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Dr Ong Hon Shing

Dr Ong Hon Shing

MBBS (Distinction), FRCOphth, MSc, FRCS(Ed), FAMS


Singapore National Eye Centre

Specialty: Corneal & External Eye Disease, Refractive Surgery, Cataract & Comprehensive Ophthalmology

Clinical Interest: Corneal & External Eye Disease, Refractive Surgery, Cataract & Comprehensive Ophthalmology

Clinical Appointments

  • Consultant Corneal & External Eye Disease Department Singapore National Eye CentreSingapore National Eye Centre
  • Consultant Refractive Surgery Department Singapore National Eye CentreSingapore National Eye Centre
  • Consultant Cataract & Comprehensive Ophthalmology Department Singapore National Eye CentreSingapore National Eye Centre
  • Deputy Clinical Director Singapore Eye Bank
  • Consultant SingHealth Duke-NUS Transplant Centre
  • Consultant SNEC Eye Clinic @ CGH Changi General HospitalChangi General Hospital

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor SingHealth Duke-NUS Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Academic Clinical Programme


Dr Ong Hon Shing obtained his medical degree from Barts and the London School of Medicine, University of London, United Kingdom. In medical school, he was awarded a total of 16 prizes and awards, the highest number achieved by any individual in his alumnus. He was overall best in his cohort and was proxime accessit to the University of London Gold Medal.

He subsequently completed his Ophthalmology Specialist Training at the world-renowned Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, UK. During his specialist training, he continued to receive a number of awards including the prestigious Elizabeth Hunt Medal from The Royal College of Ophthalmologists, UK. He attained his medical postgraduate qualification from The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and a Masters of Science in Cataract and Refractive Surgery from the University of Ulster, UK. He subsequently completed three subspecialised training fellowships in Corneal External Diseases and Refractive Surgery at The Western Eye Hospital London, Moorfields Eye Hospital / The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology London, and the Singapore National Eye Centre / Singapore Eye Research Institute.

He is a fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the Academy of Medicine Singapore. He is also a member of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the International Society of Refractive Surgery, and the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the Asia Corneal Society, and the Asia Dry Eye Society.

His clinical areas of expertise include corneal and external diseases (including ocular surface diseases, dry eyes, blepharitis, allergic eye diseases, pterygium surgery, corneal infections), advanced techniques in corneal transplantation, cataract surgery (including femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery and the use of premium intraocular lenses), and refractive surgery (including femtosecond LASIK and other refractive surgical options).

Dr Ong has won awards from both the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology for his research interests, which span several different aspects of corneal and external eye diseases, corneal transplantation, and refractive surgery. His research work incorporates basic science, and clinical translation. He has numerous first author publications in peer-reviewed international medical journals and he has co-authored in various book chapters in Ophthalmology reference texts. He regularly presents his research work at international scientific conferences. He is currently reading for a PhD in ocular surface inflammation and scarring at The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, UK.

Beyond his clinical and research responsibilities, Dr Ong has volunteered in humanitarian missions, providing ophthalmic healthcare to needy individuals in developing countries. Dr Ong is also active in medical education and training. He has been a facilitator in various ophthalmology skill transfer courses and is regularly invited to be a faculty member for instruction courses delivered at international Ophthalmology meetings.


  • FRCS(Ed) (2019)
  • FAMS (2018)
  • MSc (2015)
  • FRCOphth (2013)
  • MBBS (Distinction) (2005)

Professional Appointments and Committee Memberships

  • Fellow, The Royal Collge of Surgeons of Edinburgh (2019 – present)
  • Fellow, Academy of Medicine, Singapore (2018 – present)
  • Fellow, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (2013 – present)
  • Member, European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS) (2013 – present)
  • Member, American Academy of Ophthalmologists (AAO) (2010 – present)
  • Member, International Society of Refractive Surgery (2010 – present)
  • Member, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) (2008 – present)
  • Member, Asia Dry Eye Society (2016 – present)
  • Member, Asia Corneal Society (2017 – present)
  • Member, The Society of Transplantation (SOT), Singapore (2022 – present)
  • Member, Society for Clinical Research and Translation of Extracellular Vesicles Singapore (SOCRATES) (2019 – present)


