October 14, 2022 | Visit by Rotterdam’s mayor Aboutaleb

On October 14, we had the pleasure to receive a visit of Rotterdam’s mayor Mr. Aboutaleb and introduce our work during a guided tour through the institute.  Click here to read more

September 25, 2022 | Musical gathering MCMF & NIIOS

On September 25, MCMF and NIIOS organized a wonderful concert. The concert was partly to celebrate Dr Melles receiving the Champalimaud Vision Award. Click here to read more

September 15, 2022 | Champalimaud Vision Award

The entire NIIOS team is very proud that Gerrit Melles received the prestigious 2022 Champalimaud Vision Award for his pioneering work in the field of corneal transplants.Click here to read more

June 12, 2022 | AECOS Research Grant 2022

Congratulations to Viridiana Kocaba for receiving the AECOS 2022 European Research Grant for the work on laser-assisted Bowman layer graft preparation. During the AECOS European Symposium in Antwerp, Viridiana had the opportunity to present an overview of her research grant topic. Click here to read more

May 20, 2022 | NIIOS Cornea Evening 2022

It was a pleasure to host this year’s edition of the NIIOS online Cornea Evening in a TV studio with a fantastic panel to discuss new developments in the field of cornea and to exchange new perspectives. Next to the live broadcasts on May 20, there were three additional broadcast on May 21, May 24 and June 9. Click here to read more

April 11, 2022 | Power List Ophthalmology 2022

The NIIOS team is very proud that Gerrit Melles was again selected to be part of the 2022 Power List. This annual list is provided by ‘The Ophthalmologist’ to acknowledge the achievements of the most influential figures in ophthalmology. Click here to read more 

April 4, 2022 | Expertise List Corneal Endothelium

We feel honoured that NIIOS is listed as a top-ranking expertise center for the corneal endothelium. At NIIOS we are dedicated to learn more about endothelial cells every day and to share this knowledge with the cornea community so that we can improve treatment options and patients’ vision. We are very proud of our unique team that makes this possible!  Click here to read more

December 1, 2021 | PhD Defence Lamis Baydoun

On December 1, Lamis Baydoun successfully defended her PhD thesis at the University of Leiden. Congratulations to Dr. Baydoun for her fantastic work and congratulations also to her promotors Prof. Martine Jager (Leiden University) and Dr. Gerrit Melles. Click here to read more

November 17, 2021 | Bressler Prize 2020

On November 17, Gerrit Melles received the 2020 Bressler Prize in Vision Science for important advancements in the treatment of people with vision loss.  Click here to read more

November 16, 2021 | Amnitrans EyeBank Rotterdam receives 10000th donor

Vandaag ontving Amnitrans EyeBank Rotterdam het oogweefsel van de 10.000ste Nederlandse donor die haar oogweefsel voor transplantatie beschikbaar stelde via onze hoornvliesbank. Dank u donoren, dank u nabestaanden, en vooral natuurlijk namens de patiënten die dankzij u weer kunnen zien en hopelijk dit bericht nu ook kunnen lezen!

Today Amnitrans EyeBank Rotterdam received the eye tissue of the 10.000th Dutch donor who was willing to share her corneal tissue to help patients regaining their sight! Thank you donors, thank you relatives, with a big hug from the corneal patients who could be treated and hopefully are able to read this message now, thanks to your generous gifts!

September 30, 2021 | Dr. Isabel Dapena is leaving NIIOS

Dr. Dapena joined NIIOS in the pioneering DMEK times and became a world-renown DMEK surgeon. We would like to thank her for all her contributions to our work field!  Click here to read more

August 1, 2021 | Wetlab Courses are starting again

Our Wetlab Courses in October are now fully booked; the next DMEK course is on November 23/24. 2022 dates have now been published. To secure a place you can register now via this link.

June 1, 2021 | Thank you for joining our third NIIOS Cornea Evening 

We thank you for joining our NIIOS Cornea Evening on May 29th, 2021. It was a big success with around 1000 registrations from about 75 countries. We could see and feel your presence through your contribution during the polls, Q&A sessions and WhatsApp messages. By clicking here you can open the ‘impression of the night’ page and to read more about the recording of this event.


May 1, 2021 | Update publications

In a Guest Editorial of the May 2021 issue of JCRS, Dr. Melles highlights the developments in endothelial keratoplasty over the last two decades. You can read the article via this link.

