SSI honours the many achievements of retiring Professor John McAvoy
in History and People, News
3 Dec 2015
This month we celebrate the career and many contributions of Professor John McAvoy who retires at the end of the year as Director of Laboratory Research at SSI.
Prof McAvoy established the Lens Research Group at The University of Sydney over 36 years ago, and his research has focused particularly on identifying new treatments to delay or prevent cataracts.
Prof McAvoy has worked tirelessly to improve outcomes for people afflicted by eye disease by advancing our understanding of cellular and molecular processes.
He once said “Understanding, at cellular and molecular levels, the exquisite regulation of developmental processes that result in the generation of an individual, to me, represents one of the most compelling intellectual challenges for mankind.”
Prof McAvoy is internationally recognised for identifying growth factors and their roles in directing the growth and differentiation of lens cells in both health and disease.
He has trained and mentored many undergraduate and postgraduate students, and his enduring teachings and mentoring continues to be passed on today.
Prof McAvoy’s passion for cell and developmental biology has led to pioneering lens research on the factors involved in lens development and pathology: a body of work that now includes well over 100 papers.
Prof McAvoy said “Besides enjoying developmental biology for its intrinsic beauty, there is also excitement and satisfaction from knowing understanding the mechanisms of normal development is central to understanding and alleviating conditions that result in degeneration and disease.”
Professor McAvoy is well known on the international scene and has frequently been invited to present at major national and international research meetings and plenary lectures. He organised the International Congress of Eye Research in Sydney in 2004 and was awarded the ‘Kinoshita Lectureship’ in 2012 by the National Foundation for Eye Research in the USA for meritorious research that contributes to the understanding of the etiology and prevention of cataract development.
John McAvoy has been an invaluable part of SSI over the past decades and we thank him sincerely for his work and friendship.