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Impact of the Allergan Foundations grant on ophthalmic education

After receiving a £1m grant from The Allergan Foundation in December 2015, the Institute of Ophthalmology has published an impact report that explains how UCL's ophthalmic education has been transformed.

The Allergan Foundation is the charitable foundation of Allergan plc, a global pharmaceutical company. The grant was awarded in 2015 to Sue Lightman, Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, and her colleagues, in recognition of the IoO's excellence in education delivery and innovation, and to further develop and enhance its initiatives.

Since receiving the grant, many education initiatives have been successfully launched:

  • A two-year clinical MSc programme was launched in 2015, which includes a year in clinical practice.
  • A new MSc programme focusing on eye movement disorders will launch this year.
  • The IoO has also run a week-long Summer School for the past two years, aimed at medical students, junior doctors and others with an interest in ophthalmic careers.
  • The IoO has also increased its CPD and short course provision available to clinicians and practitioners across the world.
  • The team have also created the first eCourse supported by the Allergan Foundation and several more of these are in development.
  • Bursaries are now available for students from disadvantaged areas who would not otherwise be able to study there.
  • The IoO has refurbished a teaching space which opened in January 2017 for the Masters teaching.

In the impact report to The Allergan Foundation, Professor Lightman and Professor Alan Thompson said: 'The generosity of The Allergan Foundation not only recognised our unique education programme when the award was granted, but has enabled us to expand it to provide high quality education opportunities for doctors and allied health professionals involved in eye care from around the world ... The generous support of The Allergan Foundation has had a transformative impact on the IOO. This will in turn impact upon countless people worldwide.

Prof. Susan Lightman, MD PhD FRCP FRCOphth

Sue Lightman qualified from the Middlesex Hospital Medical School in London and spent several years in medicine before training as an Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital. She studied for her PhD in cellular immunology at the The National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, England and then attended the National Eye Institute at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD. On returning to the UK she was awarded an MRC Senior Clinical Fellowship and Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital. In 1990 she took up the Duke Elder Chair at the Institute and then the University Chair of Clinical Ophthalmology in 1993 which she currently holds, Her main clinical interests are in intraocular infection and inflammation and runs a research group looking at the effects of T-cell cytokines in the eye.

More information on the Allegan Foundation

The Allergan Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation committed to providing a lasting and positive impact in the communities in which Allergan plc employees live and work.

Established in 1998, The Allergan Foundation focuses its resources primarily on health and human services, selecting initiatives in the areas of ophthalmology, dermatology, neurology, women's health, and a variety of other therapeutic areas that support patient diagnosis and treatment, increase access to health care, and improve quality of life.

In addition, The Allergan Foundation conducts grant making in support of civic and community programs, education and the arts. Since its inception, The Allergan Foundation has distributed over 66 million dollars to a wide variety of philanthropic pursuits - improving lives, elevating communities.

Further extending the scope of philanthropy, in 2011 the Allergan International Foundation was established, supporting a wide range of charitable causes in the UK, Europe, and beyond.