Research On The Researcher
Perhaps, like me, you found it fascinating to learn about the London Vision Clinic‘s ongoing contributions to research into all aspects of Laser Eye Surgery.
As the clinic’s research manager, Tim Archer, pointed out in a recent article for this blog, many patients might be surprised to know that this massive and crucial “behind the scenes” work is ongoing as Dr Dan, Glenn Carp and the team constantly share their results with their peers around the world.
After digesting this piece of information, I decided to conduct my own piece of research and find out more about the London Vision Clinic’s longest serving full time employee and research boffin, Tim Archer.
Like many of the London Vision Clinic team, Tim’s introduction to his career, was a case of serendipity. In the summer of 2003 Tim’s father, Jeffrey (yes, like the author and former politician; but not the same person), became a patient of the new clinic.
Being interested in business structures, Mr. Archer senior began a conversation with Dr Dan about his plans for the newly opened London Vision Clinic. Dr Dan confided his hopes that – alongside providing excellent treatment for patients – he would also be able to continue with research into all aspects of eye health and Laser Eye Surgery. To do so he would need to employ the services of a maths and computer sciences graduate.
Thinking about his son who had recently gained degrees in mathematics from Oxford and computer sciences from Cambridge universities and was looking for a job at the time, Jeffrey was able to tell Dr Dan: “I’ve got one of those at home!”
It was agreed that Tim would accompany his father for his 24 hour post-op check up and afterwards both stayed on to watch Dr Dan give a talk to a group of ophthalmologists about surgical techniques.
It was Tim’s introduction into the world of Laser Eye Surgery and it quickly became clear that alongside the clinical nature of the procedure, much of its success hinged on numbers and all aspects of mathematics and physics.
So Tim’s career at the London Vision Clinic began and, during the eight years that have followed, has expanded into the vital role of Research Manager he holds today.
To his colleagues and office visitors alike, Tim is blessed not only with an amazingly analytical brain but also terrific powers of concentration. Famously he has the ability to switch off from any chatter around him as he focuses exclusively on whatever project he is working on at the time.
And, he explains, those research projects are never ending.
He told me: “If, from today, no one gave me any new work I have enough to keep me busy for at least a year!” Sorry Tim, there’s no chance of that.