Who We Are
The Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations inc. is a collective, global organization established by the: Eye Bank Association of America, European Eye Bank Association, Association of Eye Banks of Asia, Eye Banks Association of Australia and New Zealand, Pan American Association of Eye Banks, and Eye Bank Association of India.
The organization is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and the International Council of Ophthalmolgy, and collaborates with sector professionals in regions without eye bank associations – who share common goals and values.
In 2012 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by representatives from the Associations, and the organization officially formed in 2014, with the intent to develop a peer body to support industry recommendations, best practice and the WHO’s Initiative for Medical Products of Human Origin, and the Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant tourism.
With the backing of the six Founding Partner Eye Bank Associations, the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations is committed to the global advancement of eye banking in support of the following five key objectives outlined below, as identified in the signed Memorandum of Understanding:
Sharing of Best Practices and Guidelines
The Associations agree to facilitate the active sharing of established eye banking best practices, procurement and medical guidelines including available information on education, training and research initiatives, with the aim of ultimately harmonizing global practices of eye banking.
Sharing of Information on Scientific Meetings / Conferences / Workshops
The Associations agree to share information regarding upcoming scientific meetings / conferences / workshops to aid the coordination of these activities, foster reciprocal participation and promote joint organization efforts of specific symposia and workshops whenever applicable. The Associations will endeavor to cross-promote upcoming events through communication channels available to the individual Associations, including but not limited to websites, newsletters and other related publications.
Establishment of Worldwide Register of Eye Banks
The Associations will collectively establish a comprehensive register of eye banks worldwide with the goal of facilitating collection and publication of data pertaining to worldwide eye donation and ocular tissue transplantation activity.
Development and Promotion of Global Coding, Tractability Efforts and Bio-Vigilance Systems for Ocular Tissue
The Associations will undertake to collaboratively work on the development and promotion of global coding, tractability efforts and bio-vigilance systems for ocular tissue.
Provide Global Advocacy for Eye Donation and Eye Banking
The Associations agree to work closely together to address emerging and current challenges in eye donation and eye banking; positioning the Global Alliance of Eye Banks as the global advocate of eye donation and eye banking, and providing guidance and promotion of safe and ethical practices in the donation and transplantation of ocular tissue.
Founding Partner Representatives
Chair / Contact GAEBA
Dr. Heather Machin RN MBA PhD
Heather is an Ophthalmic Nurse with dual responsibilities across ophthalmic nursing and eye banking. She has led the development of national and global bioethical tissue frameworks including the development of The Barcelona Principles. She has published widely and receiving numerous awards and nominations. She has worked in over 30 countries, previously with ORBIS International’s Flying Eye Hospital and as a consultant to the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ working in the Pacific Islands. She is the Project Officer to the Lions Eye Donation Service, Centre for Eye Research Australia (a WHO Collaborative Centre for Blindness Prevention) at the University of Melbourne; Project Officer to the Eye Bank Association of Australia and New Zealand; Chair to the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations; Representative to the Lions Clubs International Eye Bank Working Group; Member of the Australian Organ and Tissue Authorities Eye and Tissue Advisory Committee; and a participant in the development of the WHO’s Global Action Framework for Tissue in Transplantation. She has particular interests in improving donor awareness; the global needs of those awaiting a transplant; the sharing of tissue; and the allocation of tissue towards research and training.
Association of Eye Banks of America
Kevin P. Corcoran CAE is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Eye Bank Association of America. Since joining EBAA in 2011, he has initiated a new strategic planning process, an outreach program to foster more member collaboration and engagement and a new, more assertive legislative advocacy campaign. He also guided the association through a reorganization of its governance structure and has initiated a diversity and equity program.
Kevin has over 30 years of non-profit management experience, and holds the Certified Association Executive designation, granted by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). He served a six-year term on the Board of Directors of ASAE Business Services, Inc. and is a frequent lecturer on association management topics for ASAE and other organizations. Kevin is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.
European Eye Bank Association
Gary L.A. Jones, BSc (Econ) is the International Relations Manager for Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus (the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation) in Venice, Italy. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from University College of Swansea (Wales) and spent his early career in the UK assisting academics and researchers obtain research funding, primarily from the European Commission in Brussels. In 2000 he relocated to Italy and began working for the Veneto Eye Bank, with special responsibility for managing the bank’s international collaborative links that now encompass 25 transplant centers in 15 countries. Since 2003 he has been the Executive Officer for the European Eye Bank Association and overseas the day-to-day workings of the EEBA Secretariat. He is a founding representative of the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations (GAEBA) and of the Common representation of SoHO’s Associations (CoRe SoHO).
Martin Börgel was born in 1968 and grew up in Recke/Münsterland. After training as a paediatric nurse and working for two years at the St. Franziskus Hospital in Münster, he studied business administration in Osnabrück, specialising in healthcare. After receiving his diploma, he worked for several years as an auditor for Solidaris Unternehmensberatung Köln, where he was responsible for the expert audits of the Eurotransplant and DSO foundations. Since 2002 he has been managing director of the German Society for Tissue Transplantation (DGFG), which until 2007 operated as DSO-G, a subsidiary of the German Foundation for Organ Transplantation (DSO).
