Eye care ‘giant’ dies
Professor Brien Holden, CEO of Brien Holden Vision Institute and Professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at UNSW Australia, passed away on 27 July aged 73.
One of Professor Holden’s most significant scientific achievements was co-developing the silicone hydrogel contact lens, which now makes up more than half of all contact lenses used worldwide. Income from such research and innovation is used by the Institute to fund humanitarian work, in particular in blindness prevention.
Interim CEO, Professor Kovin Naidoo, spoke on behalf of the organisation: ‘Brien was a man of extraordinary vision who devoted himself to the service of mankind. He demanded that research be indivisible from service to society. He was truly an intellectual giant in eye health and vision, a powerhouse driving change by mobilising teams that are globally united in science and service to the disadvantaged of our world.’
Brien Holden was dedicated to refractive error education. He was a regular contributor to the Community Eye Health Journal and the Brien Holden Vision Institute has kindly sponsored the Refractive Error series in the Community Eye Health Journal for the past year – part of the organisation’s commitment to global refractive error and optometric education.
Clare Gilbert, Co-director of the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH), which publishes the Community Eye Health Journal, said: ‘Brien was a giant of a man in many ways: in vision, heart and stature. He helped put correction of refractive errors firmly on the global agenda, insisting on high quality services, establishing the Brien Holden Vision Institute and raising funds to support the cause. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on.’
We extend our condolences to Brien’s family, friends and colleagues.