Pao So Kok Macular Disease Treatment and Research Centre

Pao So Kok Macular Disease Treatment and Research Centre (MDTRC) established in 2016 as one of the essential treatment and research facilities of the CUHK Eye Centre. Thanks to a very generous donation by Mr Chang Bei Ming and Mrs Chang Pao So Kok, the setup of MDTRC and its overall goal is to develop and enhance the detection and diagnostic capabilities and the treatment expertise of counter-fighting the sinister and important macular diseases like Age-related Macular Degeneration disease (AMD), Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Retinal Vein Occlusions (RVO) and Macular Dystrophies. MDTRC also aims to provide state-of-the-art detection and treatments for macular diseases, to significantly strengthen our clinical and laboratory research on macular diseases. It will also be a vital part of our training and education of doctors and the public on macular diseases.

In 2010, the Hospital Authority anticipated over 3,000 new cases of Wet AMD every year. It is estimated that 500,000 people in Hong Kong are suffering from AMD with 10% of these having the wet type. The number of people affected by AMD is rapidly increasing due to an aging population. Today, around 15% of Wet AMD patients do not respond well to the standard treatment and continue to lose vision.

The CUHK research team has therefore, been focusing its research efforts on identifying new diagnostic and therapeutic targets to improve vision outcomes for this group of patients. Mr Chang Bei Ming and Mrs Chang Pao So Kok have made a generous donation of HK$10 million to our Department, and on 26 April 2016, the CUHK Pao So Kok Macular Disease Treatment and Research Centre is officially open. The Centre combines world-renowned expertise in clinical ophthalmology, retinal imaging, analytical chemistry and genetics, together with state-of-the-art diagnostic, treatment, and research equipment. It is estimated to serve more than 4,000 patients every year.

Prof. Clement CY THAM, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, said, ‵We are very grateful to Mr and Mrs Chang′s generosity. With the establishment of this important facility, further work on angiopoietin, other risk factors and treatment possibilities for macular diseases will be greatly enhanced.′

Prof Francis KL CHAN, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, mentioned, ‵Population aging is a global trend and in Hong Kong, it is estimated that one-third of the population will reach the age of 65 or above in 2040. Age-related macular degeneration definitely needs our attention and I believe the establishment of CUHK Pao So Kok Macular Disease Treatment and Research Centre is definitely a good news to ophthalmology and to our older population.′

Please visit the album below to share the joyful and memorable moments:

Prof Clement CY THAM

Prof Calvin CP PANG

Prof Guy LJ CHEN

Dr Mårten E BRELÉN



Our members obtained a list of external grants relating to studies in a wide range of macular diseases from S.K. Yee Medical Foundation, Health and Medical Research Fund, General Research Fund, Innovation Technology Fund, Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Charities Trust and a list of pharmaceutical collaborators like Novartis Pharmaceuticals (HK) Ltd, Bayer HealthCare Limited and Allergan Hong Kong Ltd. The total funding obtained worth over six million Hong Kong dollars. Whether the projects are investigator initiated or pharma contracted, all the research works are conducted at the MDTRC.


Our published work has led to many high impact publications in peer reviewed journals as well as presentations at regional and international meetings (see below). Of note, articles have been published by the members of the research unit in Nature Communications, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Nature Genetics, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, American Journal of Ophthalmology and Survey of Ophthalmology to name a few. The work has also been presented at international meetings such as the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting, Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology, Asia-Pacific Vitreo-retina Society, etc.




Prof Mårten E BRELÉN

Active electrode detection device for electroretinogram and electro-oculogram

(World Intellectual Property Organization Application no: PCT/CN2018/090853)

International Filing Date: 12.06.2018, Publication Number: WO/2019/052239, Publication Date 21.03.2019)


Prof Carol YL CHEUNG

Methods and systems for automatic location of optic structures in an image of an eye, and for automatic retina cup-to-disc ratio computation.

European Patent No.: 2888718; Grant Date: 17 January 2018; Co-inventor


Research collaboration

Our work also involves many international collaborations. An ongoing genetic study relating to diabetic macular edema collaborates leading eye departments from Singapore, Osaka, Shantou (China) and National Eye Institute in USA. Collaborations with pharmaceutical industries on different sponsored clinical trials and training programs were also continued in the reporting period. Our members also contributed in many of the international activities, such as being the scientific program coordinator, convenor of international conference, consultant of pharmaceuticals industry, editor and reviewer of international peer review journals.

Our center members involved in knowledge transfer including giving invited lectures and seminars in international conferences and interviews in public media, to educate the professionals and public the new technology on treatment of macular disease.