The Institute was established in 1900 on the charitable donations of a well-known Moscow philanthropist, Varvara Alexeyeva.
At her request doctor Konstantin Adelheim founded the first municipal Eye Hospital which provided the needy with free specialized medical care.
Opened with 3 in-patient departments (including a pediatric department) with a capacity of 50 beds and an ambulatorium with only about a 100 patient visits a day, the Hospital rapidly expanded and its staff considerably increased.
Soon the hospital was reformed into an institute named after Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (August 31, 1821 – September 8, 1894), who was a German physician and physicist who made significant contributions to several widely varied areas of modern science. In physiology and psychology, he is known for his mathematics of the eye, theories of vision, ideas on the visual perception of space, color vision research, and on the sensation of tone, perception of sound, and empiricism. In physics, he is known for his theories on the conservation of energy, work in electrodynamics, chemical thermodynamics, and on a mechanical foundation of thermodynamics. As a philosopher, he is known for his philosophy of science, ideas on the relation between the laws of perception and the laws of nature, the science of aesthetics, and ideas on the civilizing power of science.
From its very foundation, the Hospital’s doctors apart from their practice attended to educational and scientific work. 7 graduations of certified ophthalmologists (250 - 300 graduates each) had been held before the revolution of 1917.
Since 1936, the Helmholtz Moscow Research Institute of Eye Diseases is the leading specialist eye hospital and research center in the system of Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.
Today the Institute is the leading scientific ophthalmological center and the largest specialist eye hospital in the Russian Federation. It is situated in the complex of 8 buildings with 57 departments and has more than 600 employees. Director of the institute professor Vladimir Neroev is the Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.
We treat over 300000 patients a year across the entire range of ophthalmic specialities, perform surgery (both emergency and elective) on nearly 15000 patients.
We lead the country's most extensive ongoing ophthalmic research programme on eye injury, glaucoma, myopia, pathology of retina and optic nerve, infectious and allergic diseases, eye disorders in children. 39 employees have a scientific degree of Doctor of Medical Sciences (18 of whom are full professors) and more than 100 are Candidates of Medical Sciences (equal to PhD degree).
The Institute actively supports training and education of postgraduate specialists. During the last 5 years 192 ophthalmologists have received postgraduation sertificate and diplomas; 35 have been awarded a doctorate level degrees (D.Sc.); over 900 ophthalmologists out of all Russia and abroad improved their professional skills through specialized courses or close clinical affiliation.
Our prestigious reputation is based on a century-old tradition of leading-edge research, education and a commitment to patient-centred care.