90 Pushkin st./ 14 Aurora st., Ufa, Russia, 450008
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+7 (347) 286-5303 eye@bashgmu.ru, eye@anrb.ru

History of the Institute

Ufa Eye Research Institute is one of the leading eye research institutes in Russia.

At present the Institute is headed by Mukharram Bikbov - PhD, Professor, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Bashkortostan.

The history of the institute dates back to the second half of the XIX century. In 1886 the Ufa branch of Empress Maria Alexandrovna Trusteeship of the Blind was established and in 1888 an asylum for blind adults and a specialized school for blind children were opened in Ufa. On August 11, 1901 the school was reorganized into free eye hospital with 4 beds. 

Arseniy Belsky (1901-1903) became the first director of the hospital. In subsequent years, the directors of the hospital were Vladimir Sushkin (1903-1904), Anna Meyer (1904-1910 and 1920-1925), Fedor Kirkevich  (1910-1914).

In 1926, because of the trachoma epidemic in Bashkiria, Bashkir Trachoma Research Institute was established on the basis of a 50-bed regional hospital.

The first research manager and organizer was Viktor Odintsov - a leading ophthalmologist, Professor of the 1st Moscow Medical Institute. He headed the institute in 1925-1928. A great merit in the organization of the institute belongs to Gumer Kuvatov, the first People's Commissar and organizer of the public heath service in the Bashkir ASSR. It was through his efforts that the institute acquired ophthalmic equipment and medical instruments from Germany. In 1928-1932 Vladimir Tabakov was the director of the Bashkir Trachomatous Research Institute, in 1933-1934. - Joseph Agarev .


In 1932, the number of beds in the institute increased up to 150. Bacteriological and histological laboratories with special equipment were opened. Animal studies were conducted in the vivarium. 

In 1934 Professor Vladimir Spassky headed the Institute. From that period a large-scale survey of the republican population for trachoma began, specially organized groups of experts provided conservative and surgical treatment locally. Spassky successfully combined scientific, pedagogical, medical and social activities aimed at treating trachoma and preventing its complications. Prof. Spassky was the author of numerous scientific articles on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of trachoma. For his great contribution to healthcare, prof. Spassky was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour and the Order of the Badge of Honor.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) the Institute was turned into a hospital for wounded soldiers. In the post-war period (1945-1965) its research interests again focused on preventiion and treatment of trachoma and its complications. A number of works published at that period formed the basis of the fundamental study in the field of etiology and pathogenesis of the disease. One of the most prominent trachoma fighters was Professor Gabdulla Kudoyarov, the Honorary Doctor and the Honorary Worker of Science of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. His research interests included bacteriological, virological and morphological studies of trachoma, virus and vernal conjunctivitis. As a result of deploying mass medical and public efforts, trachoma was eventually eliminated by the mid-60s. A great contirbution in organizing ophthalmic assistance to people in Bashkortostan was made by I.A. Agarev, F.Sh. Kuzyahmetova, N.Kh. Mescherova, A.V. Chubukov, G.A. Valeeva, V.A. Gizatullin, L.P. Nevzorov, F.Sh. Kurbanaeva, R.G. Kudoyarov, R.F. Voishvillo and many others.  


In 1965 Bashkir Trachomatous Eye Research Institute was reorganized into Ufa Eye Research Institute. Among its major research areas of that period were the study of the effect of petrochemicals on eyes (K.R. Belenky, A.H. Giniatullina), viral eye diseases, prevention and treatment of eye injuries, strenthening of eye care services in the republic of Bashkortostan.

In the 1980s, the institute (director - Prof. MT Aznabayev) became an interregional center for microsurgery and laser treatment. New laboratories were built and equipped with modern operating microscopes, cryoextractors, phacoemulsifiers, biometers, keratometers, fundus cameras, laser systems, contact and intraocular lens manufacturing machinery. Research interests focused, at that time, on pediatric ophthalmology, medical and social rehabilitation of patients with eye injuries, etc. The main priority was given to congenital cataract surgery. A new concept was proposed, based on the idea of surgical management of congenital cataract in infants, in order to ensure early activation of visual analyzer and to prevent its functional underdevelopment. A school of pediatric ophthalmologists was established and new directions in pediatric congenital ophthalmopathology were developed.

Professor Mukharram Bikbov
Diretor of Ufa Eye Research Institute
Doctor of Medical Science (MD,  PhD)
Vice-president of Russian Society of Ophthalmologists (RSO)  
Honoured Doctor of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Bashkortostan

At present, Ufa Eye Research Institute is the centre for the most advanced ophthalmology technologies, including cataract surgery, retinal and vitreous pathology, refractive surgery. The Institute is a large multidisciplinary institution that carries out scientific, medical and consulting, manufacturing and educational activities.

Since 2006, there have been profound changes in research and ophthalmic practice. Currently, the Institute employs 98 ophthamologists and researchers, including 9 Doctors of Science and 28 Candidate of Sciences, 2 Honorary Doctors of the Russian Federation and 9 Honorary Doctors of the Republic of Bashkortostan, 72 doctors of the 1st and higher categories.  

The Institute has 5 scientific departments:

  • cornea and lens surgery 
  • vitreoretinal and laser surgery 
  • ophthalmic and medical epidemiology
  • research and innovation
  • research and education

Main areas of work: 

  • ophthalmic and medical epidemiology
  • complex treatment for corneal pathology and refractive errors
  • development of new surgical techniques, laser and pharmacological methods for the rehabikitation of patients with retina and vitreous diseases
  • improvement of minimally invasive ultrasound-assisted and femtosecond laser-assisted surgery for age-related and complicated cataracts
  • pathogene-oriented technologies in glaucoma surgery; glaucoma prevention
  • medical device development

The current stage of the Institute’s work is characterized by its further development of scientific activities with a partiular emphasis on innovative technologies and IP commercialization. Since 2007, the Institute has been planning and implementing innovative projects, developing new devices, medicines and vision-enhancing technologies. Special infrastructure was created for the effective implementation of long-term innovative projects. That was preceeded by the search and selection of specialists, able to create and introduce new medicines and medical devices. In accordance with the Russia's import substitution program, the Institute develops and produces medical devices for practical health care, which can reduce the demand for their foreign analogues, and in some cases completely replace them.

