Five Minutes with Associate Professor Anthony Kwan during lockdown 

11 Oct, 2021

Associate Professor Anthony Kwan has been a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Retina and Macula Specialist and Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Queensland Eye Institute (QEI) since 2007. We caught up with him while he was quarantining at home in early August to find out more about his life achievements, his focus in ophthalmology and his sporting interests.

What inspired you to become a retina specialist?

“I like delicate and meticulous surgery, and retinal operations are arguably the most intricate of all the ophthalmic procedures.” 

Does your family have an interest in ophthalmology?

“I am very fortunate to have a wife who is a general practitioner, my older son is studying medicine at university and a younger son at high school who is also interested in medicine. So they have some interest in what I do.”


Associate Professor Anthony Kwan in his fencing outfit in his heyday

What areas of research are of interest to you and why?

“My original area of research is laboratory model of retinal transplantation for the treatment of macular degeneration/dystrophy. My current interest is in clinical trials for both dry and wet macular degeneration.”

 What do you see as your top career and life achievements?

“In term of career achievements, my success in experimental retinal transplantation during my research time at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, is one. The other is my contribution in establishing the Queensland Eye Institute into a centre of excellence in clinical care and research. Our Institute is now recognised nationally and internationally.”

“In terms of my life ‘achievements’ – together with my wife, Julia, we have brought up two conscientious and hard-working young men; one is studying medicine after being awarded the Chancellor Scholarship and the other may pursue the same interest. I cannot be more proud of them in what they have achieved so far.”


Photo of Associate Professor Anthony Kwan and wife


What exercise do you like doing outside of work?  

“I used to be a regular fencer, but I have had to give that up with my ageing knees. I am now into gym workouts and do running regularly, hence the charity run in the Bridge to Brisbane event.”

Associate Professor Anthony Kwan is running in the Bridge to Brisbane in November and has since raised over $6,500 for retinal research and a much needed electrodiagnostic machine.

To donate, please visit bridgetobrisbane.gofundraise.com.au/page/AnthonyKwan

Where would you like to visit when the borders open?

“Anywhere that I can meet up with the rest of my family! I have a brother in London, UK, and another brother in Vancouver, Canada. We have not seen each other for a long while, so we will organize a big family reunion!”