Our Professional Advisory Board

Read all about our distinguished board of expert professional advisors here.

Professor John Marshall is the Frost Professor of Ophthalmology and Deputy Director for Enterprise at the Institute of Ophthalmology in association with Moorfield's Eye Hospital, University College London.

He is Emeritus Professor of Ophthalmology at Kings College London, Honorary Distinguished Professor University of Cardiff, Honorary Professor the City University and Honorary Professor Glasgow Caledonian University. His research over the past fifty years has ranged over a number of ocular problems but has concentrated on the development of lasers for use in ophthalmic diagnosis and surgery, the inter-relationships between light and ageing, together with the environmental mechanisms underlying age-related, diabetic and inherited retinal diseases. This work has resulted in over five hundred research papers and 44 book chapters and 7 books.

He invented and patented the revolutionary Excimer laser for the correction of refractive disorders with in excess of 60 million procedures now having been undertaken worldwide.  He also created the world’s first Diode laser for treating eye problems of diabetes, glaucoma and ageing. His lifelong studies of the ageing retina have led to the development and patenting of a revolutionary new laser, 2RT, which is proving successful in the treatment of dry AMD. He is editor and co-editor of numerous international journals. He has successfully trained over 60 students for higher doctorates. He has given 50 eponymous lectures and been awarded 18 prestigious medals including the Nettleship Medal of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, the Mackenzie Medal, the Raynor Medal, the Ridley Medal, the Ashton Medal, the Ida Mann Medal , the Lord Crook Gold Medal of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, the Doyne Medal of the Oxford Congress, the Barraquer Medal of the International Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the Kelman Innovator Award of the American Society for Refractive and Cataract Surgery, the Lim Medal of the Singapore National Eye Centre and the Junius-Kuhnt award and Medal for his work on AMD. In 2014 he was honoured with the Zivojnovic award by the European Vitreo Retinal Society, a lifetime achievement award by the UK & Irish Society for Cataract & Refractive Surgery, delivered the Bowman Lecture and received the Bowman Medal. He has been consistently voted into The Ophthalmologist Power List of the most influential people in world of ophthalmology, and is the only scientist. He has been visiting professor at numerous universities on every continent.

He has more than fifty patents and has held posts chairing the medical advisory boards of many international companies and was a director of Diomed for some years, this being the leading supplier of diode laser systems for surgery. He has sat on and chaired many national and international committees* concerned with protecting the public against the possible damaging effects of lasers and other artificial light sources and played the leading role with the ICRC and addressed the United Nations to obtain a Geneva Convention banning the use of anti-personnel laser weapons. He was the Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society 1973-2011 and remains a founder Trustee, until 1995 he was Co-Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of the International Retinitis Pigmentosa Association. He is the scientific adviser and Vice President of the National Eye Research Centre and one of two Ambassadors of Fight for Sight. He is a trustee of the Frost foundation, giving career development awards to young ophthalmologists and is a scientific adviser to Blind Veterans UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, a Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, an Honorary Fellow of The College of Optometrists, a Fellow and past Director of the Laser Institute of America, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University. He has a Senior Achievement Award of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Euretina Award of the European Society of Retinal Surgeons. In 2009 the International Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmologists honoured him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a Fellow of ophthalmological societies of several different countries, as well as being elected to the European Academy of Ophthalmology. During 2011-2012 he was the Master of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. In 2013 he was awarded the MBE in the 2013 New Year Honours List for services to Ophthalmology and an honorary DSc from Glasgow Caledonian University. In 2015 he was awarded an honorary DSc by the London Metropolitan University and elected Chartered Scientist by the Royal Society of Biology in 2017. He was appointed Honorary President of the International Society of High Technology in Ophthalmology in 2018. In 2019 he was awarded the Laser Ambassador Award of the Association of Industrial Laser Users for his work in promulgating lasers to the general public and was elected a Fellow of the European Academy of Translational Medicine Professionals.

Following a 1st class Optometry degree from Manchester, a pre-registration year at Moorfield’s Eye Hospital, London, a PhD at Cardiff University and a clinical/research fellowship at the University of Melbourne, Australia, Professor Wolffsohn was appointed by Aston University in 2000, where he was Head of Optometry 2004-9 and Deputy Executive Dean for Life and Health Sciences 2009-16, being awarded a personal Chair in 2007. He is now associate Pro-Vice Chancellor. James has published over 215 peer reviewed academic papers and given numerous international presentations. His main research areas are the development and evaluation of ophthalmic instrumentation, contact lenses, intraocular lenses and the tear film. He is the academic Chair of the British Contact Lens Association, having been a past president, was a harmoniser and sub-committee chair for TFOS DEWS II and joint-Chair of the International Myopia Institute reports.

Professor Kovin Naidoo is Senior Vice President of the Inclusive Business, Philanthropy and Social Impact at Essilor and the former CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute. He is an academic, former anti- apartheid activist and political prisoner, optometrist and an internationally celebrated public health leader. His professional life has been dedicated to delivering eye care to people in need.

Professor Naidoo is an Associate Professor of Optometry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Visiting Professorial Fellow at University of New South Wales, Australia and Adjunct Faculty at Salus University in Philadelphia. He has published extensively in epidemiology and public health. More recently he served on the 2019 WHO World Report on Vision editorial committee. Recognizing the need to develop research capacity in Africa, Prof. Naidoo initiated the formation of the African Vision Research Institute (AVRI). Prof. Naidoo is a member of the World Council of Optometry Executive committee; Founder and Chair of African Vision and former Chair of the Red Cross Air Mercy Services board of Trustees among his many esteemed affiliations. He is the founder of the Children’s Vision Campaign that aims to reach 50 million children by 2020 and has brought together 100 organisations and professional associations.

