Marie-José Tassignon is born in 1952 in the French speaking part of Belgium. She was raised in French by her father and in Dutch by her mother. She completed her studies of medical doctor at the Free University of Brussels. She defended her PhD thesis in Leiden, The Netherlands, in 1990 and was appointed Chief of the Department of Ophthalmology of the Antwerp University Hospital and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Antwerp in 1991. In
2007 she became Medical Director of the Antwerp University Hospital after having been Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Antwerp from 2003 to 2006. She was full professor at the University of Antwerp from 2003 till 2017 and closely implicated in the national trainees educational program.
She was president and past-president of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) from 2004 until 2007 and was president and past-president of the European Board of Ophthalmology (EBO) from 2007 until 2010. She is member of 18 international societies in ophthalmology and has been board member in 5 out of them. She was elected chair “L” of the International Academy of Ophthalmology (AOI) in 2007 and was elected chair “V” of the European Academy of Ophthalmology in 2008. She became Alumni of Pretoria University of South Africa in 2008 and full member of the Ukraine Academy of Medicine in 2012. She became member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium in 2009.
She is chair of the EBO-ESCRS examination FEBOS-CR editions 2017 and 2018.
She became board member of the International Council of Ophthalmology in 2016 and chair of the program committee WOC 2020 and 2022.
She became president of the Academia Ophthalmologia Internationalis in 2018 for a term of four years.
Seven patents have been approved out of which the patent of the original bag-in-the-lens design and implantation technique and of the caliper ring to perform a calibrated anterior capsulorhexis. This lens has been commercialized in Belgium in 2004 and is currently on its way to be accepted worldwide as technique to eradicate posterior capsule opacification. The BIL technique is considered very useful in children and combined cataract and vitrectomy.
Two patents have been submitted the last two years in the field of treatment of vitreous floaters.
Marie-José Tassignon was awarded the Kritzinguer award in 2003 in Egypt; the Binkhorts medal at ESCRS in 2011 in Vienna; the Norman Galloway award, Nottingham University, United Kingdom in 2014, the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis lecturer in 2015; the Peter Eustace medal in 2015 by European Board of Ophthalmology for excellence in education; the Montgomery lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons delivered at the Irish Council of Ophthalmology in 2015; the Tadeusz Krwawicz award
at WOC 2016; the Moroccan Ophthalmological award in 2016. She gave the Academic Inaugural lecture 2018-2019 at Barraquer Institute of Ophthalmology in Barcelona-Spain.
She became Honorary member of the Bulgarian Ophthalmological Society in 2017 and member of the Ukrainian Academy of Medicine in 2012.
She was honorary guest at the 27th International Congress of German Ophthalmic Surgeons, DOC in Nürnberg and guest professor at Michigan Eye Kellog’s University in 2013 and at Harvard Massachusetts Eye and Ear in 2014.
She received three best paper awards at ASCRS and five best video awards at videorefractiva, ESCRS and WOC.
Marie-José Tassignon is author of 304 publications and of 24 chapters of 23 books.
She is editor of the book “bag-in-the-lens surgical technique” published by Springer Nature in 2019.