April 20, 2021 | Expertise list: Corneal Transplantation Worldwide 

We feel very honoured that NIIOS/MHR Melles Hoornvlieskliniek Rotterdam is listed as a top expertise institution for corneal transplantation! Congratulations to Gerrit Melles, Isabel Dapena, Lisanne Ham, Korine van Dijk, Lamis Baydoun, Silke Oellerich and the entire NIIOS team! You can find the complete list here.

February 1, 2021 | May 29th: our third NIIOS Cornea Evening – Live Online

The wait is almost over! On May 29, 2021 at 4 PM CET (UTC +1) another edition of our NIIOS Cornea Evening – Live Online is broadcasted to your personal screen from Rotterdam.  Have a glimpse at the program, filled with incredible international corneal experts who will deliver their precious ophthalmology knowledge to your personal screen. You can find more information and the registration button here. We have made some announcement videos for this event, would you like to see more about our faculty and program components: please click here.

January 1, 2021 | 2021 update MHR

In this New Year’s message, the Melles Cornea Clinic looks back on the past year and would like to give you an update on 2021 and beyond. There are great developments, collaborations and events ahead of us that we would like to share with you. Please click here to read the letter, note: it is written in Dutch.

December 15, 2020 | Our optometrists about Bowman transplantation onlay in Eyeline magazine

Two of our optometrists (Lydia van der Star and Korine van Dijk) were interviewed about Bowman Layer transplantation and the innovative switch from inlay to onlay. The article is written in Dutch but you can find it here.

December 1, 2020 | NIIOS 20 years: 2020 was a special year 

This year has been a very turbulent one, but 2020 is also a special year for NIIOS. We celebrate our 20-year anniversary and the best way to do that is with everyone that was part of this organization! Since our NIIOS Cornea Evenings switched to Live Online NIIOS Cornea Evening this year due to Covid-19, we were able to involve our fellows in this Online Evening since they are for sure part of our NIIOS family. Please enjoy some short video fragments from our beloved NIIOS fellows worldwide on this page.

November 21, 2020 | Our second NIIOS Cornea Evening – Live Online

The 2nd NIIOS Cornea Evening – Live Online on November 21st, 2020 at 4 p.m. CET (UTC +1) is coming closer. Be again inspired by our amazing faculty to improve the status quo of patients’ health care. Although this year´s ESCRS in Amsterdam would have been a unique occasion to celebrate our 20th NIIOS Anniversary, we believe this online setting allows to gather far more ophthalmologists, corneal surgeons, researchers and eye bank specialists, also from countries that, so far were not always able to join the annual conferences in Europe/US. Please find the program here. Last time, you could enjoy the creative side of the NIIOS staff in an Art Gallery. This time, you can be part of the program by sharing your own artwork or tips with the audience. For further information keep your eyes peeled on our website and social media.

November 19, 2020 | Our two PhD students are now Doctors! 

We are very proud to announce that our two PhD students are now Dr. Daniele Spinozzi and Dr. Rénuka Birbal. At Leiden University Dr. Spinozzi defended his thesis “Transplantation of cultured corneal cells: Towards clinical application” and Dr. Birbal defended her thesis “Advances in endothelial keratoplasty”. Their defenses took place on November 17, 2020 in Leiden. Congratulations to both!


November 1, 2020 | New Patient System called ‘Emma’ 

Our clinic now works with a new patient system called ‘Emma’. Patients can now view their file online themselves. The logistical steps regarding their care proceed faster as well. That results in our doctors being able to pay more attention to their care and needs as a patient. We would like to thank Timeff for the pleasant cooperation. If you are a patient and you would like to see your file, click here.


October 9, 2020 | Dr. Melles receives Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professor Award 

On October 9, 2020 during the Vision 2020 Online Congress at Hamilton Eye Institute in Memphis, Tennessee (USA), Dr. Gerrit Melles was honoured with the Sir Harold Ridley Distinguished Visiting Professorship and gave a keratoplasty lecture with an update on DMEK and Bowman layer transplantation. Click here for more information.

June 18, 2020 | Dr. Melles is the 2020 Bressler Prize recipient

The Lighthouse Guild is postponing the Bressler Vision Science Symposium until the fall of 2021 but does remark Dr. Melles from NIIOS as the 2020 Bressler Prize recipient. The Bressler Prize in Vision Science was established in 2001, and since 2003 has annually recognized a mid-career vision clinician or scientist whose leadership, research and service have led to substantive advancements in the understanding of vision loss, treatment of eye disease, or the rehabilitation of people with vision loss. More information about the event can be found here.