Prof. Naidoo is a Fulbright Scholar, was elected as an Ashoka Fellow and a Schwab Fellow. He was jointly awarded with Professor Brien Holden, the Schwab Social Entrepreneur Award for Africa 2010 at the regional World Economic Forum in Tanzania in recognition of their ability to merge business acumen with social causes. The American Academy of Optometry awarded him the Essilor Award for outstanding contributions to Optometry in 2010, and the British College of Optometrists an honorary fellowship in 2009 for his contribution to the development of optometry in Africa and the developing world. He was African Optometrist of the Year in 2002, then International Optometrist of the Year in 2007. In 2016 he received the Henry B. Peters Memorial Award in Public Health and Environmental Vision from American Academy of Optometry and in 2017, received the distinguished Prevention of Blindness (POB) Shield Lecture award from the Saudi Ophthalmology Society. Most recently, Prof. Naidoo has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the prestigious State University of New York (SUNY) College of Optometry. In 2019 the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry and Optometry Association of Philippines honoured him with the Inaugural Claro M Cinco APOC Leadership Advocacy Award.

Dr May Ho is an Australian registered optometrist working in public health and international eye health for the past thirty years. She is currently Optometry and Primary Care Adviser at the Fred Hollows Foundation. May started out as an optometrist at the Australian College of Optometry, which runs the largest public optometry services in the country, and was responsible for establishing their Aboriginal Services. Prior to joining The Fred Hollows Foundation, she was employed at the Brien Holden Vision Institute Foundation, most recently as Director of Education and Development.

May has worked extensively in the development and implementation of sustainable eye care and education programs in various countries in the Asia Pacific (Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste, PNG) and Africa (Kenya, South Africa) regions as well as in Haiti and Moldova. She was involved in the development and delivery of refraction, low vision, primary eye care and training of trainers’ courses for various cadres of health workers including mid-level ophthalmic personnel, optometrists, and ophthalmologists. May was part of a myopia education team developing online myopia education programs. She has also managed and delivered “Advocacy for eye health” courses in collaboration with the World Council of Optometry (WCO). Over fifty optometry leaders from the six WCO regions were trained as eye health advocates through this course.

Her biggest achievement is the introduction of optometry into Vietnam. This was the culmination of ten years of working closely with the in-country team and partners. She led and oversaw the project design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the program – working with stakeholders including government ministries, hospitals, NGOs, universities, and students.

Another area of interest is research, where she has been involved in key publications on myopia, presbyopia, refractive errors and low vision. May also contributed to the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) School Eye Health Guidelines for Low- and Middle-Income Countries and IAPB Position papers on refractive errors and their correction. She has presented on optometry development, eye care training, school eye health, low vision, and advocacy at international conferences.

May currently serves on the World Council of Optometry Education Subcommittee, Optometry Victoria South Australia Education Advisory Committee, IAPB School Eye Health Working Group and Low Vision Working Group.

Achievements includes the

1) Establishment of the first optometry education program in Vietnam

2) Development of the first optometry programs in Haiti

3) Initiation of the first optometry program in Moldova

4) Sustainable eye care delivery – vision centers in Vietnam, Cambodia

5) World Council of Optometry Advocacy for Eye Health course – regional advocates

6) Establishment of Optometry Clinic at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Services

She is multilingual speaking all of the following Languages: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese - Cantonese and Mandarin.

Proven board leadership in the public, non-governmental, private and regulatory sectors. Chair, convenor and board member for public advisory and regulatory processes related to consumer rights, ICT and persons with disabilities. Qualified diplomat, skilled negotiator, as well as advocate and national reference point for persons with disabilities. Extensive local and global nongovernmental service, with deep knowledge of issues affecting the disability and women’s sectors.

Profound results achieved on behalf of the disability community and others through advocacy, networking and effective engagement with business, government and civil society across different countries, cultures and international organisations. Former small business managing member, qualified financial advisor and compliance officer. Strong premium on teamwork that results in effective management and team buy-in. Provides strong project leadership in support of effective advocacy, planning, funding, resourcing, implementation and timeous completion of projects. Part of a diplomatic family, with broad global experience. Severely visually impaired, but my disability does not define me.

  • Member of the Consumer Advisory Panel of the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
  • Convenor and Chair of the Working Group on Affordable and Accessible ICT for Persons with Disabilities
  • Board member and President of the United Nations Women’s Guild (UNWG) Rome
  • Vice Chairperson of Retina South Africa, Pretoria
  • Board member of the Commonwealth Women’s Association of Brussels
  • Board member: Canadian Women’s Association of Chile, Santiago, 1996-1997
  • Foreign Service Officer: South African Foreign Ministry, Pretoria
  • Member of the Institute of Directors South Africa (IoDSA) – 2019
  • Board Member of the Centurion Chamber of Business – 2010
  • International Capital Markets Qualification, Securities Institute London – 2000
  • Compliance Officer, Johannesburg Stock Exchange – 2000
  • Qualified Diplomat: Department of Foreign Affairs, South Africa – 1992