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Prof Lyndon Da Cruz

Advance Awards Life Sciences Category Finalist

Professor Lyndon da Cruz is a retinal surgeon changing the world view for many people suffering blindness across the world. He is chief investigator and surgeon for the bionic eye implantation project in London and is currently clinical lead on The London Project for transplanting stem-cell-derived retinal cells for patients with Macular Degeneration. His career achievements include leading the Argus II artificial retina programme at Moorfields Eye Hospital and teaching surgery and ophthalmology to doctors in developing countries. Driven to make a positive impact on the lives of patients with retinal diseases, Prof Cruz leads the creation of a stable biological-electronic interface to solve for an extremely damaged retina. The interface remains stable for many years, while giving some patients enough resolution to read words and letters consistently. The Argus II has recently been made available as a treatment for patients with severe vision loss due to retinitis pigmentosa and outer retinal dystrophies. It is the first regulated treatment for severe vision loss of any type for restoring vision.

Prof Cruz completed his medical studies in Perth, Western Australia. He was awarded the State Health Department research prize for public health during his studies and received a degree in Philosophy and Physiology from Oxford University. He began his research interest in retinal disease at the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, in Oxford. Prof Cruz was nominated the Menzies Scholar for Australia by the Australian MRC and the Menzies Foundation. He was also awarded the Howard Florey Fellowship from the Royal Society. In 2003 he was appointed Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in medical and surgical retina at Moorfields Eye Hospital and was later appointed Professor of Retinal Stem Cell and Transplantation Surgery at UCL. Prof Cruz says he remains motivated to continue innovating due to his constant contact with patients who still cannot see and the inspiration he finds in young doctors and researchers who continue to be hungry to learn and push the boundaries of medicine further.

Throughout his career, Lyndon has been awarded the Gulstrand Medal (Swedish National Ophthalmic Society, 2010); the Harold Ridley Medal (The Ridley Foundation, 2015); The Denuncio medal (The Italian Society of Ophthalmic Professors, 2016); the Ruskell Medal (Worshipful company of Spectacle Makers, 2018) and the Alan Alderman Award for Excellence (Macular disease Society, 2018. He was also given the52nd Walter Wright Memorial Lecture (University of Toronto, 2013); The Harold Ridley Lecture, 2015 and the Miocevich Lecture, The University of Western Australia 2016. In 2020, Lyndon was awarded Australian of the Year, UK for his work in Medicine. Specifically in research, teaching in the developing world and clinical Ophthalmology.

‘I remain constantly motivated by the patients who we still cannot treat and seeing their desperate need for new treatments and the good fortune of teaching young doctors and researchers’