Peng Tee Khaw
The Power List 2020 – Power List 2020
Director, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, Research and Development Moorfields Eye Hospital, Eyes and Vision Programme Chair, UCL Partners Academic Health Science Centre, London, UK
Your three wishes?
I’d like to achieve the 10-10-10 target for glaucoma worldwide: 10 mmHg, lasting 10 years, done in 10 minutes; restore significant function (quality of life) to a damaged optic nerve; detect and monitor glaucoma with a simple single handheld device.
Piece of advice for your younger self?
Take opportunities when they present themselves to you!
The most serendipitous moment of your career?
Early in my research career, I needed to support a key researcher who would otherwise have left the field. I had exhausted all avenues, when out of the blue I received a phone call from a person who had seen me treat a child on TV several years earlier. She wished to give a small donation to my research ever since then, but only just got around to it. After thanking her for ringing me, I asked what she was thinking of donating. She responded with the exact large sum I needed to continue the researcher’s career! The researcher has since gone on to produce work critical to the improvements in the surgical procedure we have designed, and has also had a very successful career in cellular regeneration.
The most unexpected turn your career took?
Going into research. I only did my PhD at the end of my clinical training – inspired by a child I looked after while training who had failed all glaucoma surgery and eventually went blind. With great mentor support I applied for and got a Wellcome Trust research training fellowship, and combined clinical research career which has been hugely stimulating and exciting.