Professor Brendan Vote
M.B., B.S (Qld)
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Tasmania
Vitreoretinal and Cataract Specialist

Brendan graduated in Medicine from University of Queensland in 1990 then undertook his internship and junior medical officer training at Launceston General Hospital in 1991 and 1992, where he met his wife Michelle. Brendan was a medical officer in the Royal Australian Air Force for six years including 18 months as Senior Medical Officer in Butterworth, Malaysia and from there relocated to Dunedin, New Zealand for his ophthalmology training.

Brendan's passion for research and teaching were nurtured at University of Otago in Dunedin, while in Dunedin his two sons Joshua and Benjamin were born. Brendan continued his academic research passion becoming the inaugural vitreoretinal fellow at Auckland University.

He is Clinical Professor in Ophthalmology at the University of Tasmania and has published more than 100 peer review publications. He is involved in Multicentre International and Australian clinical trials assessing intravitreal therapies in diabetic maculopathy, age-related macular degeneration and vascular occlusion.

Brendan maintains an active teaching role of both registrars and medical students – our future generation of eye surgeons and doctors.

He stays active playing squash weekly, and also enjoys fishing, travel and indoor skydiving.

Dr Ian Murrell
M.B., B.S (Tas), FRANZCO
General Ophthalmology, Ocular Plastics and Cataract Specialist

Dr Ian Murrell was born in Kenya and emigrated to Australia as a child. He was educated in Sydney and later at The Friends School, Hobart. Dr Murrell attended medical school at the University of Tasmania and spent some years in emergency medicine and general practice before commencing training in ophthalmology. His initial training took place in Adelaide with the majority at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital as well as at most of Melbourne's major teaching hospitals.

Dr Murrell has been practicing in Tasmania since 1998 and practices in both Launceston and Devonport.

Particular interests include:

  • Cataract surgery; including toric and multi-focal lenses
  • Ocular plastics and lacrimal surgery
  • Glaucoma including laser treatment and surgery
  • Paediatric ophthalmology including squint surgery

He has a broadly based practice including a variety of other ocular conditions and believes in good communication with his patients and excellence in surgical outcomes.

Dr Murrell is married to Melissa who is from Launceston and has two school aged sons. His interests include rugby, travel, fishing, cooking, reading and family activities.

Dr David McKay
Vitreoretinal Specialist

Dr David McKay is an ophthalmic surgeon with special interest in medical and surgical retinal diseases. Originally born in Hobart he has spent much of his life in NSW. After completing his medical degree at the University of NSW in 1982, he underwent ophthalmic training at the Sydney Eye Hospital and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. His vitreo-retinal fellowship was done at the Lions’ Eye Institute in Perth. He had a travelling scholarship and spent six months in the USA. He has worked in Sydney for many years in his own private practice in Macquarie Street, as well as being an associate at several other major metropolitan and rural practices. David has been an ophthalmic surgeon for 20 years at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, teaching residents and registrars, and was Head of Department. He was also a surgeon at the NSW Eye Centre at the Sydney Private Hospital and Hunters Hill Hospital.

David is currently working as a vireo-retinal and cataract specialist at the Launceston Eye Institute, Tasmania. He has visitation rights at Launceston General, Calvary and The Eye Hospitals in Launceston. He has presented workshops and papers at various national and state meetings concerning ophthalmology, and participated in many aspects of the Royal Australian & NZ College of Ophthalmologists, of which he is a fellow (since 1988). He is a member of the Australian & NZ Society of Retinal Specialists, a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the Australian Medical Association. David has been a registered medical practitioner since 1982. Check the AHPRA website for details.

He is a commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, with the rank of Lt Colonel. David is married to Andrea who is a dermatologist. Together they have two grown children. He is a keen sailor, holding the qualification of Yachtmaster Offshore in the Royal Yachting Association, UK. David’s other passions include cycling, mountaineering, and hiking.

Dr Dean Cugley
M.B., B.S (Tas), FRANZCO
Medical Retina and Uveitis Specialist

Dr Dean Cugley completed his Ophthalmology training at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne in 2017. He subsequently undertook two further years of fellowship training in Medical Retina and Uveitis at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and Centre for Eye Research Australia in Melbourne; and Bristol Eye Hospital and Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in the United Kingdom.

Dr Cugley is a competent general Ophthalmologist, medical retina and uveitis specialist and cataract surgeon. He has published in several international peer reviewed journals, presented at international conferences, and has a keen interest in teaching.

Dr Cugley obtained his medical degree and was awarded first class honor from the University of Tasmania in 2010. He completed his resident years at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne before entering specialist training in Ophthalmology.

When not at work, Dr Cugley enjoys spending time with his family and making the most of the great outdoors.

Dr Robin Abell - Visiting
BMedSci, MBBS (Hons), MMed, FRANZCO
General Ophthalmology, Cataract, Cornea and Refractive Surgery

Robin graduated from the University of Tasmania with First Class Honours before undertaking a Masters of Medicine in Ophthalmic Sciences and a research fellowship at the Launceston Eye Institute with Associate Professor Brendan Vote. He was involved in many of the early landmark anti-VEGF in macular degeneration trials. His Masters thesis titled “Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery versus. Conventional Phacoemulsification Cataract Surgery” has garnered international recognition and has resulted in over 20 published research papers on the topic. He has presented at numerous international scientific meetings, and was an early adopter of laser cataract surgery.

Robin completed his Ophthalmology training at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, followed by subspecialty fellowship training in Cornea and Refractive Surgery. He has a special interest in laser vision correction, Fuchs Dystrophy, Keratoconus, and applying preventative strategies to avoid loss of vision in corneal disease. He is highly skilled in modern techniques of corneal transplantation, and has trained several local and visiting corneal specialists at the Eye and Ear Hospital in descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) surgery. Robin is a visiting specialist at Launceston Eye Institute and is available to see patients with corneal conditions.


Gene Therapy Appeal

Tasmanian Eye Institute is funding a dedicated Ophthalmic Gene Therapy Centre to be located in Hobart. This will be the first of its kind in Australia. 60% of blindness in infants is caused by inherited (genetic) eye diseases.

Help combat previously untreatable genetic eye diseases by making a donation to this life changing treatment.

Donate today to change somebodies outlook on life.

©2015 Launceston Eye Institute