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The University of Montreal and of the world

The University of Montreal and of developing a treatment for macular degeneration

Huy Ong

More than ever, modern societies are confronted by health problems related to their aging populations, including macular degeneration. Professor and researcher Huy Ong is studying this disease, raising the hopes of patients who suffer from it.

Huy Ong and his colleagues Sylvain Chemtob (medicine) and William D. Lubell (chemistry) have successfully developed a first class of ligands or synthetic molecules that, because of their anti-inflammatory properties, have proven effective for the early treatment of dry macular degeneration. The research project will soon enter its clinical development phase, spurring hopes that a therapeutic agent could be created within 3 to 5 years.

Beyond this whole adventure, Huy Ong appreciates the great collegiality that continues to motivate his team. “Our work is the result of real collaboration. We have proven that we can do things together here, without having to run to the other side of the world.”

Born in Vietnam to a family of pharmacists, and as a professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy since 1979, Huy Ong is very sensitive to the plight of people who come to see him. “They are experiencing a persistent loss of vision. They feel helpless and often distraught. It really moves me.”

Huy means “light” in Vietnamese, and Professor Ong hopes his first name is fate. “If I can contribute to solving a very real problem for which there is no effective treatment to date, that would be a huge source of satisfaction for me.”

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