Our mission is a world where nobody is blind because they cannot afford treatment
The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute is a centre of innovation in the United Kingdom for the elimination of corneal blindness worldwide by 2035
A New View
The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute awards annual grants to United Kingdom based technological and scientific projects that can help to end corneal blindness. Corneal blindness is one of the most pervasive forms of poverty blindness and we aim to provide ongoing support to projects that have a clear path toward alleviating corneal blindness in poor communities.
The first project to receive seed funding is focusing on preventing corneal endothelial cell loss, which is usually permanent and is the leading reason for corneal transplantation worldwide. The second project will use novel drugs released by contact lenses to treat ocular surface pain and overcome the need for opioids when treating severe eye pain, which remains one of the unmet needs in Ophthalmology.
Tej Kohli Cornea Institute UK Centre For Disciplinary Innovation
The first incarnation Tej Kohli Cornea Institute was established in 2015 at the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, a World Health Organization collaborating centre that is a global leader in research and development, preventative medicine and Corneal transplants.
Between 2016 and the end of 2019 the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute welcomed 223,404 outpatients, completed 43,255 surgical procedures, collected 38,225 donor corneas into its eye bank, utilized 22,176 donor corneas, trained 152 clinicians, published 202 papers and gave 892 educational presentations. In 2019 alone, 5,736 patients were cured of blindness.
Tej Kohli Cornea Institute Advisory Board
Many people who are blighted by blindness and other ophthalmic issues are prevented them from participating in society. For many it means being cast out due to their lack of ability to contribute financially. We must not allow this to continue in the 21st century. It is our duty to step in and support with passion, pride, hard work and our guarantee of a financial commitment.
We are proud of our longstanding history and global reputation in the area of ophthalmology. We now have a vital opportunity to extend our work as new technologies can be implemented to help in reducing corneal blindness. We hope to enhance our activities significantly and continue to develop a Global Resource Centre for corneal blindness. We will increase the number of surgeries we undertake and work towards our own goal of eliminating avoidable blindness.
Dr Gullapalli N Rao
There is an estimated 23 million individuals worldwide who have unilateral corneal blindness while 4.9 million are bilaterally blind. Corneal blindness may be treated by donor cornea transplantation but there is a severe shortage: 53% of the global population has no access to human donor corneas. The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute’s efforts to eliminate cornea blindness range from community health and prevention, expansion of eye banking efforts and quality medical care, all the way to the development of regenerative new biotechnologies.
Dr May Griffiths
Clinical academic and consultant corneal surgeon with over 15 years’ experience in translating laboratory science into corneal therapies; including the development of a corneal stem cell therapy that has been used in two clinical trials for blinding corneal disease. Leader of an active laboratory research team and chief investigator for two first-in-human studies.
Dr Sajjad Ahmad
Chair and Professor of Ophthalmology and a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Heads the Ocular Immunology Research Group at RCSI, which is investigating the epigenetics of ocular surface inflammation, uveitis and corneal transplant rejection. Member of the VISICORT consortium, an EU funded corneal transplantation research group.
Professor Conor Murphy
Leader in translational research on the use of stem cells for repair of the human ocular surface. Founder and Director of the Cells for Sight Stem Cell Therapy Research Unit.
Prof. Julie Daniels
Philanthropist focused on projects in communities that have been neglected, where interventions can combat a lack of education or healthcare
In 2019 renowned photographer Simon Townsley undertook a photographic study for The Telegraph that investigated the lives of young people living with a rare genetic condition (XP) in India. XP causes vision to quickly detiorate into blindness, and the study followed young people as they had their vision restored by the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute.
Social Impact Entertainment
The Tej Kohli Foundation has supported the production of an independent documentary film by up-and-coming independent documentary filmmakers. The film focuses on a cornea transplant patient of the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute and is being screened at several international film festivals to highlight the issue of ‘poverty blindness’ and its disproportionate prevalence amongst younger people within poor communities.