Prof THAM Chee Yung Clement

S.H. Ho Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

BM BCh (Oxon), FCOphth (HK), FHKAM (Ophth), FRCOphth, FRCS (Glas), FCSHK

Contact :

(852) 3943 5823

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(852) 3943 5886

Academic Appointments

  • S.H. Ho Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 
  • Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong 
  • Director, CUHK Eye Centre
  • Honorary Chief-of-Service, Hong Kong Eye Hospital
  • Honorary Consultant, New Territories East Cluster Ophthalmology Service 
  • Vice President and Fellowship Examiner, The College of Ophthalmologists of Hong Kong (COHK) 
  • Deputy Director, Joint Shantou International Eye Center 
  • Secretary General & CEO, Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO)
  • Treasurer, International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO)
  • Vice President, Asia-Pacific Glaucoma Society (APGS) 
  • Chair, Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (AOI)

Biography

Prof. Clement Tham graduated from Oxford Medical School in 1993, after receiving his first degree in the medical sciences at Cambridge University. He joined the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences of the CUHK in 2003. Prof. Tham was appointed Clinical Professor at CUHK in 2009, and then S.H. Ho Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at CUHK in 2012. Prof. Tham became Honorary Chief-of-Service of Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the Prince of Wales Hospital and Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in 2010. In 2011, Prof. Tham became the Honorary Chief-of-Service at Hong Kong Eye Hospital. In August 2015, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences of the CUHK .

For his work in the prevention of blindness, Prof. Tham was awarded the inaugural Nakajima Award by the APAO in 2005. In the same year, Prof. Tham was one of the awardees of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award in Hong Kong. Prof. Tham received the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in 2008, the APAO Achievement Award in 2010, the APAO Outstanding Service in Prevention of Blindness Award in 2011, and the APAO Distinguished Service Award in 2013. Prof. Tham presented the APAO Holmes Lecture at the 28th APAO Congress 2013 Hyderabad, the APAO De Ocampo Lecture at the 30th APAO Congress 2015 Guangzhou, and the Honored International Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) in San Diego in 2015. Prof. Tham has also received numerous other awards in recognition of his contributions to research and teaching in the field of glaucoma.

Research Areas

The primary academic interest of Prof. Tham lies in angle closure glaucoma, as well as the laser and surgical treatments of glaucoma. Prof. Tham’s earlier work established a role for argon laser peripheral iridoplasty in the treatment of acute primary angle closure and other forms of angle closure glaucoma. More recently, his randomized controlled trials provided insight into the roles of lens extraction and other glaucoma surgeries in both acute and chronic primary angle closure glaucoma eyes. Prof. Tham was a member of the research consortium that identified the first genetic mutation associated with primary angle closure glaucoma.

Chair, Scientific Program Committees World Ophthalmology Congress 2018 (Spain)
Congress President The 33rd Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress 2018 (Hong Kong)
Co-Chair, Scientific Program Committees The 32nd Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology Congress 2017 (Singapore)
Chair, Scientific Program Committees World Ophthalmology Congress 2016 (Mexico)
Vice President The Congress of Chinese Ophthalmological Society (China)
Chair of Organizing Committee World Glaucoma Congress 2015 (Hong Kong)

Research Programmes

  1. Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) and normal tension glaucoma (NTG) – patterns and risk factors of disease progression.
  2. The roles of lens extraction, alone or in combination with laser and / or surgical glaucoma interventions, in glaucoma eyes.
  3. The clinical efficacy and safety of glaucoma interventions, including laser peripheral iridotomy and iridoplasty, trabeculectomy (penetrating, non-penetrating, carbon dioxide laser-assisted), goniosynechialysis (GSL), glaucoma implant surgery, laser cyclodestructive procedures (trans-scleral and endoscopic), and various combinations of the above.
  4. Molecular genetics, mechanisms, and epi-genetics of glaucoma.
  5. Diurnal intraocular pressure (IOP) profiles and the impact of different treatments on IOP fluctuations in glaucoma eyes.
  6. The anatomical effects of surgery on the anterior segment structures in glaucoma eyes.
  7. Cost-effectiveness of glaucoma treatments.

Accomplishments

  1. CUHK established argon laser peripheral iridoplasty (ALPI) as a more effective and safe first-line intervention for acute glaucoma (acute primary angle closure). Compared to conventional systemic IOP-lowering drugs that were used extensively in the past, ALPI reduces symptoms and IOP more rapidly, and avoids the side effects commonly associated with such drugs. ALPI may also reduce the need for long-term glaucoma medications. ALPI has since been widely adopted worldwide as the first-line treatment of acute glaucoma (acute primary angle closure).
  2. Our randomized controlled trial confirmed that early lens extraction was more effective than conventional laser peripheral iridotomy in preventing the progression to the chronic form of glaucoma (primary angle closure glaucoma) after an episode of acute glaucoma (acute primary angle closure). This finding revolutionizes the management of acute glaucoma eyes. The CUHK group has been invited to present instruction courses on the management of acute glaucoma in major international conferences regularly since 2002.
  3. Our randomized controlled clinical trials clearly documented the beneficial effects and safety profile of early cataract extraction in PACG, and thus establishing a role for cataract extraction as a first-line surgical approach in selected PACG eyes. CUHK has documented the clinical outcomes of cataract extraction, performed in isolation or in combination with other glaucoma surgery, in PACG eyes. Our group is widely regarded as one of the leading clinical research groups on the surgical management of PACG.
  4. One of our latest clinical trials evaluated the role of clear lens extraction in uncontrolled PACG eyes. Lens extraction reverses the anatomical predisposition to angle closure and improves IOP control in PACG eyes. Lens extraction may also be combined with other interventions to further improve clinical outcomes.
  5. CUHK is a key member of the research consortium that identified the first gene, ABCC5, associated with PACG. ABCC5 influences anterior chamber depth. A shallow anterior chamber depth is an important genetic predisposition to angle closure and PACG.
  6. Our group documented IOP fluctuations in PACG patients in their usual non-clinic environments using a self-monitoring electronic device to measure IOP with rebound tonometric technology, and also IOP fluctuations in PACG patients during their normal activities of daily living using a wireless contact lens tonometer. These techniques open up a whole new area of research to help us better understand the role of IOP fluctuations in disease progression, and may offer us new possibilities for better treatment approaches in future.

