Generous Bequest to the Save Sight Institute continues legacy of Di Mackintosh

Diana Mackintosh was described by her friends and family as a humble person, generously giving herself to all that she was passionate about, with a zest for life and a unique sense of humour. A teacher by trade and a traveller by nature, Di combined her passions travelling the world and teaching children, instilling them with her own love of life, independence, humour and compassion for others.

Her travels took her to Guam, Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, New Guinea, the United Kingdom, across much of Europe and United States and a seven-year teaching post in Canada.

“People think I have led a quiet life, but in truth, I was a very active person and was blessed with a profession that allowed me to travel and one which gave me great satisfaction. I have loved every minute of my life.”

Sadly, Di passed away in 2016 but in her passing, she has ensured her legacy of compassion and empathy for others with her generous bequest to the Macular Research Group at the Save Sight Institute. The Macular Research Group aims to develop new treatments to reduce the prevalence of blindness from macular disease through multidisciplinary, patient orientated, world class research.

Di’s sister Margaret presented Professor Mark Gillies with her bequest knowing that such a donation would help many people in the future.

Much of Save Sight Institute’s research is conducted due to the generosity of people like Di Mackintosh. If you would like more information on how to make a donation or make a bequest, please contact us at

New Findings in AMD and MacTel from Two World Experts and a Local

Wednesday 16 November 2016
6:00pm – 7:30pm
The Claffy Lecture Theatre, Sydney Hospital

You are invited to a symposium to celebrate the generous contribution of John and Shirley Sarks to eye research. Internationally renowned guest speakers, Professors Christine Cucio, Alan Bird and Mark Gillies, will be presenting on new findings in AMD and MacTel.


Visualizing RPE Fate in AMD by Validated Multimodal Imaging
Professor Christine Curcio
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Professor Christine CuricoChristine A. Curcio PhD is Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Relying on the Alabama Eye Bank, she investigates human retinal aging and age-related macular degeneration, focused on pathobiology and clinical image validation. Techniques include histopathology, electron microscopy, cell biology, lipoprotein biology, and transcriptomics in >140 peer review articles. Research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, numerous foundations, and industry. She is a member of the Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science editorial board and an NIH study section. She was awarded the 2002 (inaugural) Roger H. Johnson Prize for Macular Degeneration research and 2014 Ludwig von Sallmann Prize for lifetime contribution to vision research. Please visit the Project MACULA online resource for AMD histopathology


New Clinical Findings in MacTel Type 2
Emeritus Professor Alan Bird
Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London

Emeritis Professor Alan BirdAlan Bird is Emeritus Professor at the University of London and Honorary Consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Professor Bird was trained in medicine at Guys Hospital Medical School where he completed junior posts in general medicine, surgery and neurosurgery. After a residency in ophthalmology at Moorfields, he worked as a senior registrar at The London Hospital and The Hospital for Nervous Diseases. This was followed by a fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute with Dr Lawton Smith and a brief period with Dr Hoyt in San Francisco.

Professor Bird returned to Moorfields in 1969 and held successive appointments at the Institute of Ophthalmology as lecturer, senior lecturer and reader and then professor, simultaneously serving as a consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital. His subspecialty interests moved from neuro-ophthalmology to retina and, with the conversion of clinical activity at Moorfields to specialised services, a Medical Retinal Clinic was established. The specialist service now has twelve consultants and holds thirty-four clinics each week.

Over the years, a productive multidisciplinary research team developed to investigate monogenic retinal disorders and age-related macular disease. Investigative techniques included molecular genetics, electrophysiology, psychophysics, specialised imaging and morphology.

Professor Bird has received a number of awards and accolades for his contribution to vision science.  He has published widely, having written more than 370 papers published in peer-reviewed journals, and over 70 book chapters.


Studies on the Pathogenesis of MacTel Type 2
Professor Mark Gillies
Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney

Professor Mark Gillies MB BS, PhD, FRANZCO, a Sydney University Medical School Foundation Fellow and a clinician-scientist who specialises in diseases of the macula, directs the Macular Research Group at the Save Sight Institute of the University of Sydney. The group is developing better treatments for macular diseases through clinical and laboratory research. Mark is also heavily involved in the MacTel Project, an international collaborative study to identify a cure for Macular Telangiectasia Type 2. Mark has published over 160 original articles in the peer-reviewed literature, mostly concerned with the treatment of macular diseases.


There will be time for discussion and questions as well as a chance to catch up with colleagues after the event over refreshments.

Please register here by 31st October for catering purposes.