Ophthalmology  will adopt down-to-earth measures to facilitate the transformation of hospital  from a medical center to a center for medicine and build, step by step, an  internationally famous center for ophthalmology featuring an integration of a  first-class medical service center, a highland of scientific research and  innovation, a high-level talent training center and an international cooperation  and exchange center in an effort to better promote the high-quality development  of ophthalmology and related interdisciplinary fields in Tianjin and the whole  country and further serve the Healthy China Strategy.

According to Yan  Hua, the establishment of the Institute of Ophthalmology was meant to be a  specific measure adopted by NKU and Tianjin Eye Hospital to implement the spirit  of those important health-related speeches delivered by President Xi Jinping. In  the future, NKU Medical School will carry out in-depth collaboration with  Tianjin Eye Hospital, pool the wisdom and strength of the ophthalmology circle  in Tianjin, beef up the synergy of medical treatment, teaching, and research,  and gradually explore a high-level, multi-layer medical talent joint training  model so as to expand the influence of the Institute of Ophthalmology at home  and abroad.

Wang Chunge said,  “The move that NKU and Tianjin Eye Hospital worked together to establish the  Institute of Ophthalmology will surely be a boon for enhancing the scientific  research capabilities and the high-quality development of medical education of  Tianjin Eye Hospital, thus being of far-reaching significance for the future  development of Tianjin Eye Hospital. We’ll spare no efforts to build the  Institute of Ophthalmology into a domestically top-class medical center for  ophthalmology with certain international influence and facilitate eye health for  all”.     

After the  inauguration, Xie Lixin fondly recalled thedevelopment of  Chinese ophthalmology with hard work and independent innovation. He hoped that  all parties concerned should take the establishment of the Institute of  Ophthalmology as an opportunity to strengthen basic research, bring experts  together, and ramp up the standardized training of high-end leading talents and  primary doctors. Moreover, great efforts are needed to make breakthroughs in key  technologies, seize the forefront of science and technology and improve the  international discourse power of Chinese ophthalmology.

Some famed scholars  and experts congratulated the establishment of the Institute of Ophthalmology  through video. They include Wang Ningli, Head of Chinese Association of  Ophthalmologists under Chinese Medical Doctor Association (CMDA) and Chairman of  Asia-Pacific Association of Ophthalmology (APAO); Yao Ke, Chairman of Chinese  Ophthalmological Society under Chinese Medical Association (CMA) and Academician  of Academia Ophthalmological Internationalis, AOI and chairman-elect of APACRS,  and Sun Xinghuai, Chairman-elect of Chinese Ophthalmological Society under  Chinese Medical Association (CMA) and Director of the Key Laboratory of Myopia  Prevention and Control under National Health Commission of China.

Wang Yan said,  “It’s an honor and also a responsibility for me to be appointed as the director  of the Institute of Ophthalmology. In the future, the institute will integrate  NKU’s high-level scientific research resources and the hospital’s abundant  medical resources, focus on the difficulties of ophthalmology and visual  science, and gather excellent talents at home and abroad to further enlarge the  innovative research on ophthalmology. Through deeper cross-fertilization, we  will build a higher-level, innovation-oriented research platform to enhance the  medical research and technology level in ophthalmology in Tianjin, as well as  its influence and status in China.”

According to the  cooperation agreements by and between both parties and the development plan, the  Institute of Ophthalmology, guided by the national “eye health” development  strategy and relying on the big-league university platform of NKU, will take  into account the research needs and discipline development trend and strive to  cultivate and introduce a number of high-level experts and creative talents;  give full scope to the clinical advantages of the Eye Hospital in the industry  and the country to jointly set up a high-level interdisciplinary research  platform and provide financial support for innovative research to obtain more  original innovation results; and enhance the standing and core competitiveness  of ophthalmology disciplines to provide a strong talent pool and technical  support for the long-term sustainable and high-quality development.  

On the basis of the  level of discipline development and the depth of cross-disciplinary integration,  the Institute of Ophthalmology will gradually set up four research centers,  namely, the Research Center for Vision Science and Optics, Research Center for  Artificial Intelligence and Precision Medicine, Research Center for Ophthalmic  Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials, and the Research Center for Ophthalmic  Genetics and Cell Biology. It will build a university-hospital  innovation-oriented research system with the goal of producing first-rate  academic results and training big-league talents and turn itself into a  domestically top-class innovation-oriented research platform for ophthalmology  and visual science with certain international influence.    

After the  inauguration, Zhao Kanxing and Wang Yan convened the academician summit  forum.

Five academicians,  including Xie Lixin, Yang Xiongli, Chen Xiangmei, Xu Jianguo and Zhang Yingze,  delivered their academic reports, namely, Prevention and  Treatment of Corneal Blindness in China,Overview of  Myopia Research in Our Laboratory,Reflections on  the Basic Research of Eye-Kidney-Related Diagnostics on the Basis of the  Combination of Traditional Chinese and Western Medicines, Microorganisms  in Special Habitats and Emerging Infectious Diseases and  How to  Accomplish a Great Task with Little Effort by Clever Maneuvers in Scientific  Research, respectively.

Founded in 1924,  Tianjin Eye Hospital is the first Level A tertiary hospital specializing in  ophthalmology in China. It ranks among the top hospitals in China in  ophthalmology, with several sub-specialties leading the rest of the country in  the field of ophthalmology and optometry clinical practice and research. In  recent years, the hospital has established a close relationship with NKU in  teaching and scientific research. After becoming the Eye Hospital of Nankai  University in 2011, it conducted deeper cooperation and integration with NKU in  medicine, teaching and scientific research. For many years, the hospital has  served as the teaching venue for six professional courses, including  Ophthalmology, at the School of Medicine of NKU while providing students with  opportunities for clinical apprenticeships and internships. In 2017, the  hospital became the Eye Hospital Affiliated to Nankai University. In 2019, NKU  joined hands with the eye hospital to set up the optometric medicine program,  which has enrolled three classes of undergraduate students so far. NKU has hired  5 doctoral supervisors in ophthalmology and 11 master supervisors at Tianjin Eye  Hospital and trained dozens of master's and doctoral students in ophthalmology  so far. In terms of scientific research, the two have also conducted close  cooperation in various aspects. By virtue of the hospital’s resources in  clinical treatment and NKU’s disciplinary advantages and research strengths in  the fields of applied optics, artificial intelligence and medical materials,  they concentrated on the frontier of ophthalmology and jointly tackled key  problems, with over 140 papers published on SCI-indexed journals in the past  three years. On the occasion of the 26th National Eye Day  which fell on June 6 this year, NKU and Tianjin Eye Hospital jointly organized a  series of voluntary service activities with the theme of “Love Your Eyes,  Embrace a Bright Future” in an attempt to remind the public to pay attention to  eye health, especially to care for the eye health of young kids and adolescents  and effectively raise the young people’s awareness of eye disease prevention and  treatment.