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.