  • Singapore Heath Quality Service Award (Gold), SingHealth (2022)
  • Singapore Health Quality Service Covid-19 Healthcare Hero Award, SingHealth (2021)
  • Top 5 Research Publications Award, Singapore Eye Research Institute (2021)
  • Nurturing Clinician Scientist Scheme (NCSS) Award, SingHealth DUKE-NUS Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Academic Clinical Programme (2019)
  • Travel Award, Stevens Johnson Syndrome / Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis 2019: From Science to Translation (2019)
  • Asia Corneal Society – Santen Educational Grant Award, Asia Corneal Society (2019)
  • International Travel Award, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) (2017)
  • AMO best poster award for scientific excellence, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (2016)
  • Travel Award for scientific excellence, European Paediatric Ophthalmological Society (2011)
  • The Elizabeth Hunt Medal, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (2010)
  • West London Ophthalmology Research Medal, The Western Eye Hospital, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (2009)
  • Proxime Accessit to the University of London Gold Medal, The University of London (2005)
  • College Drapers Prize for overall best in M.B.B.S. finals examination, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2005)
  • BWWF Prize for Selected Study Module Portfolio, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2005)
  • J Ayoub Prize in Ophthalmology, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2005)
  • Weitzman Prize in Cardiology, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2005)
  • Brackenbury and Waring Scholarship Prize in Surgery, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2004)
  • Kirkes Scholarship Prize in Clinical Medicine, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2004)
  • Ian Howat and Sir George Burrows Prize in Pathology, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2004)
  • The London Hospital Medical Club Benevolent Fund Travel Award (2004)
  • Anthony J Williams Memorial Prize in Human Science: Epidemiology, Sociology, and Psychology, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2002)
  • Buxton Prize in Anatomy, Physiology, and Biochemistry, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2002)
  • David Reeve Prize for best in pre-clinical written examination, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2001 & 2002)
  • Slot and Anderson Prize for overall best in pre-clinical years, Barts and The London School of Medicine (2001 & 2002)

Research Interests

  • ​Various aspects of corneal and external eye diseases, corneal transplantation, and refractive surgery (Clinical and Translational).
  • Ocular surface inflammation and scarring
  • Phenotype characterisation and biomarkers of ocular surface scarring diseases (cicatrising conjunctivitis)
  • Cell-based therapies for corneal diseases
  • Novel anti-fibrotic therapies for ocular surface scarring


Scientific Publications (selected list)

