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Professor David Mackey, AO is a clinician, scientist and academic. He is Professor of Ophthalmology at UWA and was LEI Managing Director from 2009 until 2018.

A University of Tasmania medical graduate, Professor Mackey completed his ophthalmology training at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne. After an MD thesis on Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy at the University of Melbourne, he completed fellowships in the US and UK in genetic eye diseases.

A renowned international researcher on the genetics of eye disease, Professor Mackey leads the LEI’s Genetics and Epidemiology research group which pursues multiple projects aimed at understanding how genes and environment interact to influence an individual’s risk of eye disease.

Professor Mackey collaborates with researchers worldwide. He is a lead investigator in the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium (IGCC) and the Consortium for Refractive Error and Myopia (CREAM). He coordinated an international consortium across eight countries to establish the frequency of Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) mutations.

In Australia, he initiated the Glaucoma Inheritance Study in Tasmania – creating one of the largest glaucoma biobanks in the world and contributing to the discovery of more than a dozen genes associated with Mendelian genetic eye disease.

The Twins Eye Study in Tasmania and Brisbane, the Norfolk Island Eye Study, the eye component of the WA Pregnancy (Raine) Cohort, Busselton Healthy Aging Study are his other major projects.

Professor Mackey’s original research over more than 30 years into the genetics of glaucoma and in the fields of optic atrophy and congenital cataract has received constant professional accolades, attracted ongoing research funding and led to his publication of more than 400 peer-reviewed papers.

In 2019, he was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of ophthalmology, as a clinician-scientist and academic”.

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