MBBS (London), FRCS (Edin), MSc (London), CCT (UK)
Dr. Then obtained his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from St. George’s Hospital, University of London. He also has a Masters degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from King’s College, University of London. He did his basic and higher surgical training at West Midlands Region, Birmingham. In addition, he has done one year fellowship in stem cell research at Keele University. Dr. Then became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeon, Edinburgh in 1999 and is registered with the General Medical Council (U.K.) Specialist Registry. He was recommended by the UK Postgraduate Medical Education Training Board to the Royal College of Ophthalmologist, London to be awarded a certificate of completion of training (CCT) in 2006 after finishing his higher surgical training.
He has done two cornea and anterior segment fellowships (Birmingham and Brighton) as well as a fellowship in inflammatory eye diseases (Birmingham). He has received numerous awards including the prestigious Scottish Priory of the Order of St. John’s research fellowship in ophthalmology, an award given by the Royal College of Surgeon, Edinburgh. The award has lead to the discoveries of unique behaviour of human corneal stem cells as well as the creation of bioengineered (artificial) corneas. He has also received numerous grants for his research including a major grant from the British Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, North Staffordshire Medical Research Grant, GUP Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia grant and industries science grant.
Dr. Then has ten years of experience as an ophthalmologist in United Kingdom before being appointed as a senior lecturer/consultant ophthalmologist at Hospital University Kebangsaan Malaysia. He was the head of the cornea and external eye diseases service in that hospital. He is still a visiting consultant for HUKM.
Dr. Then is registered with the Malaysian National Specialist Register. To date he has over 70 international presentations and over 40 publications. In 2008, he became the first ophthalmologist in Malaysia to use a patient’s tooth to save his vision (osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis), a highly complex procedure only performed by a few surgeons around the world. In 2009, he pioneered the first corneal endothelial keratoplasty in Malaysia. In 2011, he performed Southeast Asia first cultivated oral mucosal stem cell expansion on a patient with severe chemical injury. Apart from cataract surgeries, his other interests include corneal transplantation, pterygium surgery, complex corneal diseases, contact lens related disorders, keratoprosthesis, stem cell treatment for corneal stem cell deficiency and the use of mesenchymal stem cells in translational research. He and his research team became the first in the world to have discovered mesenchymal stem cells in human cornea in 2005 and was subsequently published in 2007. His team is also one of the first in the world to have succeeded in inducing mesenchymal stem cells into nerve cells as well as human retinal cells.
He is currently attached to International Specialist Eye Centre, Brighton Healthcare as well as chief technical advisor for several biotechnology companies in Malaysia.