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Anthony Molteno

Anthony Molteno

University of Otago
New Zealand


Professor Anthony C B Molteno graduated in medicine from the University of Cape Town. He worked as an ophthalmologist at Baragwanath Hospital before becoming acting head of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Stellenbosch and Tygerberg Hospital. He came to the University of Otago in 1977, and was head of ophthalmology at the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine from 1987 to 2014. He taught and examined medical students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and he and his wife, Tess, have mentored decades of ophthalmology registrars. He became a full Professor in 2002 and Emeritus Professor in 2012, and retired from clinical and teaching work at the end of 2014. He continues his active research programme, which has been partly funded in 2014 and 2015 by a Lotteries Health Translational Research Project Grant. He is particularly known for developing the world's first glaucoma drainage implant, the Molteno implant, which is still considered the 'gold standard'. He also developed the bone-derived hydroxyapatite M-Sphere orbital implant used following enucleation, and a method of photoscreening for infants to detect early strabismus and anomalies in focusing. He has earned an international reputation for his research, most notably about glaucoma and in the Otago Glaucoma Surgery Outcome Study in particular, focusing on the long-term clinical outcomes of glaucoma surgery and the histology and immunohistochemistry of the glaucoma drainage blebs. He has received many awards including the Goldmann Medal from the International Glaucoma Societies in 1998 for the most significant contribution to the understanding and treatment of glaucoma, the 2014 International Society of Glaucoma Surgery Medal for outstanding achievement, and the 2015 American Glaucoma Society Innovator Award. He was admitted as an Honorary Fellow of the College of Ophthalmologists of the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa in 2001 and an Emeritus Member of the Glaucoma Research Society in 2011. Here in New Zealand he was awarded an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year's Honours List in 2005 for his services to ophthalmology and people with glaucoma. He is a previous president of the Ophthalmological Society of New Zealand, and in 2009 received a Distinguished Service Award from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists. To recognize his innovation, research and dedication to public clinical ophthalmology, the Anthony Molteno Prize was established in 2011. This prize is for the highest ranking student in the Ophthalmic Optics paper of the Postgraduate Diploma in Ophthalmic Basic Sciences at either the University of Otago or University of Sydney.

Research Interest

o The clinical use and effect of intravitreal bevacizumab o Stereotactic radiotherapy in the treatment of uveal melanomas o Ultraviolet photography of the living human cornea o Star testing of intraocular lens optical quality o Fourier analysis of digital retinal images in estimation of cataract severity o The long term outcomes of bone-derived hydroxyapatite orbital implants o The histology of the tuatara pineal complex