• The University of Western Australia (M517), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Following completion of medical degree with Honours (1999) and general ophthalmology training program (2006), Dr Fred Chen moved to London for a medical retina and high volume surgical retina fellowships at Moorfields Eye Hospital (2007-2010). In 2011, he was awarded a PhD at the University College of London for his work in retinal pigment epithelium transplantation for retinal diseases. He returned to the Lions Eye Institute in 2011 and established a dedicated retinal dystrophy clinic in which >300 patients have been phenotyped in details and their skin fibroblasts are being banked for disease modelling experiments. He is Director of Clinical Research at the Institute, overseeing many active clinical trials. He heads the Ocular Tissue Engineering Laboratory and the Informatics and Imaging Group. He is also a Director of the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia. He has performed over 800 vitrectomy surgery, an experience required for performing gene therapy and managing potential complications arising from such novel treatment.

He has 105 peer-reviewed papers published since 1997 and is a principal investigator for several clinical trials of retinal and macular degeneration. His expertise in retinal imaging assists in detailed phenotyping of retinal dystrophy and endpoint measure analysis in clinical trials for inherited eye diseases. His laboratory is building capacity for disease modelling using induced pluripotent stem cells. 


As a clinician-researcher with 8 years of post-PhD experience, Dr Chen has built an upward trajectory in his publication track record. Over 90 papers were published in the last 10 years and 55 papers were published in the last 5 years. 

Dr Chen’s research has been published in the top international journals for ophthalmology and vision science including Inv Ophth Vis Sci, Prog Ret Eye Res and Ophthalmology.  His papers have been cited over 3150 times in the last 20 years with an H index of 28. The quality and impact of his work has been recognised nationally and internationally through invitation to scientific advisory boards by pharmaceutical companies, invited lectures, seminars and presentations, radio and TV interviews and invited memberships to the American Society of Retinal Specialists and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Retinal Specialists. Dr Chen has presented his work at national and international conferences on the topics of retinal pigment epithelium transplantation, functional retinal and choroidal imaging and retinal dystrophy.

Research interests

  • retinal pigment epithelium transplantation
  • functional retinal and choroidal imaging
  • retinal dystrophy 
  • disease modelling using induced pluripotent stem cells
  • clinical trials

Teaching overview

Dr Chen has contributed to medical school curriculum development (1999), supervising medical student examination (1999), teaching of undergraduate medical students (2011-) and training of ophthalmology registrars and surgical retina fellows (2011-). He is an appointed mentor for fourth year medical students and a coordinator for Honours students at the UWA Centre of Ophthalmology and Visual Science. He co-supervises Master students at Lions Eye Institute working on retinal imaging studies. He is currently supervising ten MD Scholarly Research Project students at UWA as well as supervising three Doctoral students. In addition, he manages and supervises two post-doctoral scientists in his Tissue Engineering Laboratory and two clinical trial coordinators for his clinical trials.

Community engagement

  • Public talks: Lions Club Convention (2015), Melville Probus Club (2014) Rockingham General Practice (2012), Lions Club – Claremont (2012), Lions Eye Institute Bequestors Lunch (2012), Retina Australia (2011), MD Foundation (2011), Marfan Association UK (2007), Christ Church Grammar School (2003).
  • Open days: Medical Career Expo (2012), UWA Surgical Society (2012), LEI open day (2012, 2014, 2015), Australian Society of Medical Research – Science lands in parliament event (2013);
  • Printed Media: MJA Insight interview (2011), Retina Australia newsletter (2012), The Post newspaper (2012), The WestAustralian newspaper (2013, 2014, 2015) and The Community Group newspaper (2013).
  • Audio-visual Media: ABC News (2015); ABC radio (2015); Health Matters TV interview on Channel 7 (2013) and Goldfield radio (2012). Donation appeal letter from LEI (2015).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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