Representative Publications:

  1. Tham CC, Kwong YY, Baig N, Leung DY, Li FC, Lam DS. Phacoemulsification versus trabeculectomy in medically uncontrolled chronic angle-closure glaucoma without cataract. Ophthalmology 2013;120(1):62-7.
  2. Tham CC, Kwong YY, Leung DY, Lam SW, Li FC, Chiu TY, Chan JC, Lam DS, Lai JS. Phacoemulsification versus phaco-trabeculectomy in chronic angle-closure glaucoma with cataract: complications. Arch Ophthalmol. 2010;128(3):303-11.
    Featured in the Journal Highlights section of Eyenet in March 2010.
  3. Tham CC, Kwong YY, Leung DY, Lam SW, Li FC, Chiu TY, Chan JC, Lam DS, Lai JS. Phacoemulsification versus combined phaco-trabeculectomy in medically-uncontrolled chronic angle closure glaucoma with cataract. Ophthalmology. 2009;116(4):725-31, 731.e1-3.
  4. Tham CC, Kwong YY, Leung DY, Lam SW, Li FC, Chiu TY, Chan JC, Chan CH, Poon AS, Yick DW, Chi CC, Lam DS, Lai JS. Phacoemulsification versus combined phaco-trabeculectomy in medically-controlled chronic angle closure glaucoma with cataract. Ophthalmology 2008;115(12):2167-2173
  5. Nongpiur ME, Khor CC, Jia H, Cornes BK, Chen LJ, Qiao C, Nair KS, Cheng CY, Xu L, George R, Tan D, Abu-Amero K, Perera SA, Ozaki M, Mizoguchi T, Kurimoto Y, Low S, Tajudin LS, Ho CL, Tham CC, Soto I, Chew PT, Wong HT, Shantha B, Kuroda M, Osman EA, Tang G, Fan S, Meng H, Wang H, Feng B, Yong VH, Ting SM, Li Y, Wang YX, Li Z, Lavanya R, Wu RY, Zheng YF, Su DH, Loon SC, Yong VK, Allingham RR, Hauser MA, Soumittra N, Ramprasad VL, Waseem N, Yaakub A, Chia KS, Kumaramanickavel G, Wong TT, How AC, Chau TN, Simmons CP, Bei JX, Zeng YX, Bhattacharya SS, Zhang M, Tan DT, Teo YY, Al-Obeidan SA, Hon do N, Tai ES, Saw SM, Foster PJ, Vijaya L, Jonas JB, Wong TY, John SW, Pang CP, Vithana EN, Wang N, Aung T. ABCC5, a gene that influences the anterior chamber depth, is associated with primary angle closure glaucoma. PLoS Genet. 2014 Mar 6;10(3):e1004089.
  6. Vithana EN, Khor CC, Qiao C, Nongpiur ME, George R, Chen LJ, Do T, Abu-AmeroK, Huang CK, Low S, Tajudin LS, Perera SA, Cheng CY, Xu L, Jia H, Ho CL, Sim KS, Wu RY, Tham CC, Chew PT, Su DH, Oen FT, Sarangapani S, Soumittra N, Osman EA,Wong HT, Tang G, Fan S, Meng H, Huong DT, Wang H, Feng B, Baskaran M, Shantha B, Ramprasad VL, Kumaramanickavel G, Iyengar SK, How AC, Lee KY, Sivakumaran TA,Yong VH, Ting SM, Li Y, Wang YX, Tay WT, Sim X, Lavanya R, Cornes BK, Zheng YF, Wong TT, Loon SC, Yong VK, Waseem N, Yaakub A, Chia KS, Allingham RR, Hauser MA, Lam DS, Hibberd ML, Bhattacharya SS, Zhang M, Teo YY, Tan DT, Jonas JB, Tai ES, Saw SM, Hon do N, Al-Obeidan SA, Liu J, Chau TN, Simmons CP, Bei JX, Zeng YX, Foster PJ, Vijaya L, Wong TY, Pang CP, Wang N, Aung T. Genome-wide association analyses identify three new susceptibility loci for primary angle closure glaucoma. Nature Genetics. 2012;44(10):1142-6.

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