Pan American Association of Eye Banks
Dr. Enrique O. Graue-Hernández (44 years old) studied Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico – Specialty in Ophthalmology at the Instituto de Oftalmología Fundación Conde de Valenciana/UNAM; High Specialty in Anterior Segment Surgery at the Instituto de Oftalmología Fundación Conde de Valenciana and High Specialty in Cornea and External Diseases at the University of California Davis and at the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear in Melbourne, Australia. He is a lecturer for undergraduate students and Professor of the Postgraduate Course in Cornea at the Faculty of Medicine, UNAM. He is a member of the National System of Researchers Level II and is a Candidate for Doctor of Science at the Faculty of Medicine and a member (Full Member) of the Mexican Academy of Surgery. He published 96 scientific articles, chapters in medical books of specialty or subspecialty: 18 chapters in books of national circulation; 13 chapters in books of international circulation. He is also Co-editor, part of the Editorial Committee and Co-author of Ophthalmology books. Areas of his interest are Cornea, Transplants, Infections, Ocular Surface Diseases and Refractive Surgery.
Dr. Mark J. Mannis is the Fosse Endowed Chair in Vision Science Research, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science, UC Davis Eye Center at the University of California, Davis. He also serves as Medical Director of Sierra Donor Services in Sacramento, California. He completed his ophthalmology residency training at Washington University in St. Louis and a fellowship in Cornea and External disease at the University of Iowa. His primary research includes studies in the development of new anti-infective agents, corneal transplantation, visual rehabilitation of patients with corneal disease, and the management of oculodermal disease and diseases of the ocular surface. Clinically, he specializes in corneal surgery and diseases of the external eye. Dr. Mannis is editor/ author of six books: Cornea –published by Elsevier–a two volume comprehensive text on the cornea and external eye co-edited with Jay Krachmer and Edward Holland, and cited as one of the 100 most important texts in ophthalmology of the 20th century, currently in its 5th Edition; Eye and Skin Disease – a text for both ophthalmologists and dermatologists on skin diseases with ocular manifestations, co-edited with Marian Macsai and Arthur Huntley; Corneal Transplantation: A History in Profiles – co-authored and co-edited with Avi Mannis; Ocular Surface Disease co-authored with Edward Holland; Ocular Surface Disease: Cornea, Conjunctiva and Tear Film co-authored with Edward Holland and W. Barry Lee, and Contact Lenses in Ophthalmic Practice, a manual on contact lenses, translated and edited by Dr. Mannis. Dr. Mannis was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Cornea and founding editor of Vision Pan-America: The Pan-American Journal of Ophthalmology. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals with over 200 published papers and is a reviewer for the Archives of Ophthalmology, Cornea, the American Journal of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology, and Cornea and Contact Lenses. Dr. Mannis is a recipient of the R. Townley Paton Award in eye banking from the Eye Bank Association of America and was a recipient of the Lew Wasserman Award in research from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. for his work in the development of antimicrobial peptides in ophthalmology. He has received the Moacyr Alvaro Gold Medal from the Federal University of Sao Paulo for contributions to ophthalmic education in Latin America and has received an honorary doctorate from the University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru. He was the 2014 recipient of the Castroviejo Medal for his lifetime contributions to the subspecialty of cornea and both the Claes Dohlman Award from the Cornea Society and the EnergEyes award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology for his mentorship and teaching accomplishments. He has served as one of the Directors of the American Board of Ophthalmology and is President Emeritus of the Cornea Society as well as the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology. He conducts a busy referral practice in diseases of the cornea and external eye based at the University of California, Davis.
Eye Bank Association of Australia and New Zealand
Dr. Graeme Pollock BSc (Hons) GCUT MPH PhD OAM, Treasurer
Graeme is the Director of Lions Eye Donation Service at the Centre for Eye Research Australia, Melbourne. He has spent the past 30 years involved in eye banking at local, national, and international levels. Having been trained in pathology at the University of Melbourne, Graeme’s association with donation and transplantation extends back to the 1980’s while working in organ preservation for transplantation. He completed his doctorate in this field at the University of Queensland and University of Cambridge. Graeme also holds a master’s degree in public health majoring in Health Administration from Monash University, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in University Teaching from the University of Melbourne. His interests include medical standards and guidelines in the field of eye banking. He is a past Chair of the Eye Bank Association of Australia and New Zealand, past-President of the Australasian Transplant Coordinators Association, a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Eye Bank Association of America and a founding member of the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations. In 2019 he was awarded an Order of Australia for service to corneal transplantation and education.
Luke Weinel BSc BHSc (Hons), Secretary
Luke is the Chair of the Eye Bank Association of Australia and New Zealand. He joined the eye banking community in 2018, becoming an Eye Bank Coordinator in Adelaide, Australia. He has professional qualifications and experience in medical-science, intensive care and statistics. Luke is directly engaged in donor corneal tissue recovery, and the local and national allocation of corneas to meet transplant demand across Australia. He assists his eye bank to reform their practice and assists in the preparation of regulatory and licensure audits provided by the Therapeutic Goods Agency. He holds a joint role with South Australia Health’s Division of Blood Organ and Tissues, where he is assisting the Division with the development of legislation in the field. In 2020 Luke was recognised as an Eye Health Hero by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, as a Future Leader.
Association of Eye Banks of Asia
Claudine Ho joined Asia Cornea Society and Asia Cornea Foundation in 2019.
Over the course of her 25-year career, she has been involved in all aspects marketing communications, advertising & promotions, public relations, media relations and events planning. She has worked some of Singapore’s most prominent companies including, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore Tourism Board, Raffles City Shopping Centre, Millenia Walk Shopping Mall, Tower Club, Magazines Incorporated and Faber Image events company.
Her expertise includes handling large scale events like Singapore Christmas Light Up to medical conferences with Singapore Society of Ophthalmology and Asia-Pacific Vitreoretinal Society (APVRS), various bank conferences and retail product launches.
Kristin Kleinhoff (left) and Nathalie Schwertner (right) work in press and public relations at the German Society for Tissue Transplantation, an EEBA member organisation. Together they support GAEBA’s communication work by managing the website and social media channels.