  1. Ong HS, Htoon HM, Ang M, Mehta JS. "Endothelium-Out" and "Endothelium-In" Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) Graft Insertion Techniques: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Medicine (Lausanne) 2022;9:868533.
  2. Yang LWY, Ong HS, Chiam N, Mehta JS. Centration and Stability of Small-Aperture Intraocular Lens in Aberrated Eyes. Journal of Refract Surgery 2022;38(2):98-105
  3. Ong HS, Chiam N, Htoon HM, Kumar A, Arundhati A, Mehta JS. The Effects of Donor-Recipient Age and Sex Compatibility in the Outcomes of Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasties. Frontiers in Medicine (Lausanne) 2022; 8:801472.
  4. Liu YC, Setiawan M, Chin JY, Wu B, Ong HS, Lamoureux E, Mehta JS. Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing 1-Year Outcomes of Low-Energy Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery versus Conventional Phacoemulsification. Frontiers in Medicine (Lausanne) 2021;8:811093.
  5. Ong HS, Sharma N, Phee LM, Mehta JS. Atypical microbial keratitis. Ocular Surface 2021;S1542-0124(21)00128-2. [Epub ahead of print]
  6. Ong HS, Dart JK, Mehta JS. A Review of Clinical Disease Scoring Systems for Cicatricial Diseases of the Conjunctiva. Frontiers in Medicine (Lausanne) 2021;8:664572
  7. Dimacali VG, Liu YC, Ong HS, Ting DSJ, Mehta JS. Femtosecond laser-assisted excision of conjunctival melanocytic lesions: Cosmetic and long-term outcomes. Clinical Experimental Ophthalmology 2021; 49(3):312-315.
  8. Foo VHX, Liu YC, Ong HS, Ang M, Mehta JS. The effects of laser displacement on femtosecond laser-assisted conjunctival autograft preparation for pterygium surgery. PLoS One 2021; 16(1):e0245223.
  9. Ong HS, Ang M, Mehta JS. The Evolution of Therapies for the Corneal Endothelium: Past, Present, and Future Approaches. British Journal of Ophthalmology 2020; doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2020-316149
  10. Yi Teo CH, Ong HS, Liu YC, Tong L. Meibomian gland dysfunction is the primary determinant of dry eye symptoms: Analysis of 2346 patients. Ocular Surface 2020; doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2020.06.008 [Online ahead of print]
  11. Liu YC, Ang M, Ong HS, Wong TY, Mehta JS. SARS-CoV-2 infection in conjunctival tissue. Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2020; 8(7):e57.
  12. Ong HS, Peh G, Neo DJH, Ang H-P, Adnan K, Nyein CL, Morales-Wong F, Bhogal M, Kocaba V, Mehta JS. A novel approach of harvesting viable single cells from donor corneal endothelium for cell-injection therapy. Cells 2020; 9(6):1428.
  13. Ong HS, Minassian D, Rauz S, Mehta JS, Dart JK. Validation of a clinical assessment tool for cicatrising conjunctivitis. Ocular Surface 2020;18(1):121-129.
  14. Riau AK, Ong HS, Yam GHF, Mehta JS. Sustained Delivery System for Stem Cell-Derived Exosomes. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 2019;10:1368.
  15. Devarajan K, Ong HS, Lwin NC, Chua J, Schmetterer L, Mehta JS, Ang M. Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography Imaging to monitor Anti-VEGF treatment of Corneal Vascularization in a Rabbit Model. Scientific Reports. 2019;9(1):17576
  16. Ong HS, Farook M, Tan BBC, Williams GP, Santhiago MR, Mehta JS. Corneal Ectasia Risk And Percentage Tissue Altered in Myopic Patients Presenting For Refractive Surgery. Clinical Ophthalmology 2019; 13:2003-2015
  17. Mansoor H, Ong HS, Riau AK, Stanzel TP, Mehta JS, Yam GH. Current Trends and Future Perspective of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Exosomes in Corneal Diseases. International Journal Molecular Sciences 2019; 20(12):2853.
  18. Ong HS*, Peh G*, Adnan K, Ang H-P, Lwin NC, Seah X-y, Lin S-J, Mehta JS. Functional Evaluation of Two Corneal Endothelial Cell-Based Therapies: Tissue-Engineered Construct and Cell Injection. Scientific Reports 2019; 9(1):6087.
  19. Bandeira e Silva F, Yam GH, Fuest M, Ong HS, Liu Y-C, Seah X-Y, Shen SY, Mehta JS. Urea-de-epithelialized human amniotic membrane as a substrate for cultivated conjunctival epithelium transplantation in ocular surface reconstruction. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2019; 8(7):620-626.
  20. Yam GH, Fuest M, Zhou L, Liu TC, Deng L, Chan AS, Ong HS, Khor WB, Ang M, Mehta JS. Differential epithelial and stromal protein profiles in cone and non-cone regions of keratoconus corneas. Scientific Reports 2019;9(1):2965.
  21. Ong HS, Chan AS, Yau CW, Mehta JS. Kamra Corneal Inlays Explanted Due to Corneal Haze: A Case Series with Histopathological Analyses. Journal of Refractive Surgery 2018; 1;34(5):357-360.
  22. Ong HS, Setterfield J, Minassian J, Dart JK, and the Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid Study Group. Mucous membrane pemphigoid with ocular involvement: the clinical phenotype and its relationship to direct immunofluorescence findings. Ophthalmology 2018;125(4):496-504.
  23. Ong HS, Patel KV, Dart JK, Præstegaard M. Topical ciclosporin A as a steroid sparing agent for Ocular Rosacea. Acta Ophthalmologica 2017;95(2):e158-e159.
  24. Ong HS, Fung SSM, MacLeod D, Tuft SJ, Dart JK, Burton MJ. Altered patterns of Fungal Keratitis in a London Ophthalmic Hospital: An eight-year retrospective observational study. American Journal of Ophthalmology 2016;168:227-36.
  25. Ong HS, Corbett MC. Corneal Infections in the 21st Century. Postgraduate Medical Journal 2015; 91:565–571
  26. Kam R, Ong HS, Bunce C, Ogunbowale L, Verma S. Sensitivity and specificity of the AdenoPlus point-of-care system in detecting adenovirus in conjunctivitis patients at an ophthalmic emergency department – a diagnostic accuracy study. British Journal of Ophthalmology 2015; 99(9):1186-9
  27. Ong HS, Evans J, Allan BDS. Accommodative Intraocular lens versus Monofocal Intraocular lens implantation in cataract surgery. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews 2014;5:CD009667.

