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Biographical entry Mann, Ida Caroline (1893 - 1983)

6 February 1893
Kilburn, United Kingdom
19 November 1983
Dalkeith, Western Australia, Australia


Ida Mann was an ophthalmologist who was the first woman to be appointed Senior Surgeon at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, and in 1944 the first woman to hold a Chair at the University of Oxford. Her research interests included trachoma, rubella cataract, geographic distribution of eye diseases, and ocular effects of vitamins. During WWII she worked on the effects of chemical warfare agents on the eye. Shortly after Penicillin was discovered, she studied its intraocular use decades before intravitreal administration of antibiotics became standard practice. She wrote the classic texts The development of the human eye (1928), which remained in print for over 50 years, and Congenital abnormalities of the eye (1937). In 1949 Mann migrated with her husband to Western Australia. Here she established a practice in Perth and became involved in the Australian ophthalmic community. At the request of the Western Australian Government she investigated the occurrence of trachoma, recording its very high incidence in Aboriginal communities. The outcome of this work was a massive treatment program. Her investigations extended into Papua New Guinea and later the Asia-Pacific area. She was regional advisor to the World Health Organisation.



Education - Member, Royal College of Surgeons, United Kingdom
Education - MB BS, University of London
1920 - 1925
Career position - Ophthalmic House Surgeon, St Mary's Hospital, London
1925 - 1927
Career position - Pathologist and Assistant Surgeon, Central London Ophthalmic Hospital
Career position - Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons, United Kingdom
1927 - 1945
Career position - Honorary staff member, Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields
Education - DSc, University of London
Award - Doyne Medal, Oxford Ophthalmological Congress
Award - Nettleship Medal, the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom
1941 - 1944
Career position - Margaret Ogilvie Reader in Ophthalmology, University of Oxford
1944 - 1947
Career position - Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Oxford
1945 - 1949
Career position - Senior Surgeon, Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields
Life event - Migrated to Western Australia
1950 -
Career position - Consultant, Royal Perth Hospital
Life event - Migrated to Western Australia
1950 - 1979
Career position - In private practice in Perth, Western Australia
1953 - 1974
Career position - Member, Research Committee, Ophthalmologic Research Institute of Australia
1954 - 1955
Career position - President, Ophthalmological Society of Australia
Award - Howe Medal, American Ophthalmological Society
Award - Bowman Lectureship and Medal, Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom
Award - Norman McAlister Gregg Oration, Ophthalmological Society of Australia
Award - Jose Rizal Medal, Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology
Award - MD (honorary), University of Western Australia
Award - Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE)
Award - Honorary doctorate, Murdoch University

Published resources

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Bron, Anthony J., 'Dame Ida Caroline Mann', Archives of Ophthalmology, 102 (1984), 1713-1715. Details
  • Yates, Tim, Constable, Ian and Lowe, Ron, 'Dame Ida Caroline Mann, 1893 - 1983 DBE, MB, BS, PhD (London), MA (Oxon), MD (Hon) (WA), FRCS, FRACS, FRACO', Australian Journal of Ophthalmology, 12 (1) (1984), 95-6. Details


Helen Cohn