Prof Taylor graduated from the University of Melbourne receiving the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1971, Diploma of Ophthalmology in 1975 and Doctorate of Medicine in 1979. He became a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists in 1976. He was the Assistant Director of the National Trachoma and Eye Health Program, 1976-77 and went to the Wilmer Institute in 1977 as a Corneal Fellow. He was the Associate Director of the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology. When he left Johns Hopkins in 1990 he was a professor of Ophthalmology, Epidemiology and International Health. He returned to Australia in 1990 as the Ringland Anderson Professor of Ophthalmology and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Melbourne, a WHO Collaborating Centre for the Prevention of Blindness.

He was the founding Director of the Centre for Eye Research Australia from 1996 to 2007. In 2008 he became the Harold Mitchell Chair of Indigenous Eye Health in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. His research interests include infectious and corneal causes of blindness, blindness prevention strategies, and the relationship between medicine, public health and health economics. His current work focuses on Aboriginal eye health and trachoma. His population-based studies of eye health in Australia have defined the eye research agenda and the planning and funding of eye care delivery in Australia, particularly for the Australian Aboriginal community.

He has also played a leadership role internationally and as a consultant to the World Health Organization. He is Treasurer and the next President of the International Council of Ophthalmology and former Vice-President of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. His work has been recognized by 16 international awards including the Howe Medal, the Jackson Lecture, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the AAO and the Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research. In 2001, he was made a Companion in the Order of Australia in recognition of his contributions to the prevention of river blindness, to academia, and to eye health in indigenous communities.

At this year’s congress, Prof Hugh Taylor will be giving an important lecture on Diabetic eye diseases as part his Sir Norman Gregg Lecture.