Björn Drobe, Associate Director of the WEIRC (Wenzhou Medical University – Essilor International Research Center) accepted a special award from Wenzhou City on 27 September. The Yandang Friendship Award is given each year by Wenzhou City officials to reward a dozen of foreign experts for their contribution to economic development.
The WEIRC joint research laboratory was created in June 2013 to focus on the field of vision science, particularly the study of myopia in children and how ophthalmic lenses contribute to slowing myopia progression and therefore contribute to decreasing the risk of related ocular diseases. More than 20 specialists encompassing ophthalmologists, optometrists and research scientists work at the lab. Teams are already engaged in two large studies – one testing the benefits of special personalized lenses for myopia control in children; the second a study to find predicting factors of the onset and progression of myopia. Links created between Essilor and local scientists have already contributed to real progress in this area of research with the filing of a first patent.
Commented Björn Drobe, WEIRC Associate Director, “Myopia is one of the primary visual concerns for children in Asia, particularly China. Collaborating with WMU, one of the leading research institutes in myopia in China, allows us to be at the heart of a region significantly impacted with local experts in this field. It’s the best way to prepare the myopia products of the future.”
Essilor has a dedicated range of lenses – Myopilux – designed to reduce the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) that causes difficulties in seeing objects clearly at a distance. Myopia among children is on the rise across the world, especially in Asia where in some countries more than 80% of young people are myopic. It impacts individuals’ daily life – from school performance, leisure activities to future career choices. In the worst cases, it can also cause severe eye disease. In addition to programs in China, myopia is also a key focus for research at Essilor’s CI&T in Singapore.