The main activity of ophthalmic and medical epidemiology department is to conduct population-based studies of cause-and-effect relationship between ophthalmology and other diseases and their link with sociodemographic factors of the population of Bashkortostan. The department staff has an active programme of scientific cooperation with leading researchers from Great Britain, Germany, Singapore, China, Finland, the USA, etc.

Сornea and lens surgery department focuses its attention on the development of diagnostic techniques and technologies for medical and surgical therapy of cornea and lens diseases, surgical correction of ametropia and medical device creation.

A professional approach, in-depth analysis of surgical results, and constant learning from colleagues allowed the Institute to invent new technologies and introduce them in a number of ophthalmology clinics in Russia and some other countries. Thus, the inventions in ophthalmic surgery gave a new and accomplished technology for the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with degenerative cornea diseases.

Long-term experience of the Institute research staff resulted in the creation of "UFAlink" and "UFAlink Quant", ophthalmic devices for UV crosslinking. Their scientific and technical characteristics meet the standarts of foreign analogues. A device for monitoring the power of ultraviolet radiation "UV-tester" was created as well as "ION", ophthalmic device for iontophoresis which helps to carry out transepithelial cross-linking. Studies at the molecular level have contributed to the development of a new ophthalmic agent, Dextralink, which is used in corneal crosslinking. Since 2009, the "UFAlink" device and the cornea protector have been mass-produced, and have been awarded diplomas and medals at domestic and internatonal exhibitions.

Registration of clinical trials - “Standard and transepithelial corneal collagen crosslinking methods in treating patients with keratectasias” and “Myoring intrastromal rings implantation combined with corneal collagen crosslinking in patients with keratoconus” - in the international database of clinical studies ClinicalTrials.gov PRS (USA) testifies compliance with international standards.

Currently. the Institute continues to work on improving the technology for corneal crosslinking, in particular, a new device "UFAlink Impulse" was created for performing the procedure in a pulse mode and a special device for scleral crosslinking has been developed and tested in experimental and clinical trials, and can be used in clinical practice for myopic patients.

In the vitreoretinal and laser surgery department, which was established in 2007, endovitreal surgeries are widely performed, including 25-gauge surgery in patients with ocular complications due to diabetes, hemophthalmia of various etiologies and retinal vascular occlusion. Intravitreal administartion of various angiogenesis inhibitors is widely used, which is highly effective for treating age-related macular degeneration.  

The issues of pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of refractory glaucoma are still relevant. Surgeons of the Institute use various techniques for patients with this pathology - the Ahmed valve and the Ex-Press shunt implantations, the use of Repegel, Glautex and xenoplast drainages, etc.  Canaloplasty procedures using the Glaustent device, specially developed at the Institute are performed for the treatment of open angle glaucoma.

We study clinical and functional outcomes of modern technologies for cataract surgery - the use of femtosecond laser and multifocal toric IOLs, the use of polyartifakia procedure for residual ametropia correction in children and adolescents. 

25G technique is used in surgery for congenital cataracts in children, which allows to achieve positive anatomic and fuctional outcomes, as well as to reduce the risk of developing complications.

Among the Russian state ophthalmic clinics, Ufa Eye Research Institute was the 1st to carry out femtolaser-assisted keratoplasty and femtosecond laser cataract surgeries, including those for treating congenital cataracts in children and pterygium. 

The use of high technologies involves personnel training. Since 2007, the staff of the Institute wrote and successfully defended 36 candidate (PhD) and 9 doctoral theses. Young ophthalmologists are constatnly involved into various research projects which won national and local grants.

The institute closely cooperates with Russian and foreign ophthalmic research centres (from Germany, Austria, Japan, India, etc.). The joint scientific projects include:

  • population and epidemiology studies "Ural Eye and Medical Study", "Ural Very Old Study" and "Ural Childhood Study" (together with Heidelberg University, Germany)
  • K-Map. Prevalence of Keratoconus in children and adolescents (together with University of Zurich and ELZA Institute, Switzerland)
  • Prevalence of Geographic Atrophy in Asia: the Asian Eye Epidemiology Consortium (with Singapore Eye Research Institute within Asian Eye Epidemiology Consortium - AEEC)
  • Myopic macular degeneration (with Singapore Eye Research Institute within Asian Eye Epidemiology Consortium - AEEC)
  • Kidney Disease and POAG (with Singapore Eye Research Institute within Asian Eye Epidemiology Consortium - AEEC)
  • Brain and Optic nerve study (with Singapore Eye Research Institute)

Ufa Eye Research Institute has:

- 5 microsurgery departments; 

- 2 adult and 1 pediatric consultative polyclinics; 

- departments of:

  • functional diagnostics; 
  • hospital-replacing technologies, 
  • outpatient admission and outpatient surgery, 
- laser department

Medical care that patients receive at the Institute, within Russian obligatory medical insurance program, meets the highest quality standards and grants full access to most modern ophthalmic technologies. About 20,000 patients receive treatment at the institute's hospital every year, and the total number of surgeries per year exceeds 38,000. 

All our achievements would not have been possible without a strong team of professionals, who always tend to perfection.