AN EYE expert based at Southampton’s teaching hospitals has been recognised for his pioneering research and clinical innovation.

Parwez Hossain, a consultant ophthalmologist at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded the King James IV Professorship by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh - the oldest surgical college in the world.

The prestigious honour is given to those who have made a significant contribution to the clinical or scientific basis of surgery during their career. As part of the award Mr Hossain will deliver a lecture next year on preventing blindness through the use of real-time healthcare technology to showcase his work.

He is one of five recipients, each one of whom will receive the title of professor for the duration of the year in which they deliver their lecture.

Mr Hossain has been at Southampton General Hospital’s eye unit since 2005, when he was also appointed a senior lecturer in ophthalmology at the University of Southampton.

His achievements include the development of a new surgical technique – fine needle diathermy – to treat a condition known as corneal vascularisation, which can cause sight loss through the growth of new blood vessels.

Alongside colleague David Anderson, he also established a new technique known as Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK). The pioneering process is used to treat corneal disease by using just a thin layer of donor tissue instead of a full corneal transplant.

Last year, alongside engineers at the University of Southampton, he developed a microchip that can help detect sight-threatening eye infections within minutes as opposed to weeks.

As well as his contribution to surgery he has led studies into eye-imaging techniques for corneal infection and a drug used to treat glaucoma that can boost the growth and prominence of eyelashes.

He also made headlines in 2010 after warning of the “grim consequences” of “liberal attitudes” to contact lens wear and “an explosion of cheap online stores”.

Mr Hossain said: “It is a great honour to receive such a distinguished award, which recognises the significant contribution of our work in Southampton to preventing blindness from corneal disease.

“I would also like to use it as an opportunity to thank my colleagues across both the University of Southampton and UHS.

“They have helped me produce the quality of research that has led to many important clinical developments both in the UK and internationally.”