June 6, 2020 | The NIIOS Cornea Evening goes live online! 

Due to the present unprecedented conditions, international conferences have been cancelled worldwide and conference halls will remain empty for the time being. Although we currently cannot gather physically to network and directly exchange important scientific progress, the digital world is a welcoming alternative platform bringing us together with a click from our home and our computers/phones. After several Cornea Evenings in Europe and the US with many of you ophthalmologists, corneal surgeons, researchers and eye bank specialists attending, NIIOS will be
hosting the first
NIIOS Cornea Evening – Live Online on June 6th 2020, at 4 PM CET (UTC+1) moderated by Lamis Baydoun and broadcasted from Rotterdam! Please see the full program here

We look forward to meeting you live online!


May 1, 2020 | Research of Dr. Baydoun is published in Acta Ophthalmologica 

The research of our former-colleague Dr. Baydoun about early recognition of graft rejection is published in Acta Ophthalmologica. The purpose of this study was to assess whether combined analysis of specular microscopy and Scheimpflug imaging improves detection of an upcoming allograft rejection following Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). You can read the article that is called ‘Combined specular microscopy and Scheimpflug imaging to improve detection of an upcoming allograft rejection after DMEK’ by clicking here.

November 22, 2019 | Dr. Melles receives the 2019 Tilanus medal

In November 2019, Dr. Gerrit Melles received the Tilanus Medal that is awarded once every 10 years by the Dutch ‘Genootschap ter Bevordering van Natuur-, Genees- en Heelkunde’ for exceptional and ground-breaking contributions to the field of medicine. Dr. Melles received this award in recognition of his development of lamellar keratoplasty techniques.

February 16, 2018 | Science Award 2018 of the German Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery

On February 16th, 2018, Dr. Gerrit Melles was honoured with the Science Award of the German Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery for his lifetime achievements. The Award was presented by Prof. Dr. Burkhard Dick, during the society’s annual meeting in Dresden, Germany.

January 16, 2018 | Hoornvliesoperatie nu of later? Onderzoek geeft uitsluitsel
Promotieonderzoek Korine van Dijk naar behandelwijzen helpt patiënten Fuchs endotheeldystrofie en keratoconus – Promotie op 16 januari 2018 aan de Universiteit Leiden. Snel opereren of zo lang mogelijk wachten? Het promotieonderzoek van optometrist Korine van Dijk geeft houvast bij deze moeilijke keuze voor patiënten met de hoornvliesaandoeningen Fuchs endotheeldystrofie en keratoconus. In haar proefschrift ‘Clinical outcomes of modern lamellar keratoplasty techniques’ beschrijft zij de factoren die voorspellen hoe snel na transplantatie de optische kwaliteit en de refractie-uitkomsten stabiel zijn. Lees meer op pagina 19 van ‘Oog voor U’, het magazine van de Hoornvlies Patiëntenvereniging: klik hier om het artikel te openen.


To serve our audiences both at home and abroad, NIIOS publishes press releases, newsletters and articles in both English and Dutch (and occasionally other languages). If you would like more information about any item, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Press releases:

  • “Nieuwe technieken maken hoornvliestransplantaties minder riskant” – July 5, 2017 – in Dutch.   Read more. 
  • “Tekort aan organen is oplosbaar zonder wetswijziging.” (Shortage of organs can be solved without amendment of the law.) October 10, 2016 – in Dutch. Read more.
  • “Alle NIIOS-geledingen in actie voor betere hoornvliesselectie; kick-off van inzamelingsactie voor OCT voor de oogbank bij de Rotterdam Marathon.” (Eye bank fundraising drive kicks off at the Rotterdam Marathon.) April 14, 2016 – in Dutch. Read more.
  • “Nieuwe techniek roept oogaandoening keratoconus halt toe.” (New technique stops keratoconus eye disease in its tracks.) February 4, 2016 – in Dutch. Read more.
  • “Vision recovers faster and better using novel corneal transplantation technique.”  January 12, 2016. Read more.
  • “6 miljoen voor onderzoek naar behandelingen om blindheid te voorkomen, Rotterdams onderzoeksinstituut NIIOS leidt deelproject ARREST BLINDNESS.” (NIIOS heads up a subproject in the EU’s ARREST BLINDNESS project, which has received €6 million to research treatments to prevent blindness.) January 1, 2016 – in Dutch. Read more.

NIIOS Newsletter:

  • Find all of our newsletters here.