Book Chapters

  1. Ong HS, Mehta JS. Surgical Instruments for SMILE. In: Orlich C, Ramirez-Miranda A, Mendex A. (eds.) SMILE – Small Incision Lenticule Extraction. Panama: Jaypee Highlights Medical Publishers; 2017.
  2. Ong HS, Metha JS. Endothelial Reconstruction: Current and Future Approaches. In: Agarwal A, Narang P. Anterior Segment Repair and Reconstruction: Managing challenging cases in cornea, glaucoma, and lens surgery. India: Thieme Medical Publishers; 2019.
  3. Ong HS. Cataract – Acquired. In: Azarbod P, Khaw PT. Key Clinical Topics in Ophthalmology. London JP Medical Publishers; 2020.
  4. Ong HS. Cataract – Complications of Surgery. In: Azarbod P, Khaw PT. Key Clinical Topics in Ophthalmology. London: JP Medical Publishers; 2020.
  5. 5. Tan D, Ong HS. Management of Primary Pterygium. In: Mannis M, Holland E. Cornea 5th Edition. St Louis: Elsevier; 2021

Research Trials

  • NMRC CS-IRG-NIG (CNIG20nov-0023). PI $240,000. Modulatory effects of mesenchymal stem cells-derived extracellular vesicles on conjunctival innate immune responses to viral infections [10/2021 to 10/2023]
  • SingHealth Foundation-SNEC Grant (R1798/40/2021 SHF-SNEC 0321-6). PI $29.856.00. Glycomics of tear proteins: exploratory sub-study of convenient and standardized forced visual acuity testing in dry eye patients [05/2021 to 05/2023]
  • HMBS IAF-PP (H19H6a0026). Co-PI (Ophthalmology) $1,239,102.00. Translating Mesenchymal Stem Cells Exosomes into Pharmaceuticals [03/2020 to 03/2023]
  • SingHealth Duke-NUS Nurturing Clinician Scientist Scheme (NCSS) Award (05/FY2019/P1/18-A33). PI $213,000.00. Investigating Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Inhibitor Disulfiram as a Potential Repurposed Topical Therapy for the Treatment of Conjunctival Scarring. [04/2019 to 03/2022]
  • SERI-Lee Foundation Pilot Grant (LF0618-6). PI $29.999.59. The evaluation of mesenchymal stem cells derived exosomes as novel topical therapies for corneal scarring. [10/2018 to 04/2021]
  • SingHealth Foundation Grant (SHF/FG707S/2017). PI $50,000.00. Investigating Signal Transduction Pathways in Conjunctival Fibrosis: Therapeutic Potential of Novel Selective Inhibition. [05/2018 to 03/2021]
  • SingHealth-Lee Foundation Transplant Grant (SHTX/LFG/001/2019). Co-I $63,544.00. Investigating the Utility and Outcomes of Pre-Stripped and Pre-loaded Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK): A Prospective Pilot Study. [01/2019 to 01/2023]
  • SNEC-HREF Grant (R1528/27/2018). Co-I $20,000.00. Investigating Donor Corneoscleral Rim Cultures Compared to Standard Cultures of Donor Preservation Media in Corneal Transplantation. [04/2018 to 10/2019]
  • SNEC-HREF Grant (R1488/71/2017). Co-I $20,178.06. A novel approach of utilizing harvested corneal endothelial cells from donor corneas unsuitable for current corneal transplantation in cell-injection therapy for the treatment of corneal endothelial failure. [09/2017 to 03/2020]
  • SNEC-HREF Grant (R1430/13/2017). Co-I $20,141.25. Ocular surface gene expression and microbiome as biomarkers in cicatricial (scarring) conjunctivitis. [05/2017 to 11/2019]