Dr Au Eong Kah Guan is Medical Director & Senior Consultant in Singapore International Eye Cataract Retina Centre at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre and International Eye Cataract Retina Centre at Farrer Park Medical Centre. He is also a Visiting Senior Consultant to the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
Dr Au Eong was previously Head & Senior Consultant in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at Alexandra Hospital; Head & Senior Consultant of the Eye Clinic at Jurong Medical Centre; Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore; Deputy Director & Head of Research in The Eye Institute, National Healthcare Group; and Deputy Director of the Clinical Research Unit at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.
Dr Au Eong graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery in 1989 and a Master of Medicine (Ophthalmology) in 1995. He obtained his Fellowships of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Glasgow in 1995, and from the Academy of Medicine in Singapore in 1998. He obtained his Diploma in ophthalmology from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in London in 1999 and his Membership of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in London in 2010.
After completing 6 years of Basic and Advanced Surgical Training in Singapore, Dr Au Eong received two additional hands-on fellowship training in diseases and surgery of the vitreous and retina in Europe and North America. He completed his first one-year clinical fellowship at the University of Manchester and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital in Manchester, United Kingdom, from 1998 to 1999 and his second 14-month clinical and research fellowship at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1999 to 2000. During his fellowship training, he worked with world renowned vitreoretinal surgeons including Professor David McLeod, Mr Michael J. Lavin, Mr George S. Turner, Mr Stephen J. Charles and Mr Christopher L. Dodd in UK, and Dr Eugene de Juan, Jr, Dr Mark S. Humayun, Dr Julia A. Haller, Dr Dante J. Pieramici, Dr Peter A. Campochiaro and Dr Ingrid E. Zimmer-Galler in US. His current areas of interest include retinal and macular diseases, cataract and comprehensive ophthalmology.
Dr Au Eong is a clinician-scientist active in teaching, research and innovation in many areas of ophthalmology. He has published more than 26 books and book chapters, and more than 205 scientific articles and letters in peer-review local and international journals.
Dr Au Eong helped to pioneer revolutionary procedures such as macular translocation and sutureless transconjunctival 25-gauge pars plana vitrectomy. He developed novel concepts, a common terminology and an international classification for macular translocation, and performed the first macular translocation in Southeast Asia in 2001. He assisted Dr Eugene de Juan, Jr on the first case of sutureless 25-gauge pars plana vitrectomy in the world in 2000. Together with Dr de Juan, he conducted the Advanced Course in Vitreoretinal Surgery in 2002 to launch the 25-gauge vitrectomy system in Asia.
Dr Au Eong has published extensively on what patients can see during various types of eye surgery under local anaesthesia. He led investigators from 8 countries to conduct a series of clinically important studies and is an authority on this visual phenomenon. For his ground-breaking work in this area, he was named the 6th Yahya Cohen Lecturer by the Academy of Medicine Singapore in 2001.
Dr Au Eong is active in reducing the burden of blindness from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness in developed countries. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of the AMD Alliance International, the largest global non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting awareness, treatment and research in AMD. He began the annual nation-wide AMD Awareness Week in Singapore in 2005 and actively raises the awareness of AMD and its relationship to modifiable risk factors such as cigarette smoking. He has lobbied actively and has worked closely with the relevant authorities to include a “Smoking Causes Blindness” graphic health warning label on cigarette packs to highlight the harmful ocular effects of smoking. Currently, cigarettes on sale in Singapore have a graphic health warning, one of which is a “Smoking Causes Blindness” warning with a (modified) photograph of Dr Au Eong’s own eye. Dr Au Eong is also the Honorary Advisor to the Macular Degeneration Society, the only patient support group for macular diseases in Singapore. For his outstanding contributions to AMD, he was named the 2nd Victor Yong Lecturer by The Eye Institute of the National Healthcare Group in 2006.
Dr Au Eong has won numerous awards and fellowships including the People’s Scholarship Fund Scholarship Award, Ministry of Health’s Health Manpower Development Plan Fellowship, Academy of Medicine Singapore-Roche Research/Travelling Fellowship, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Travelling Fellowship, Ethicon Foundation Fund Award, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology/Santen Pharmaceutical Travel Fellowship, Tan Tock Seng Hospital Scholarship, National Medical Research Council-Singapore Totalisator Board Medical Research Fellowship, Grace Ballas Medical Research Travelling Fellowship, Beecham Book Prize, Medical Alumni Association Bronze Medal, CIBA Vision Research Prize in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Lachlan McNeill Scholarship in Ophthalmology, The Eye Institute-Pharmacia Research Prize, The Eye Institute-Pfizer Research Prize, The Eye Institute-Novartis Research Prize, The Eye Institute-Alcon Merit Prize and Olympus Research Prize. He has also won numerous Service Champion Awards in the National Healthcare Group and Alexandra Hospital as well as the Excellent Service Award (Silver).
Dr Au Eong is often associated with key initiatives that contributed significantly to the improvement of vision and eye care in Singapore. These include numerous activities that have enhanced education and training in ophthalmology, optometry and opticianry, and fostered close and meaningful collaboration between the different segments of eye care professionals. He conceived and helped organised the National Update for Optometrists and Opticians (later renamed National Congress of Optometry and Opticianry), the largest scientific meeting in the primary eye care calendar. He was the organising chairman for the National Healthcare Group Annual Scientific Congress 2003, the largest medical meeting locally. In 2005, he was awarded the Visionary Award for “significant achievements and far-reaching contributions in the area of eye and vision care which have benefited Singapore” at the 4th National Update for Optometrists and Opticians in Singapore.
In 2008, Dr Au Eong led an editorial team to publish a landmark hard-cover coffee-table book titled “Primary Eye Care in Singapore: Looking Back, Looking Forward” to commemorate the legislation of optometry and opticianry in Singapore. In 2009, he coauthored “Medico-Legal and Ethical Issues in Eye Care: Case Scenarios for Optometrists, Opticians, Ophthalmologists and Family Physicians”, an important practical guide for practising eye care professionals in Singapore.