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Ioannis Pallikaris

Since 1989, Professor Ioannis Pallikaris has been a pioneering leader in the research of LASIK, bringing over thirty years of discovery experience to this promising new therapy. He has contributed to three breakthrough articles in Ophthalmology related to the development and groundwork of LASIK, and today is known in the international community as the “Father of LASIK “

Professor Ioannis Pallikaris has contributed to numerous articles in peer reviewed journals, ophthalmic information magazines and is the author of six books about ophthalmology and innovative techniques. Renowned for his scientific work and dedication in the field of refractive surgery, Professor Ioannis Pallikaris has been honored with twenty-five international awards from the largest associations worldwide, among them the “Barraquer Award” of the  AAO American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Redlay Medal of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and others.

Professor Pallikaris’s originative contribution in refractive surgery and development of the most worldwide implemented technique in our time, was a major breakthrough that changed the course of history in ophthalmology. His work significantly influences newly explored and developed techniques, most of which evolve around his original ideas and developments on refractive surgery. Alternative refractive procedures such as photorefractive keratectomy with or without the adjuvant of mitomycin C, LASEK, wavefront and topo-guided corrections are closely related to his initial and innovative ideas. Most recently, he developed a new technique (epi-LASIK), where the epithelial layer of the cornea is manipulated as a whole by means of a purposely designed device, bringing microsurgery of the eye to the cellular scale.

His strive for excellence has led to significant contributions in other fields related to Ophthalmology; the foundation of a multidisciplinary center related to vision science, and the transfer of knowledge reflected in his students and educational endeavors. Besides medical doctors, Prof. Pallikaris’s research group includes expert scientists from diversified fields such as Engineering, Optics, Physics, Computer Programming, Materials Science, Vision Science and Biology in order to accomplish the most significant steps in refractive today: Presbyopia.

Prof. Pallikaris has been vital in expanding the revolutionary field of refractive surgery and creating the appropriate grounds for the advancement of new and exciting applications in this field. To this day, his initial contributions with the development of LASIK still directly impact newly formed, developed and researched techniques. Concurrently, the development of this groundbreaking technique has an enormous effect not only in the surgical field but also the technological aspects of associated instrumentation. Even now, he continues to educate himself and support alternative fields in Ophthalmology related to vision as a whole and not just from the medical viewpoint. Additionally, as part of mutual research protocols, Prof. Pallikaris and his colleagues engaged in numerous collaborative clinical investigations with a variety of medical companies. Some of these research protocols were performed for the US Food and Drug Administration with significant outcomes for the safety, reliability and effectiveness of new systems used in Ophthalmology. Correspondingly, clinical protocols are performed on animal models for the development of new therapeutic methods (i.e. photodynamic therapy), the assessment of possible toxic effects of various new drugs and the understanding of the factors that influence post-laser treatment corneal transparency.

In terms of systems, devices and instruments used in Ophthalmology, Prof. Pallikaris contributes to this field by designing and developing innovative specialized instruments and systems. The TRACEY device, developed in partnership with the Kiev Institute of Biomedical Technology (Ukraine) was one of the first commercial instruments for the measurement of optical aberrations of the human eye and assessment of retinal image quality. Under Prof. Pallikaris’s guidance a precision machining workshop was augmented in the Institute of Vision and Optics of the University of Crete. It is remarkable, that the most experienced (and well equipped) machining workshop in the whole University of Crete belongs to the Department of Ophthalmology. This workshop, following a quality control system in compliance to ISO 9001 performs R&D and small-scale manufacturing work (some irrelevant to ophthalmology) for other departments and local industry.

Apart from the extension and inclusion of researchers from a variety of fields such as Physics, Optics, and Engineering, Prof. Pallikaris has strongly supported and provided the spark for new and younger scientists to realize their goals within the field of Ophthalmology. Many graduates and postgraduate students have gone on to be extraordinarily successful in national and international areas and have contributed significantly to the scientific community. As was mentioned earlier, education constitutes one of the basic activities of IVO as it fulfills its academic mission. Mini Fellowships in refractive surgery addressed towards Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Opticians, conference organizations such as the Aegean Cornea and Aegean Retina with the participation of distinguished scientists, the interdisciplinary postgraduate program with the contribution of IVO and the collaboration of the Departments of Medicine, Physics, and Mathematics of the University of Crete, with the objective of the formation of scientists with a high caliber of education capable of pursuing careers in hospitals, medical centers and private enterprises, that develop and implement devices in the fields of visual science, as well as in Universities and Research Institutes as academic – research personnel, are some of the examples of the educational activities that he has initiated.

Professor Ioannis Pallikaris’s mission is to preserve sight and empower people living in isolated small communities with life altering solutions, while advancing the profession of Ophthalmology.

Prof. I. Pallikaris is the founder and President of the University of the Mountains (UoM), a voluntary non-profit organization, member of the United Nations, Mountain Partnership, Food and Agriculture Organization, based in, Crete.

Members are professionals and visionaries of several disciplines of the academic community of the University of Crete and distinguished universities throughout the world, but also modest people from local communities with strong cultural backgrounds and broad knowledge of traditions, teaching each other and merging scientific with indigenous knowledge .

Sole motive is the challenge of maintaining human values and devotion to humanity.
For the past twenty years, one of the central actions of the UoM, is providing free medical examinations with fully equipped high tech mobile units, through monthly actions with the participation of numerous volunteers, to residents of the mountains in remote areas and isolated islands and refugees, of Greece.

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