Professor LAM Shun-chiu, Dennis, JP

Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa

A citation translated by Dr. KUNG Chi Keung

The eyes are often hailed as the windows to the soul, and even as the key to understanding the world. As we perceive and navigate the world, up to ninety percent of the information we receive is obtained through our eyes. Consequently, the experience of people afflicted with eye diseases is akin to losing the key to fully experiencing our vibrant and diverse world. Professor Dennis LAM Shun-chiu, an internationally renowned and professional ophthalmologist, researcher, and educator, has utilized his medical expertise and outstanding research achievements to help countless patients afflicted with eye diseases to restore the key that reconnects them to the world, while also illuminating the path forward for aspiring young scholars.

Professor LAM, who came from a humble family background and grew up in a resettlement estate under challenging circumstances, has developed a strong determination and a profound empathy for the underprivileged in society. In 1984, he graduated from The University of Hong Kong with Bachelor Degrees in Medicine and Surgery, and subsequently became a fellow at multiple prestigious ophthalmic institutes and academies. In 2003, he earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Currently, Dr. LAM is recognized as a world- renowned clinical ophthalmologist and a leading researcher in the field of ophthalmology. He also was among the earliest group of ophthalmologists and eye specialists to visit Mainland China with the mission of initiating efforts to alleviate poverty and eliminate blindness. His unwavering determination and altruistic nature serve as a shining embodiment of the spirit of Hong Kong.

Professor LAM’s outstanding contributions in medicine, education, and research have received widespread recognition from the international medical community. As early as 2008, he was honored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) with the highest achievement award, and in 2014, he received the “Jose Rizal Medal” from the Asia- Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO). In 2022, the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) presented him with the G.O.H. Naumann Award for Leadership in Global Eye Care. Professor LAM has been selected as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Ophthalmologists in the World” for six consecutive terms, and in 2022, he was ranked first in the “Asia- Pacific Eye 100 – Most Influential Ophthalmologists” list.

Moreover, Professor LAM is committed to knowledge transmission and innovation. He currently serves as the Director of the CMER International Eye Research Center at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. Previously, from 1998 to 2003, he held the position of Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In addition, he has also held the prestigious roles of Director of the State Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology at Sun Yat-Sen University and the Director of the STU/CUHK Joint Shantou International Eye Centre (JSIEC), Shantou University. Through his mentorship and exemplary leadership at these institutions of higher learning, he has made significant contributions to nurturing aspiring talents who have become pillars in the field of ophthalmology in the Greater China region.

Professor LAM has achieved remarkable success in research on glaucoma, refractive and cataract surgery. He has made significant contributions to the development of pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative treatment methods. These advancements have directly impacted the success rate of ophthalmic surgeries and the rehabilitation of patients. His outstanding contributions in the study of macular and retinal diseases have also received widespread recognition. Since 2023, the Asia- Pacific Vitreo-Retina Society (APVRS) has named the Society’s third lecture the “Dennis LAM Lecture,” as a way of honoring his research achievements and impact. Professor LAM has also held the prominent positions of President of the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) and the Asia-Pacific

Vitreo-Retina Society (APVRS), as well as being the Founding President of the Asia-Pacific Society of Eye Genetics (APSEG). In these capacities, he actively promotes technological innovation and global visual health. His leadership position in the field of ophthalmology is highly esteemed.

To date, Professor LAM has published over 800 Science Citation Index (SCI) articles. In addition to being selected as one of the “World’s Top 2% Scientists” in 2023, he also clinched the number one spot in the “Lifetime Scientific Impact Ranking (1960– 2022) in the field of Ophthalmology in China/HK.” In 2012, he founded and served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology (APJO). In 2023, the Journal attained the top ranking in the Asia-Pacific region and was ranked seventh globally among prestigious ophthalmology publications.

Professor LAM is not only well-respected for his medical expertise, but also celebrated for his philanthropic spirit. He is a founding advisor and committee member of the charitable organization, Lifeline Express Hong Kong Foundation, and also established the Project Vision Charitable Foundation in 2004. Project Vision is guided by the principle of “teaching people to fish instead of giving them fish” and the belief that“everyone has the right to see.” To date, Project Vision has established 32 poverty alleviation ophthalmic centers in multiple provinces, trained over 160 cataract surgeons, and completed over 200,000 cataract surgeries. In 2009, as a member of the National People’s Congress, Professor LAM successfully advocated for the implementation of one million free cataract surgeries for poverty alleviation at the national level through the platform of the NPC.

Professor LAM’s charitable work has been highly praised by many sectors across the country, and he has received numerous awards, including the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award and the Hong Kong Humanity Award. His tireless efforts have not only brought light to countless patients with eye diseases but have also sown the seeds of compassion, and trained and inspired many ophthalmologists to engage in poverty alleviation and contribute to society.

Professor LAM’s remarkable achievements are founded on his passion for medical science and concern for the welfare of our society. As a physician, teacher, and scholar, he embodies the virtues of “compassion and skill,” aligning with the ideal of Shue Yan University’s motto, “Building Models of Morality, Cultivating Virtues of Benevolence.” His selfless dedication has illuminated the life paths of countless individuals and continues to serve as a model for our faculty and students.

To honor Professor Dennis LAM Shun-chiu’s im- mense contributions in the field of ophthalmology, I respectfully invite Vice-President Dr. HU to confer upon Professor LAM the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa.




Source: Spring 2024 Issue