UNSW’s Professor Brien Holden has been awarded the American Academy of Optometry’s highest honour for his lifetime of achievement in vision science.

Professor Holden, who is CEO of the Brien Holden Vision Institute based at UNSW, has been a global leader in research and innovation in many areas, including contact lens wear, surgical vision technologies, the causes and solutions to blindness and impaired vision from refractive error, and the global epidemic of myopia.

He received the Charles F. Prentice Medal at the academy’s annual meeting in Denver in the US this month. The medal, established in 1958, is the academy’s most prestigious and is awarded annually to a distinguished scientist or clinical scientist in recognition of a career-long record of advancement of knowledge in vision science.

Professor Holden thanked his colleagues upon receiving the award. “This award is a tribute to my outstanding research colleagues at Brien Holden Vision Institute worldwide and my global collaborators. Since the early 1970s, along with colleagues at UNSW, I have been very fortunate to work with innovative, dedicated and talented people with a shared goal of providing vision for everyone, everywhere.”

Professor Holden was at the forefront of research that underpinned the huge growth in soft contact lens wear globally. More recently, his focus has been on the development of new methods to control the progression of myopia.

“Myopia has traditionally been considered an East Asian health issue but the incidence and prevalence of myopia is increasing globally. Currently 1.7 billion people have myopia and this number will likely increase to 2.4 billion by 2030,” says Professor Holden.

“Our myopia control products are being developed to tackle this issue head on and the Brien Holden Vision Institute is now accelerating its efforts to deliver advanced products to the market through its own companies and through other corporations.”

For more information please see the Brien Holden Vision Institute website.

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Professor Brien Holden